Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Here We Go Again...
I've decided to reiterate my previous point and strip all the theatrics so that you can clearly see the actual point being made. Sometimes theatrics are entertaining, but if it's overdone, it obscures the importance of the real message.
If you are invited to someone's home and you're told that you'll be eating steak, you expect a nice steak with all the trimmings. Even if the trimmings aren't perfect, you expect them. What you get is pureed steak in a plastic cup. It tastes like steak, and you partake in it, but when you leave, you say to yourself or others with you, "Well, it was still steak, right? What's the difference how it's served?"
When you go to Mass, you expect a proper Mass, celebrated according to the GIRM, with all the proper elements, nothing added, nothing removed. A proper Mass. Because that's your RIGHT as a Catholic, is to experience the Sacraments with the proper and reverent preparation.
But if you're leaving Mass and you're saying to people, "But, Christ was still present, right? The Sacrament was valid, right? It's still Jesus...", well, then something is wrong.
As our professor pointed out, NEVER in the 2,000+ year history of the Catholic Church have statements like that EVER been made. That should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
If you're making those comments either after your own experience or in a response to a legitimate complaint of someone else who maybe realized the music had heretical lyrics, well...then what you've just had is the spiritual equivalent of a pureed porterhouse steak.
In making those comments, you're recognizing a deprivation. Something was supposed to be there...but isn't.
Is the essence there? Sure. But...in the case of the dinner, did you really get the entire experience of the steak and what it's really about? No.
In the Mass that you leave trying to justify whether Christ was really present or not...what you're saying is that somehow, you've been deprived of what the Mass is and you didn't get to experience the entire reality of the Paschal Mystery. Even if what you did receive was truly the Body, Blood, Soul, Divinity of Christ. Somehow, you were deprived of some of the grace that SHOULD have been available to you because someone didn't do their job to properly dispose you and everyone else there to be sure you all really understood what this great Mystery is all about.
Was it valid? Sure. But were you able to fully experience all the available graces, or was a GIRM-breaking Mass celebrated that deprived you of the full experience? Pureed steak.
Don't settle for pureed steak.
That's all I'm sayin'.
Oh, and if you're a priest..the Mass doesn't belong to you. It belongs to the Church. Don't serve your children pureed steak when you can provide them with a perfectly grilled porterhouse and all the things that make that porterhouse stand out that much more.
And everyone...pray for priests, especially those who might not have been properly formed. Be reverent towards them remembering who they represent, but remember you have the right in charity to make your needs known. Just don't be a jerk about it.