Yesterday we had the privilege of attending a Traditional Latin High Mass offered by a diocesan priest in his parish. I was struck by the solemn way he chanted the last part of the Mass "Ite Missa Est," which in liturgical Latin basically means "Go out on a mission."
The idea is that when the priest dismisses the faithful at the end of Mass (from "Missa" meaning "Mission"), he is commissioning the laity to spread the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the truth of His One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church to all the world.
But I confess this commission perplexes me sometimes given my state of life. I am not a priest, and I have heavy burdens of career as I carve out my socio-economic niche in the ever emerging Socialist States of America. I hear one voice saying yes--pray, raise Catholic families, invite people to Mass; but don't start one-man apostolates! As in a shadow of doubt being cast on Catholic laymen working to spread the Faith online. On the other hand, traditionally the Church has encouraged that laity to organize lay apostolates to spread the Faith, under the umbrella of "Catholic Action."
Just consider the wealth of traditional catechesis on the Fish Eaters website, run by a laywoman. I'd bet a week's wages many traditional priests and parishes use her resources. Or how about the Remnant newspaper? I don't think they exactly have the official approval of the local bishop, but I've come across plenty of traditionalist priests (under a diocese) who read the Remnant.
But when do organized efforts of the laity to evangelize directly require the official blessing of the hierarchy? And how many members of the present hierarchy would actually support efforts to "convert" people to the true Church as our Catholic ancestors did? How many Catholic men could reasonably get away with trying to directly convert their coworkers, besides perhaps "sharing" their Faith? Secularist forces seem to almost silence us believing Catholics wherever we go.
When I recall the "Ite Missa Est" at the end of Mass, I am compelled to spread the Faith, but I become bewildered sometimes how to actually go about it!
Any advise? Share in the Comment section below!