May 25, 2009

Assume a Comfortable Posture

How often do you read, or hear, or say this to others during Catholic Devotions (even Mass): "assume a comfortable posture"

"Assume a comfortable posture" usually means: you don't have to kneel, stand, or genuflect where written, or where expected, if you are unable to due to physical infirmaty. I have no problem with people worshipping within their physical limitations when they exist.

However, how often have I seen the able-bodied decide that "assume a comfortable posture" means them to? There is no reason they are physically unable to kneel, stand or genuflect they've just decided it's not "comfortable".

Maybe it's because they are uncomfortable doing it because so few are doing it anyway, or they are not comfortable physically illustrating reverence or smallness before a Mystery greater than themselves in front of their fellow man.

In any case, it bothers me that like most things these days you give a little and some take a mile.

Many have moved beyond comfort in posture and extended it to other things as well.

How many dress for their own comfort at Mass? Especially in the summer? Class, style, tact and respect for the human person seem to take a vacation as the weather gets nicer. I almost long for chillier weather because that means people are going to cover "it" up because they have to. At least, that's true in Minnesota. Few seem to have any consideration for the discomfort of others as we are distracted by their boobies, chest hair, revealed boxers, thighs, flippin' flops, barely covered behinds.

Isn't Faith for many all about their own comfort? Only do and believe what feels comfortable to YOU. Feel free to pick and choose. Homilies better not be too uncomfortable or else Father will barely make it out of the Sacristy alive.

No one likes to see themselves. Maybe that's why so few go to Confession. It's not comfortable. I'm not comfortable examining myself and, then, telling my faults out loud. I'm not comfortable feeling like what I do is wrong so, therefore, I will just pretend it never happened and not say anything.

I'm not, however, comfortable with that nagging feeling I'm not supposed to be here when I present myself for Communion so I'll just try and change the teachings (in my own mind or persuading everyone else I'm right) so I can feel comfortable.

Now we can all be comfortable.

Who wants the big, bad, old days when the nuns made us all uncomfortable? They are mostly gone now and it's not like it was so we may as all make ourselves comfortable. I wonder that we are not encouraged to bring our La-Z-Boy's to Mass and sit in those. (I just conked on the head those who yelled: "Hey, great idea, Cath"!)

You/We/I are not supposed to be comfortable! If you are feeling comfortable then you are probably doing something wrong. Lived expressions of Faith are supposed to be uncomfortable. Is the Ironman comfortable? You are supposed to push your endurance in Faith as much as any triathlete.

Assume an UNCOMFORTABLE posture!


Blogger Terry Nelson said...

I wasn't going to post on this topic exactly, but I was thinking of doing one on self-denial. Self-denial isn't very comfortable. It can take many forms of course, sometimes even losing one's very self. It can be difficult.

May 25, 2009 11:13 AM  
Blogger karen said...


May 25, 2009 12:13 PM  
Blogger Ray from MN said...

I can see it now at Barnes & Noble: whole tables and stacks of "The Collected Rants of Catherine of Alexandria!"

Are you up for lots of flying, personal appearances and talk radio gigs? Do you have a giant spinning wheel?

I was talking/emailing with a deacon I know who is to be ordained in a couple of weeks. In the course of events the subject of homilies came to the conversation. He said that at his seminary he was encouraged to talk for no more than 8 minutes, fifteen in a crisis.

I think he will be a very popular priest.

May 25, 2009 2:47 PM  
Blogger Smiley said...

Permit me to gripe.

I like to kneel when communion is being given to the people till its time for our row to walk up and receive the holy Eucharist. What irks me is that those around me sit as soon as the priest walks out into the congregation and then they start kicking at the kneeler so that it goes back up. Hello you insensitive brute i am still kneeling quit rushing me.
So i receive holy communion and come back and im keeling and saying some prayers and kick kick kick again. ARRRRGH
The next time this happens I am going to kick the kicker in the shins.

May 25, 2009 3:19 PM  
Blogger gradchica said...

I'm looking forward to being visibly pregnant in a few weeks, since I rarely make it through Mass without having to sit when others are standing/kneeling so I don't pass out. I HATE doing it and can't wait for the big belly to let people know there really might be a reason this otherwise healthy-looking young woman can't stand through the prayers of the faithful :-P

May 25, 2009 3:56 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

smiley: Live up to your name! No kicking. But, don't shorten your after-Mass prayer. I'm usually alone in that regard too. Join me, please.

gradchica: Congratulations! :-)

Ray: Yeah, look for it in the discount bin!

May 25, 2009 5:59 PM  
Blogger Joe of St. Thérèse said...

It irks me to no end that the chaplin at the school i go to does that! "you can sit" during the CONSECRATION

Be very uncomfortable! Amen!

May 25, 2009 11:59 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

*Sigh* And I was getting used to my Styrofoam cross. Guess I should dump it and grab the heavy scratchy wooden one again.

Good post!

May 26, 2009 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

Our bishop has started asking parishes without kneelers (as a reason to stand, not kneel for the Eucharistic Prayer) to begin kneeling on the floor until kneelers are available! It's definitely a move in the right direction!

May 30, 2009 9:20 AM  

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