Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

How the Liturgy Will Save the Church and Souls

By Fr. Jerry Pokorsky ( bio - articles - email ) | May 08, 2023

“Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God, believe also in me.” (Jn. 14:1) As the world goes to hell in a handbasket (as in every generation), we often wonder whether the Church will follow. How many more doctrinally chaotic synods must we endure? We need the firm certainties of faith rooted in history to guide us to happiness in this life and the life to come. The Sacred Liturgy helps us sustain and regain our religious confidence.

“Spiritual organisms”

Masters of spiritual theology apply the term “spiritual organism” to the body and soul of the human person. The cardinal virtues perfect human faculties. Prudence guides the intellect; justice governs the will; temperance controls our appetites; and fortitude harnesses our more volatile emotions such as fear, despair, and anger. God’s grace—outside of and through the Sacraments—reinforces, purifies, and uplifts the virtuous life.

The Church has a “spiritual organism” of her own. We are members of the Mystical Body of Christ. Scriptures, Tradition, Magisterium, and Sacraments are analogous “virtues” that govern the intellect, will, and emotions of the Church. The Sacred Liturgy is like prudence, the queen of all virtues, bringing Jesus to believers. The liturgical year perpetually re-presents revelation until the end of time.

The Church’s spiritual organism is unique and guarantees that “the gates of hell shall not prevail against [the Church].” (Mt. 16:18, DR) The living spiritual organism of the Church has the Liturgy and the liturgical cycle to correct our errors and rejections. The Liturgy reinforces, purifies, and uplifts the Church.

Jesus promises, “You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (Jn. 8:32) We need both “spiritual organisms” in good working order. Detached from the alleged constraints of Catholic teaching, illusory freedoms abound: godlessness, violations of the Commandments, and paralyzing slavery to vice. Ironically, slavery to sin in all its forms validates the liberating truth of the spiritual organism.

Historical bedrocks

History reveals the integrity and reliability of God’s revelation. Tradition intertwined with the Scriptures forms the bedrock of God’s revelation. Jesus reinforces the historical reliability of the Old Testament through His life and ministry. The Gospels repeatedly remind us that events occur so “that the scripture might be fulfilled.” The life, death, and Resurrection of Jesus cement the unity and reliability of revelation.

The Liturgy defines human worship and belief. The Mass extends back to the Last Supper and into the Old Testament. The Liturgy of the Word fulfills and replaces the worship of the synagogue. The Liturgy of the Eucharist fulfills and replaces the sacrifice of lambs in Temple worship.

Tradition hands down God's revelation throughout all ages, and the Magisterium presents Church teaching to the living. The Sacred Liturgy and the liturgical year are the vehicles that transmit Scriptures, Tradition, and Magisterium. As the saying goes, the rule of prayer is the rule of faith.

History is the taproot of the Catholic faith that delivers the saving Word of God until the end of time.

The Sacred Liturgy and the Creed

The Sacred Liturgy is the rule and guardian of the faith. The liturgical year re-presents the Creed, Commandments, and Prayer. The liturgical cycle reinforces the Creed: Christmas (Incarnation); Easter (Redemption); Pentecost (birthday of the Church); All Saints and All Souls (the communion of saints); and Christ the King (judgment and eternal life).

The saints are exemplars of virtue. The readings throughout the year reinforce God’s commandments. The high feast of Holy Thursday reenacts the first Mass, and we hear the command of Jesus to “Do this in memory of me.”

Failed attacks on the Church

Try as we might, it is impossible to extinguish both “spiritual organisms” (individual and Church). Our sins disfigure us and the Mystical Body. Communists suppress the Church to eliminate competition. Third World liberation-theology ideologues attempt to replace the Sacred Liturgy with counterfeits. Even some high-level Vatican officials undermine the liturgy and the practice of the Catholic faith.

Ideologies often imitate the liturgical cycle, from revolutionary songs to goose-step military parades. Lenin famously said, “Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” The National Socialists had its “Hitler Youth” movement. Post Vatican II liturgical abuses attempted to redefine the Church. But Godless and blasphemous liturgies are devoid of God’s sustaining grace and are doomed to failure from intellectual and spiritual exhaustion.

The demons of the Covid lockdown – with the lemming-like cooperation of the Catholic hierarchy – attempted to suppress the Liturgy. Countless Catholics died without the Sacraments.

Many bishops also use the Liturgy for their demonic purposes. As successors of the Apostles, some promote wickedness in the name of Jesus—not only heresy but blasphemy. As the German bishops draw comfortable government salaries and perquisites, their loss of interest in the orthodox celebration of the Sacred Liturgy becomes increasingly evident.

The final victory of Jesus and the Liturgy

The demonic attacks will fail as usual. Diabolical ideologies—hoping to “change the world” and Church doctrine—cause terrible damage but cannot inflict a mortal wound. Without a grace-filled liturgy, they are destined for failure, leaving their children orphans. Jesus teaches, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” (Mt. 24:35) The Sacred Liturgy—reinforced by the liturgical year until the end of time—will never pass away.

Wounded but not destroyed, the Liturgy continually emerges with the Divine spark that reclaims her children. The Liturgy celebrated according to its firmly established cycle reinforced by history will revisit every generation for the joyful rediscovery of Jesus and the spiritual organism of His Church. And the Church will reveal the human dignity that is theirs.

Heaven is an eternal Liturgy that celebrates the destruction of all vice and glorifies the victory of all virtue. The greatest gift a priest can deliver to his people is the orthodox celebration of the Mass. “I will come again, and will take you to myself; that where I am, you also may be.” (Jn. 14:3)

Fr. Jerry Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington who has also served as a financial administrator in the Diocese of Lincoln. Trained in business and accounting, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master’s in moral theology. Father Pokorsky co-founded both CREDO and Adoremus, two organizations deeply engaged in authentic liturgical renewal. He writes regularly for a number of Catholic websites and magazines. See full bio.

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