Private chapel of Cardinal Newman

Private chapel of Cardinal Newman

Writing about the timelessness of the traditional Catholic Mass, Cardinal Newman observed:

“It is virtually unchanged since the third century.”

Wow. Talk about a connection to the earliest days of the Church! This short quote from Blessed Newman sums up why I attend Mass at Saint Stanislaus Oratory in the extraordinary form, the usus antiquior. No, it’s not just about aesthetics and nostalgia for the good ole’ days; it’s about being connected to a sacred experience, united by Sacrament, ritual and language, all of which transcend time and place.

It is astonishing, and very cool, to know that we have worshipped according to the same form for nearly 2,000 years, whether in the catacombs with the disciples of the Apostles, or in Chartres Cathedral with the Kings of France, or in El Escorial with Philip II, or in Saint Stanislaus with my fellow denizens of Milwaukee. What a heritage!