He also said something about ending the hateful divisions over liturgy. Traditionalists would have to describe Cardinal Sarah as a Vatican II, Ordinary Form/Novus Ordo prelate. Which is wonderful in my book, especially since so many are bent upon condemning Vatican II and the post-Conciliar Cardinals and Bishops - kinda-sorta - unless they stress the use of the Extraordinary Form and all that entails.
Fr. Z is excited by what Sarah has to say in his new book, La Force Du Silence. Cardinal Sarah writes beautifully of the need for reform. Not so much about a preference for the EF or OF, but rather the need for reform as regards the novelties which have crept in since Vatican II. Reading just the few excerpts Fr. Z posted are deeply edifying - despite his red editorial commentary, congratulating himself on his correspondence with Cardinal Sarah's text. Nothing wrong with that, but Cardinal Sarah's text really needs no commentary.
I especially like the following description of the Entrance Procession:
At the beginning of our Eucharistic celebrations, how is it possible to eliminate Christ carrying his cross and walking painfully beneath the weight of our sins toward the place of sacrifice? There are many priests who enter triumphantly and go up to the altar, waving left and right in order to appear friendly. Observe the sad spectacle of certain Eucharistic celebrations. . . Why so much frivolity and worldliness at the moment of the Holy Sacrifice? Why so much profanation and superficiality before the extraordinary priestly grace that makes us capable of bringing forth the body and blood of Christ in substance by the invocation of the Spirit? Why do some believe themselves obliged to improvise or invent Eucharistic prayers that disperse the divine phrases in a bath of petty human fervor? Are the words of Christ so insufficient that a profusion of purely human words is needed? In a sacrifice so unique and essential, is there a need for this subjective imagination and creativity? “And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words,” Jesus has cautioned us (Mt 6:7).[...]
I refuse to waste time in opposing one liturgy to another, or the rite of Saint Pius V to that of Blessed Paul VI. What is needed is to enter into the great silence of the liturgy; one must allow oneself to be enriched by all the Latin or Eastern liturgical forms that favor silence. Without this contemplative silence, the liturgy will remain an occasion of hateful divisions and ideological confrontations instead of being the place of our unity and our communion in the Lord. It is high time to enter into this liturgical silence, facing the Lord, that the Council wanted to restore. - Source
I like to write about these things as a layman - because that is what I am. I used to be annoyed and become distracted by 'liturgical abuses' until I learned to spend a great deal of time in prayer - before and after Mass. After Mass, after communion, is the best time to practice the prayer of recollection - to deeply recollect oneself in the presence of Christ. Eventually one acquires an interior peace which no one can distract you from - not even the great din of people greeting one another before or after Mass. I took for my example St. Sharbel, who prepared himself for Mass by the contemplative recitation of the Rosary - he made his thanksgiving after Mass in the same way. So what I'm saying is, I decided not to complain and become disquieted and 'wish' there was an ideal Mass - but rather to keep myself in peace and turn interiorly toward the Lord.
I do not write these things to 'congratulate' myself, or to tell people what to do, or pretend I know anything about liturgy, I just want to demonstrate how I think the 'reform of the reform' might well begin within our own hearts. It's important to avoid contention and divisions, preferring one priest, one Mass to another, always looking to discredit the licitness and validity of this or that, and so on. When we do this, we are no longer 'turning towards the Lord' - we are outside our interior temple or interior orientation - directing traffic, complaining, whistle blowing, and making more noise.
In many western countries, we see the poor leaving the Catholic Church because it is under siege by ill-intentioned persons who style themselves intellectuals and despise the lowly and the poor. This is what the Holy Father must denounce loud and clear. Because a Church without the poor is no longer the Church, but a mere “club.” Today, in the West, how many temples are empty, closed, destroyed, or turned into profane structures in disdain of their sacredness and their original purpose. So I know how many priests and faithful there are who live their faith with extraordinary zeal and fight every day to preserve and enrich the dwellings of God. - Cardinal Sarah