Feast Day: Our Lady of La Vang
Sursum corda! "Lift up your hearts!" The meaning of these words is most comprehensive: they signify that we should withdraw all the faculties of our soul from what is earthly, and consecrate them exclusively to intercourse with God and divine things. For this is, above all, necessary to turn mind and spirit from worldly objects and to close them to distracting thoughts, so as to be immersed with all one's might andattention in holy meditations. If the mind be penetrated with a higher light from above, then the will also will be incited to devotion. The heart becomes aglow with holy love of God, and disengages itself from the bonds of worldly inclinations and desires, that enchain it in the dust; it rouses itself from its sluggish indolence and tepidity, that it may with holy ardor soar heavenward with all its powers. ''Hearts on high!"
This applies principally to the time of Mass. It, of course, requires serious effort on our part to raise mind and spirit on high, and keep them recollected and disengaged from what is earthly and perishable; human frailty and the inconstancy of man being so very great. To persevere in undisturbed recollection and communion with God, is possible only to a soul that daily endeavors to divest itself of all earthly dross and bonds, and labors to attain a permanent direction upward. [So, we must practice penance and mortification regularly to improve our ability to participate actively and inwardly at the Mass.] Hence the words of the Apostle: "Our conversation is in heaven" (Phil. 3, 20).
What does this imply? That we should not grovel like worms in the dust, but like the birds in the air we ought to soar in spirit heavenward ; we should not burthen and oppress our hearts with the thoughts and desires, with the cares and pleasures of this life, but we should so divest ourselves of the earthly and of the love of perishable goods, that our soul may aspire with ease to Heaven with lively hope and ardent desire. "Mind the things that are above, and seek for what is above" this is the wisdom of Christian life.
The Sursum corda, therefore, admonishes us, especially at the Sacrifice of the Mass, to have our mind occupied with heavenly things only and to be intent upon them. "No one should be present in such a manner, that, although he may say with the lips: 'We have lifted our hearts to the Lord,' his thoughts are directed to the cares of this life. We should indeed think of God at all times; but if this be impossible, on account of human frailty, we should take it to heart most especially at least during the Holy Sacrifice......
......The more estranged the soul becomes from frivolity and the distractions of the world, the more she rises above all created things, the more clearly and profoundly also will she perceive that God is the eternal love and the fountain-source of all that is good: she thereby becomes penetrated with a lively sense of grateful praise to Him.
The first part of the documentary is about the arrival of the International Pilgrim Statue of Our Lady of Fatima in 1965. In it one can see that altars in the less major cities of Vietnam are still Ad Orientem, while in the capital of Saigon, concelebration (on giant altars!!) and Versus Populum Masses are already taking place. One sees that priests still wear maniples etc.
The second part of the documentary is about the Marian Congress of 1961 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of La Vang. There are many clips of the Pontifical Masses in this documentary, and Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc is featured many times, conferring Confirmations and Consecrating the Minor Basilica. There are many interesting processions throughout both documentaries wherein traditions from the Colonial period are still observed.