Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deal W. Hudson

9/9/2013 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Praise Him! Worship Him! Let Him lift you up, raising your voice and spirit in true celebration!

The Real Presence of Jesus Christ is an objective truth that should incite a celebration and all that a real celebration entails. He is not an objective presence like a mathematical truth or a principle of physics, which elicit detached contemplation. His objectivity is the Person at it's divine pitch and beauty, the sound and sight of which transforms the subjects in His Presence. Praise Him! Worship Him! Let Him lift you up, raising your voice and spirit in true celebration!

Highlights

By Deal W. Hudson

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/9/2013 (11 months ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Holy Mass, Divine Liturgy, Christian joy, Real Presence, worship, celebration, Liturgical, prayer, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) -  My wife, also a Catholic convert, has said several times over the years,  "The Church makes it so hard to be a Catholic." If she was really precise she would have said, "I go to Mass and it looks, sounds, and feels perfunctory -- there is no attempt at 'celebration', which is what it's supposed to be, right?"

For the record, I concur, completely, and with sadness.

I have addressed this issue before and each time I receive some of the same dismissive, sometimes condescending, comments such as, "I attend Mass to be in the Real Presence of Christ, what else do you need?" Or, "I don't want my prayer and contemplation interrupted by people and personalities!" Or, "It doesn't matter if the music is bad, the homily weak, the congregation unresponsive, Christ is objectively present!"

It is to this last "accuser" that I will address myself -- because, though disagreeing,  he has put his finger on the issue: It's precisely because of  Christ's objective presence that the Mass should look, sound, and feel like a celebration, not an audition for the next zombie film.

Today I watched the parishioners  as they came out the side door of the parish, no one spoke on the way to the parking lot, few smiled, and as quickly as possible they slipped into their cars already parked facing the exit.

Thought experiment: You arrive at Mass, walk through the nave, enter, and see Jesus Christ standing at the altar. You take your seat, but you kneel of course, probably trembling. After the pews are full, Christ steps forward saying, "Welcome! I thank you for being here. But I'm only here to observe." Christ turns to the priest, lector, choir, organist, and altar servers, saying, "Please continue!" and then He suddenly disappears.

Imagine what kind of Mass would follow? Now that everyone knows Jesus Christ is watching. What would change, if anything?

Most would agree, I believe, on the kind of celebration of Holy Mass that would result: Inspired, animated preaching; the lector reading loud and clear, with feeling; the choir and organist making music at the peak of their powers (all wishing they had rehearsed more); the altar servers moving with dignity as if blocked for a stage play; the congregation responding in full-throated unison, grateful to be on their knees.

In short, the Mass would be celebrated with a beauty and joy that breathes the breath of God into each and every one.

As they leave Mass, they are quiet - but then turn to look at each other - smiles break out, tears fall, and laughter rises, as well.

And there would be another outcome: Some would start attending daily Mass; others would no longer wear blue jeans and polo shirts; some would join the choir or volunteer as lectures and altar servers; very few would "forget" to bring a donation to put in the collection plate; the parish itself would be transformed into a vibrant, compassionate place where parishioners feel eager, rather than obligated, to gather.

The lesson? The Real Presence of Jesus Christ is an objective truth that should incite a celebration and all that a real celebration entails. He is not an objective presence like a mathematical truth or a principle of physics, which elicit detached contemplation. His objectivity is the Person at it's divine pitch and beauty, the sound and sight of which transforms the subjects in His Presence.

Praise Him! Worship Him! Let Him lift you up, raising your voice and spirit in true celebration!
-----
Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D, is president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine. He is the Senior Correspondent for Church and Culture and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. 

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


ę 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Living Faith

Weakness and Failure in the Christian Life. We Hold This Treasure in Earthen Vessels Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith Fournier

I have been reflecting upon my own weakness a lot these days. I have discovered that the older I get the less I know and the more imperfections I discover in myself. As a younger man, I labored under a misconception that living the Christian life would somehow ... continue reading


Labor Day: Human Work Has Been Raised to the Grandeur of God Watch

Image of For the Christian, all human work participates in the ongoing work of redemption

By Deacon F.K. Bartels

When God Incarnate entered into our created world, he sanctified humankind and the labor in which men engage in order to shape creation. It is in gazing through the supreme lens of the consummation of God's revelation, the Person of Jesus Christ, that the divine light ... continue reading


International community has done too little in Syria and Iraq, Cardinal Vegli˛ declares Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cardinal Antonio Maria Vegli├▓ met with Pope Francis last week. The President of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants, Cardinal Vegli├▓ me to discuss the plight of those fleeing the Islamist violence in Iraq. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Pope: 'God wants us to grow in the ability to come together, forgive each other' Watch

Image of Pope Francis drinks a traditional South American drink called mate offered by the faithful as he arrives to lead his weekly audience in Saint Peter's Square.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis, addressing more than 12,000 people that had gathered for the pope's catechesis and blessing, touched upon a common human trait that everyone must strive to overcome. The Pope said that while envy, jealousy and cruelty are human instincts, they are ... continue reading


Why Do We Commemorate the Beheading of John the Baptizer? Watch

Image of The Beheading of John the Baptizer

By Deacon Keith Fournier

We now refer to this Feast as the Passion of John the Baptizer more often than the Beheading of John the Baptizer. However, given the realities we face in this new missionary age of the Church, the actual beheading rushes to the forefront. We are seeing it in our own ... continue reading


How much power do you really have? More than you think!

Image of YCVF continues to deliver quality learning tools to Catholic students.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Earlier this year, representatives from Catholic Team Global donated a batch of XO Tablets to a humble Catholic school. Now, Catholic Team Global is preparing to do it again with support from its members and valued readers of Catholic Online. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Challenging the just war theory

Image of The horrors of war persist long after the shooting stops.

By Tony Magliano

Is there such a thing as a just war? Can the massive death and destruction of armed conflict ever be morally justified by followers of the Prince of Peace? For the first disciples of Christ the answer was a resounding "No!"During the first 300 years of Christianity it ... continue reading


St Augustine Teaches Us How to Read the Bible Watch

Image of St. Augustine writing

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Bible is not some-thing, but reveals Some-One. In the words of St. Paul to Timothy, all Scripture is inspired by God. (2 Tim. 3:16) The Greek means God-breathed. They reveal Jesus Christ and our encounter with Him is the heart of what it means to be a Christian. ... continue reading


Spiritual Childhood and Contemplative Prayer Watch

Image of

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

One of the greatest joys in this later chapter of my life is an unexpected gift, his name is Noah. He is my grandson. He calls me Poppi. He is seven years old and so very wise. Noah continually confronts me with the utter simplicity, trust, openness and beauty of ... continue reading


How to Avoid Sliding into Pharisee-ism Watch

Image of Christ Before the High Priest, by Gerrit van Honthorst (1590-1656) hangs in the London Museum of Art.  The painting depicts Jesus, standing before the High priest - with His holy hands bound. The Priest, who at the time I thought was a Pharisee, is looking up with an arrogant demeanor and a pointed finger.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

A priest friend once reminded me that not ALL the Pharisees were so blinded by their self-righteousness that they failed to recognize that the One whom they so often sought to correct was God Incarnate. And, of course, he was correct. The Pharisees were a genuine ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, First Corinthians 2:10-16
10 to us, though, God has given revelation through ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 145:8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 13-14
8 Yahweh is tenderness and pity, slow to anger, full ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 4:31-37
31 He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 2nd, 2014 Image

St. Ingrid of Sweden
September 2: Born in Skńnninge, Sweden, in the 13th century, St. Ingrid lived ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter