When was the last time your parish priest talked about the Four Last Things? If you, like me, go to Mass at a Novus Ordo parish in a very large diocese that has exactly ZERO Latin masses, you will hear about the last judgement, heaven and hell so rarely that you may be tempted to believe that they do not exist. After all, the man whom the cardinals elected to be Pope, and the cardinals themselves, seem to be too busy dealing with worldly matters.
Many priests don’t want frighten Catholics with what they consider to be medieval folk tales. It’s harder to ignore Heaven and Hell when you assist at Mass in one of Europe’s cathedrals, say, Saint Cecilia in Albi, where you have no choice but to gaze at a gigantic mural of the Last Judgement while Father is drifting off into another sermon about migrants and the environment. Indeed, sermons about the lives of saints are exceedingly rare, too, because veneration of saints is so . . . pre-Vatican II. Never mind that the saints have always been held up by the Church of the ages as models for us to emulate, whose assistance we are urged to seek for the sake of our souls.
So the priests prattle on about worldly things and the New Age version of mercy, which is twisted and grotesque, because it is never balanced by justice. If you end up thinking that God will have mercy on you no matter what you do, you are in very big trouble.
I wonder often if this is reason there is hardly anyone else going to Confession on Sunday at my parish church. I go about every 2 weeks and I’m the only one waiting outside the Confessional (twice I saw one other person – not the same one). There are two possibilities: (1) I belong to a parish filled with saintly people who never commit sins; or (2) the people who go to Church every Sunday and take Communion (most of them do, by the way) do not believe that it’s necessary to go to Confession. I am afraid for their souls and I pray that they take the Four Last Things more seriously and go to Confession. Now, if most of them are saints anyway and never commit sins, well, what a fortunate woman I am to be assisting at a Mass filled with living saints!
By contrast, every time I go to the traditional Latin Mass (in America, Europe or Asia), the queues for Confession are long! Oh, those “rigid” trads (in the words of PF). I always make it a point to arrive well ahead of time because I like to spend at least 20 minutes before Mass praying the Rosary.
This brings me to some posts I wrote last November which still apply today. Please read them: