So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Liturgical abuse is Spousal abuse.

Get your feet off the liturgical furniture!

Those who promote distortions of the Liturgy—especially those who do so consciously—are promoting acts of vandalism against the Church's heritage. Furthermore, liturgical abuse attacks Christ in the Liturgy. Liturgical abuse attacks the Groom, the Spouse of the Bride of Christ, the Church.

The Mass and Jesus Christ are identified. Christ is present four ways in the Divine Liturgy:

  1. in the person of the priest acting in persona Christi;
  2. in Holy Scripture;
  3. in the congregation gathered in His name (St. Matthew 18:20);
  4. and most sublimely in the Most Holy Eucharist!
To obscure Christ's teaching and/or treating casually Christ's Presence in the Liturgy constitutes an attack on Christ Himself.
The Four-fold Presence of Christ
To paraphrase the Lord's words recorded in the Holy Gospel according to St. Matthew, 25:40: Just as you abused the sacred Liturgy, you did it to Christ.

Failure to recognize Christ in the Sacred Liturgy, especially when receiving Holy Communion, is spiritually dangerous:
For all who eat and drink without discerning the body, eat and drink judgment against themselves.—1 Corinthians 11:29
Casually = Casualty

When people treat Holy Communion as some casual affair, they close themselves off from experiencing more deeply the fruits of the Sacraments and God's grace. Furthermore, their shabby example of religious devotion can also lead others to misbehave in the same manner. Conversely, a person modelling reverence for the Sacred Host can be a beacon of faith for others.

If the way people receive Holy Communion on any given Sunday is an indication of reverence or lack thereof, then the latter reality is overwhelmingly confirmed. It doesn't take a trained psychologist or detective to determine when reverence for the Holy Eucharist is absent. Common practice indicates that liturgical catechesis has been and continues to be a dismal failure in most parishes and dioceses.

Feet off the table. Hands off the Liturgy.

Ever notice how some people, children and adults alike, put their feet up on furniture in airport waiting lounges or in movie theatres? Would it be fair to wager that said people who behave in such a manner have received little or no formation regarding respect for property that does not belong to them? Would it be fair to comment that people who receive the Holy Eucharist in a manner akin to eating popcorn have received little or no formation in the worthy reception of Holy Communion? To whom does the fault belong that people who should know better do not honour God?

If priests and bishops desire people to live holier lives in communion with Jesus and the Church, perhaps they had better spend more energy in fostering deeper reverence for the sacred Liturgy and introduce Jesus in the Holy Eucharist to people who have little sense of the sacred. People who know Jesus is Present in the Sacred Liturgy are, if experience is any indication, more likely to be committed Christians.

Given the above premise, is it fair to wager that those who love the Liturgy (more than their brothers and sisters in Christ) probably behave better inside and outside their parish church? Is it accurate to state that lovers of the Holy Liturgy love Christ and the Church more than their lesser compliant brothers and sisters? If so, then why not focus attention on the "source and summit of the Christian life", i.e., the Holy Eucharist, as the compass which points the New Evangelization in the right direction and as the magnet which draws souls to Christ?

Where the Liturgy is loved and celebrated faithfully, that is, truly faithfully, not conveniently according to ambiguous "pastoral sensitivities" and ill-formed tastes, vocations flourish, faith deepens and miracles occur. If the miracle of Transubstantiation is overlooked, marginalized, forgotten or rejected, then a parish in which some or all of the abuses imaginable which regularly take place has become nothing more than a religious social club.

* * *

In case you're wondering, that is the Resolute Desk upon which the POTUS is resting his feet. That is, the Resolute Desk which
"was built from the timbers of the HMS Resolute and was a gift from Queen Victoria to President Rutherford B. Hayes. It is considered a national treasure and icon of the presidency."—
Disrespect is as disrespect does. Poor character is as poor character does.

Get your metaphorical feet off the Liturgy!

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"A multitude of wise men is the salvation of the world(.)—Wisdom 6:24. Readers are welcome to make rational and responsible comments. Any comment that 1) offends human dignity and/or 2) which constitutes an irrational attack on the Catholic Faith will not go unchallenged. If deemed completely stupid, such a comment will most assuredly not see the light of day. Them's the rules. Don't like 'em? Move on.

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