January 04, 2008

Point Taken

I went to a Mass of the Sacred Heart this evening. Mass was in the extraordinary form. If you live around here, you probably know that pretty much tells you where I was and who was praying the Mass and giving the Homily.

Do you ever have one of those moments where you are not only totally free of distraction during the Homily you forget to breathe? You are literally hanging on and soaking in every one of Father's words?

I can honestly say, with sorrow, that it does not happen too often that I'm not distracted during the Homily. My mind starts wondering, I start thinking about errands to run, bills to pay, what in the world was she thinking wearing that dress, etc.

Well, tonight I was with Father the whole way. He was preaching about Christ being Sacramentally versus Substantially present. I was just getting my head around that, with difficulty, when he launched into the mid-section of his Homily with such force I can't even describe it. First it was funny, well to me anyway, he went on about liturgical abuse and how we all get upset about that and rightly so and then he got the knives out and said: What are YOU doing? How's YOUR conduct inside and outside of Holy Mass? Can people tell you are a temple of Christ? Can they tell your lights are on?

If Father had stood up there and pointed at me and said "Miss Catherine Alexandria I'm talking to you", I would not have been surprised. Of course, he would not do that. I'm not naive enough to think I'm the only one in the church impacted by Father's words. I'm not arrogant enough to presume that I know their sins. But, I know my sins. Oh, yes. I know my failings and shortcomings, definitely. I know I like to pick on liturgical abuse and I like to feel smug about it all. I don't always hold myself to that same standard.

It was one of those "Stop it, Father, you're killing me" moments. Then, I realized I should be exclaiming: "Keep going, Father, you're saving me!"

I think sometimes the Lord kicks you in the head. I think sometimes we need it. I know I do. I need it more often.

Self-analysis can be a good thing. Criticism can be a good thing. Rebuke can be a good thing. Feeling totally unworthy can, yes, be a good thing if it helps you in your quest to continue to grow in Christ.

Thanks Be to God. Point taken, sir.


Blogger The recovering procrastinator said...

Very well said!

I feel a bit envious. Those types of moments are so rare and special.

January 04, 2008 11:01 PM  
Blogger Adoro te Devote said...

I love it!

What a theologically proper homily!

He used the Eucharist as the Source and Summit, which draws us all to Him sacramentally in his True Pressence. And when you were * there * he opend the can of whoop-ass. Through this theological and ideological scrutiny, you were brought to conversion, which involves self-knowledge, and this proceeded from the deeper knowledge of God, and into greater knowledge of God through your conversion moment.

Congratulations. You just proved my Spirtuality paper! (Um, I didn't do well on the paper because I tried to do too much with it and so had to omit connections, didn't work from definitions. Basically I wrote an awesome undergrad paper for a graduate course, and learned a lot more in the process of doing badly because I knew I was doing badly.)

Anyway, I digress. Great post! Want more analysis?

Can I rewrite my paper using your example to support my contentions?

Oh, wait, that's a legal thing. Do you think maybe I should be a canon lawyer?


Oh, wait, this is about YOU. And YOUR issues with liturgical abuse. So all I have to say is this: stop pretending to be a priest, and for goodness' sake, please stop wearing 80's swirly pastel mitres when you go to Mass. Then the priest would not have to dress you down before the entire congregation. And lest someone think I'm speaking of the scandals the media so loves, let me be clear that "dress down" is a military term for "rebuke".

God bless you friend, hope this made you laugh. That was my goal. You need a good laugh from a goofy friend.

January 04, 2008 11:10 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

For your next career, Miss Catherine of Alexandria, you should pop a resume on Msgr Callaghan's desk and apply for the job as Professor of Homiletics at the St Paul Seminary!

January 05, 2008 6:34 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

Beautiful post, I wish I had been there too. There is nothing more I can add except that I'm glad I read this post today.
God bless you, Cathy.

January 05, 2008 6:59 AM  
Blogger japhy said...

I kind of wish I was there... I need that kind of a message (a talking-to, I mean) every now and then. I too am a stickler for liturgical accuracy and appropriateness.

And I would certainly like to have heard the first part of his homily about the difference between sacramental and substantial presence. I think I understand, but it would be nice to hear it.

January 05, 2008 8:30 AM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

If all it takes to make your day is being "dressed down", I would be happy to accomodate you. LOL

But, I understand where you are coming from. You have to do what you can do and leave the rest up to God.

January 05, 2008 9:35 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

adrienne: Thanks for the offer-LOL!

Ray: Well, I can't think of a weaker and more inappropriate candidate for that job! But, I appreciate the kind thought!

Japhy: I doubt I could do it justice. Well, I know I can't. I'm not even going to try right now. I need to get my head around it more. Perhaps, Adoro would like to give it a shot?

Adoro: Gosh, how did you know? I can't believe how many people dislike that outfit of mine. You should give it a shot at a rewrite but try it on your blog or send me an email explaining it. :-) I still feel it's beyond my grasp. And, that's probably the point. That's also possibly the reason you struggled so much with that paper. You do make me laugh. Thanks for that, my friend.

January 05, 2008 11:51 AM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

Sterling post. Thank you.

January 06, 2008 2:40 PM  
Anonymous big benny said...

methinks, you have a little crush on father!

January 15, 2008 5:26 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

BB: Well, I admire him. I don't know that I'd call that a "crush" as it's usually defined. I'm definitely not his stalker! :-)

January 15, 2008 7:13 PM  

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