Michael Daly CJ Blog

A Companion of Jesus

Visiting a church recently….to celebrate…

I recently attended a mass at a local Catholic church and made the following observations. Entering the church building there were no welcoming faces or words. It was cold and austere. The entrance lobby had a few posters and there were a few religious looking items, with some ghastly plastic saints and cards, many with an effeminate blue eyed Jesus looking more like a girl than a man. There were tacky trinkets and a few books and pamphlets. People entered, genuflected or bowed towards the main altar and sat or knelt in a pew without so much as a hello to their neighbour. The celebrant went ritually through the mass without communicating a real word to the flock who sat or knelt motionless before him. The liturgy with all its beauty and wonderful words was, I regret, quite dead.

Later when the celebrant intoned a prayer in Latin and some of the older pew fillers joined him, I thought of my days in primary school when we would learn the ‘times tables’ by rote and how we would chant them out without really comprehending the mathematics. I doubt very much if either the celebrant or the pew people, if stopped mid-flow in their Latin-speak, and were asked “what did that word mean”, or, “could you translate that part of what you spoke”, could do it?

Does it matter? Isn’t God bi-lingual?

I think it does matter. And yes, God can understand every language and tongue…but is the Church here only for the few Latin speaking members?

Not all Roman Catholic churches are so dire. Even in the one I recently attended, there still smoulders in the heart of its people the fire of the Spirit. It just needs to be re-kindled!

Let us wake up and open the doors of our hearts as well as our churches. Let our churches be places of welcome and grace. Let us truly worship God in Spirit and Truth. Let us show reverence for the Real Presence in the Eucharist by firstly demonstrating true love for one another. That means,BE REAL! Let us use language, which edifies and liturgically expresses the love in our hearts, towards our All Mighty God and Saviour. Let us all, celebrants and con-celebrants alike, learn to do just that…..CELEBRATE!

Michael Daly
Living loved
November 9th

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November 9, 2009 - Posted by | Thoughts

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