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Time to Restore the Sense of the Sacred: To Love the Liturgy is to Love the Lord Comments

The Church is made visible in many ways: in its charitable work, in mission projects, in the personal apostolate that every Christian must realize in his or her own environment. But the place where it is fully experienced as a Church is in the liturgy: it is the act in which we believe that God enters into our reality and we can meet Him, we can touch Him. It is the act in which we come into contact with God, He comes to us, and we are ... Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 14 Comments

  1. Bill Sr.
    2 years ago

    Your message was brilliant and went strait to my heart. I came into the church sixty some years ago as a young man looking for a home for his Christian conscience after a sense of the need to get closer to God and express thanks for my gift of life. My parents were not religious folks so to speak. They, along with me and my four older brothers, never owned a home and traveled back and forth between the job opportunities for my father in the north and south. Mother passed away when I was nine and the kids in our neighborhood, at that time predominately Catholic with Hungarian, Lithuanian, and Polish parishes, ask me to come to church with them a time or two. I had been to various Protestant churches a few times but I was in awe of the beautiful sanctuaries in their churches. Holy Rosary for the Hungarians, Holy Cross for the Lithuanians, and St. Adelbert for the Polish if I remember correctly. But when my aunt from Michigan discovered this she quickly came to rescue me from certain damnation opening her home to me while my older brothers were off to defend our country as Marines in the Pacific. Time passed and I found myself back in Ohio single and working with all my brothers happily married. However, though I was looking forward to a family of my own, I had a longing for a home for my faith and a foundation on which to build it. Right down the street from my humble room was a Catholic Church, Sacred Heart, as usual it was beautiful and I decided to slip in and look around. As fate would have it I picked up a pamphlet which was exactly what I needed. The title was "I Believe" and had answers to all the questions I could have had at that time. Within a year I was baptized at the church of The Assumption, found the girl of my dreams married at Immaculate Conception and now after raising four children of our own are still in love, more than ever, and ready to celebrate fifty nine years of married life within the One Body of Christ. I often feel I owe it all to those childhood memories of near amazement at the grandeur I witnessed as I walked into what I later realized were truly houses of WORSHIP and ADORATION of our Lord with visible HOMAGE and CEREMONY to properly express ones devotion to DIVINE MAJESTY. And how fitting it is as we have survived the challenges of parenting though the last half century with secularisms fury against all of us we have reached our golden years that today after establishing our family and seeing our children with theirs we were recently blessed to have been granted a wonderful young holy pastor who has awakened, energized and revived our slumbering but faithful HOLY FAMILY parish and made us so thankful to have remained true to the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

  2. Rob
    2 years ago

    I really wish that the church would make more of an effort to provide instruction on the mass. Other than RCIA, folks just don't get that teaching. I really thought it would happen with the changes recently, but nope. I think the return of the sacred will only be possible to the degree that people have a sense of what is going on. I think a return to piety is another topic all together.

  3. Emma
    2 years ago

    I can only speak from personal experience, definitely I am far from an expert and have been in full communion with the Catholic Church just a little over a year and still have much to learn. I'd barely gotten the liturgy down when it was changed and like many of those in my age group was ill informed regarding the changes made in the mid twentieth century. I only even investigated Catholic teachings because of a class I was taking in Comparative Religion. I tried as best I could to learn from web sites and came away scratching my head. It appeared blatantly obvious that even those raised in the faith couldn't agree on what it was! At this time, I was also seeking answers for myself. I attended many, many Christian Churches within a 4 month span of time : Pentacostals, Lutheran, Baptist, non -denominational Evangelical, Episcopalian ...etc. When I first walked into a Catholic Church, there was a definitive difference between that and all others. It spoke, "Roman Catholic ". It had this profound effect on me. It spoke, " I am Sacred Space," like no other. That first visit spoke to its history. It spoke of generations gone before me. Still, I left saddened in a sense. The sadness of a tired, hungry pilgrim who stood outside of it all. My best friend at that time was a Cradle Catholic who had left the church and was involved in youth ministry with a nondenominational Christian Fellowship. I drove him crazy with my questions. He was the only Catholic that I knew and it took quite a bit of coaxing to get him to agree to accompany me to services (just to explain things) . For the life of me coming into this, I could not understand why he would walk away from "this " for "that ". We've talked frequently about this (now that we're married) and both agree that in a lot of ways, the church had become sterile. Someone raised within the faith, taught in Catholic Schools after years of exposure is so habituated to it all that that sacred, mystical church is unseen by them. A number of young people in our group have grown up in a society where "anything goes " and know the damage that results from a lack of discipline and irreverence and not only need something more, but long for it. We are turning around and giving the old ways a second look. It's a difficult task when we have to sort through so much disinformation, but we are rediscovering "THE " Catholic Church and are devoted to it. I won't say that there aren't numbers within the church who resist and who would prefer even more leniency than currently exists, but, you are correct Deacon Fournier, that's not what's needed. What's needed and more frequently practiced,probably than at any time within the last 50 years, are more traditional forms of worship. We turn to novenas, First Fridays, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, processions, the saints and angels, to the Holy Mother. The icons and relics and at times the Latin Mass are experiencing a revival. Not because of calls from Rome, but because they connect us with the sacred and the mystical. They connect us with that which IS Catholic. I frequently start a furor on some sites when I speak in defense of an all male clergy. I don't even object to the priest turning his back on the laity, neither do most of my friends. We attend Mass to partake of the living Body of Christ, the most sacred act of our devotion. That, I agree, is not a time for socializing. We socialize all the rest of the week, we can give Christ our full attention for one hour (or more) . Yes. Take us back to the earlier days : when people married, for life, when children had a mother and a father and families worshipped together and shared meals together. Our churches need to reflect the sanctity of their being. Anyone who accidentally stumbles into a Roman Catholic Church should be able to immediately know that they have entered into the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a sacred space.

  4. Theresa H.
    2 years ago

    Re. Tom's observations, one of the reasons for the new/revised translation of the English Mass last year was because of the, so to say, "loose" translation of some words unique to one of the very greatest "mysteries" of our Catholic Faith. There are words, such as the Latin word: "consubstantionem" (consubstantial) that have no other "one" word that can express the meaning of the Latin--This "word" goes back hundreds of years to an Ecumenical Council in AD351--When a "loose translation" was tried before the Nicea Council--it brought about heresy/division in the Church.... The lesson learned was/is that it is better to educate those who want to "know" more about what an official "word" means--than change the "word" itself. I dare say, this one example points to the reason Pope Benedict has called for this "Year of Faith." We do need to appreciate the mysteries of our faith better--we need to be able to "give a reason for our faith" to a culture that "acts as if God does not exist." Not for nothing is the Pope encouraging us (the adult members of the Church) to study, individually and in groups, the Vatican Edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church--and attached a plenary indulgence to the Study! We also have to be willing to embrace what we cannot fully understand about our Catholic Faith: e.g., regarding the "Eucharist" and the "relationship" between the Persons of the Blessed Trinity--the greatest mysteries of our Catholic Faith which are way beyond that which can ever be understood by the human mind! Somehow, we got the idea that we're supposed to "understand" everything in the Mass and "do" more in the Mass. But the main focus hasn't changed: the Mass is about what Jesus is saying and doing through the priest for us and partaking and uniting ourselves to Him in "His sacrifice!" And our Catholic Churches are still God's "House of Prayer" for all people!

  5. Theresa H
    2 years ago

    Thank you, Deacon Keith, for this most excellent article! I read "The Spirit of the Liturgy" a few years ago and have referred back to it several times. The revisions of Vatican II have been "interpreted" far beyond "The Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy." All the "little" ways of doing this or that different from the "rubrics" for the Mass are contrary to the clear directive of the Constitution. The Church is so particular about the Mass because, as you indicated, it is Christ continually re-offering Himself to the Father for us--and we, too, are called to unite ourselves to Him in union with His Sacrifice. I remember from my childhood the Romanesque-style Church in which I was baptized. (It still stands and has not had the "extreme makeover" of many such exquisite churches.) A high stone arch stretches over the several double door entrances once one reaches them after ascending several steps. Engraved in the stone on the arch are these words. "My House Shall Be Called A House Of Prayer For All People." This, of course, is a quote from Sacred Scripture and the apostles remembered it when Jesus drove the money-changers out of even just the "courtyard of the temple" with a whip! Where did we get the idea that the Church is an assembly place to meet and greet and talk about whatever with our friends and neighbors after Mass is over? Why did we remove the Blessed Sacrament from its central place in some, if not many of our Churches--so that we have to go to a "side Chapel" to pray before Him--only further promoting this "assembly-place" idea?

  6. Adam Hordos
    2 years ago

    When the truth is written or spoken it is not argumentative, but comes from the Holy Spirit the spirit off truth. Thank you so much for your written words.

  7. Chris
    2 years ago

    As a young guy, what a big factor that drew me into the Catholic faith was the symbolism and practices of those who were. The first thing I noticed when I went to mass the first time here in college, was all the paintings of the Trinity and Mary on the ceiling, stained glass windows, and a crucifix right next to the alter. In the dorm rooms, there is small crosses hanging above most doors and rosary's and pray books are on people's desk. The more we can display our faith in artistic and iconic ways, I think is just one of the necessitous in evangelism.

  8. Keith
    2 years ago

    Great article. Thank you for writing it. We need much more of this. You are right. The younger generation is so hungry for this. Our God deserves the best we can offer and that is the liturgy done as it has been given to us with reverence and passion!

  9. Marko
    2 years ago

    Why don't we abolish the new Mass and restore the old Mass completely :patrick meme:

  10. abey
    2 years ago

    Where the Church is the body of Christ the Liturgy is Him, reflecting the congregation & the Arc of the Covenant.

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