One of the distressing aspects of the changes in the Mass is how little time in it there is simply to pray silently. Everyone is expected to be doing something with one’s attention riveted to every banal word and sentiment that comes from the direction of the
communion table altar. Pope Francis thinks this is just grand:
The liturgy is not something strange, there, distant, and while it is being celebrated I am thinking of many things, or I pray the Rosary. No, no. There is a correspondence between the liturgical celebration, which I then carry into my life; and on this more progress must be made, there is such a long way yet to go.
The Pope also makes clear that there will be no change in the Mass as a theater in the round:
Thank you so much, thank you so much for your hospitality, for the prayer with me in the Mass; and we thank the Lord for what He has done in the Church in these 50 years of liturgical reform. It was in fact a courageous gesture of the Church to draw close to the People of God, so that they could understand well what she does, and this is important for us, to follow the Mass in this way. And we cannot go back; we must always go forward, always forward and whoever goes back is mistaken. We go forward on this way.
Frank Sheed used to tell the below story which sums up what used to be glorious about the Mass:
Hilaire Belloc was kneeling at Mass in Westminster
Cathedral. A sacristan whispered to him, ‘Excuse me, sir, we stand
Belloc: ‘Go to hell.’
Sacristan: ‘I’m sorry, sir, I didn’t know you were Catholic.’