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"Protege, Domine, plebem tuam per signum sanctae Crucis, ab insidiis inimicorum omnium: ut tibi gratam exhibeamus servitutem, et acceptabile fiat sicrificum nostrum." (Offertory for the Feast)

On this day we celebrate the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. Today is also the third anniversary of the implementation of Pope Benedict's motu proprio Summorum Pontificum. While thinking about today's feast, I came to the conclusion that there was hardly a better day that the Roman Pontiff could have chosen to liberate the Traditional Latin Mass. The mystery that the feast celebrates, the historical event that the feast commemorates, the liturgical rites by which the Church solemnizes this feast--all have a connection with the emancipation of the ancient Mass of the Roman rite.

The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross celebrates the Cross of our Lord, instrument of our Redemption. We remember that, "it behooves us to glory in the cross our Lord Jesus Christ" (Galatians 6:14). This glorying in the Cross, as I see it, has a special connection to the restoration of the Traditional Latin Mass. Just as we glory in the holy Cross, we ought to glory in the holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which the Sacrifice of the Cross is "re-presented, its memory perpetuated until the end of the world, and its salutary power applied to the sins we daily commit" (Council of Trent, Session 22). It is by celebrating the Sacrifice in our venerable liturgical rite, a rite which clearly displays the divinely revealed teaching concerning the sacrificial nature of the Mass, that we glory in the Sacrifice of the Mass as we ought.

This feast, however, not only celebrates the mystery of the holy Cross by which Christ has redeemed the world. It also commemorates how Emperor Flavius Heraclius reclaimed for the Christians of the East the Church's oldest and most sacred relic, the true Cross, which had been stolen by the Sassanids. This day, in like manner, Pope Benedict XVI recovered for the Christians of the West their most ancient and sacred rite, the true Roman Liturgy, which had unjustly been taken from them.

The prayers of the Mass for this day, too, are especially relevant to the liberation of the ancient Roman Liturgy. In this day's Offertory antiphon, we pray, "By the sign of the holy Cross, O Lord, protect Thy people from the wiles of all our enemies, that we may be able to do Thee acceptable service, and that our sacrifice may be well-pleasing in Thy sight." Indeed, by the Cross may God protect us from the snares of all who hate the traditional Liturgy, in order that, by our celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, we may ever be able to render pleasing worship unto God.
Thanks for posting this.