SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING column for August 29, 2000
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
The Mystical Body of Christ is ennobled in the Mystery of the Mass
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Since Lourdes, I have learned anew my faith, and I have come to recognize and love fully the Mystical Body of Christ. It has changed the way I pray. It has changed my whole appreciation of the Sacrifice of the Mass, and it has permitted me to move beyond my own prejudices and fears of the Novus Ordo Mass, and has found closure with that Latin rite that I grew up in the fifties and sixties. I would add here, for all who read this, that I am NOT saying that I am at peace with flagrant violations of the true spirit of Vatican Council II. Absolutely NOT!!! In fact, these flagrant violations are even clearer now than before, for I do not look for them, they look for me. How?
Because I am simply there, loving God with all my being. I know I'm imperfect. I know that I sin. I know that more than anybody else, I NEED GOD! And He is there, and with Him are all the hosts of HEAVEN! Not strangers, not spirits I cannot see or touch, but through the Mystical Body of Christ, they are real people, my family, whom I call upon daily, in many different situations and occasions, to help me to always LOVE GOD in all that I'm called upon to do.
Mass is no longer something that MUST be done on Sunday, with my teeth gritted because the choir is singing a dirge, or there are a dozen Eucharistic Ministers at the altar while the priest is sitting, resting himself. Yes, I see the aberration, but I am no longer disturbed in my spirit by these things. Why? Because at Lourdes God gave to me the grace of understanding that when I encounter these aberrations, it is not my duty to immediately draw attention to the aberration and fix it, but rather to pray humbly and meekly to God for those who are performing such aberrations, and to beg His forgiveness. Then, if He wants me to do anything more, it is His duty to inform me, who am too little, too weak, to do anything without Him.
Thus, the time during Mass has become for me a true joy, in which I am invited to participate in the Sacrifice of Calvary, and to the banquet of receiving my LOVING SAVIOR at Holy Communion. Do I see Jesus? Do I taste the blood in the chalice? No! In fact, with the illness I have, it is quite often a problem for me simply to swallow the thin wafer of the host. I would not be able to receive Holy Communion without a sip of the Most Precious Blood, or a sip of water from a bottle that I carry with me continuously. I am there because I LOVE GOD, and I want to LOVE HIM ever more. All who attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or no longer strangers that I haven't met yet. They are my "family" in the truest sense of that word. I see people now in a new light, a wondrous light of TRUTH, which permits to see CHRIST in OTHERS, in a way that was never available to me. I have learned from GOD that it is important that I fully participate, including singing with the choir, even though I may not like the particular song. It is up to God whether He likes the song or not, not me! But God does expect us to participate fully, for otherwise we are like sulking guests at a banquet, who shuffle their feet, look at their watches, and avoid contact with anyone else, because we don't trust them!
Being part of the Mystical Body of Christ is really about the three Cardinal Virtues: FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY.
Without these virtues, which must be alive and thriving in our souls, we cannot really belong fully to the Mystical Body of Christ. We deny ourselves the wondrous graces of having Christ dwell within us, not just for moments after Communion, but should we be bold enough to ask humbly, He has the power to remain within our souls from one Communion to the next. Have you ever thought of asking Him to do this for you? I didn't, until Lourdes. Since then, every time I receive Holy Communion I do so with total LOVE for HIM, and I humble, meekly ask HIM to remain with me until I can receive COMMUNION again. Yes, He has done this. Not every time, but more times than not. Am I worthy? Of course not! But we forget that Christ came to the sinners, not the just. We are all sinners, and the Mystical Body of Christ is the means to be strong in the midst of life, which is full of trials, of failings, weaknesses, and of sins. The glory of the MYSTICAL BODY OF CHRIST, to which we belong, cannot be realized if we are stubborn, proud, shy, etc. Our joy at loving God must include our joy at loving our neighbor. We must have sincere, pure joy, not artificial smiles that come with cold eyes and a limp "hello". No, we must be able to see Christ in the person to whom we give the "Kiss of Peace", and in return, that person will be able to see Christ in us. This is being a full part of the Mystical Body of Christ. It is a burning joy, a LOVE so deep and complete that we, on our part, are aware at all times that our family is with us, and it's a family whose lives are directly connected to Christ.
When I realized this grace, my whole perspective changed. What I could not embrace before with full heart, I am able to do so now. What I perceived before as less that reverent, is now possible to make reverent, for the reverence starts with ME! God will take care of all the "nonsense" that was introduced by the liberal element of Vatican Council II. He will tell us what He wants us to do about it, if any thing. What He does ask, and He asks constantly, is for us to pray! Prayer is the bloodline of the Mystical Body of Christ, and it is one that we must seek, for it goes far, far, deeper than reading the words in a Catechism. It is acceptance on faith, it is HOPE that we have uncountable people praying and working for us in HEAVEN, and it is LOVE, for we seek the INFINITE LOVE OF GOD, and pour ourselves out for HIM in an ACT OF LOVE.
May the Holy Spirit guide you through these words, and, if I have put down what God has placed upon my heart, than GOD BE PRAISED! Those of you who are discontent at Mass because it is not "reverent", etc., be of good cheer, for God is already changing things to reverence is restored, Be if great cheer, for GOD LOVES US SO INFINITELY that He blessed all Masses where He is believed to be present in the BLESSED SACRAMENT, and HE ALONE knows all the details of what went wrong, and what needs to be done to fix things. LOVE HIM!! PRAY TO HIM! Ask for the grace to fully comprehend the Mystical Body of Christ, and do not be surprised to wake up one morning with your whole attitude changed into LOVE, rather than mistrust.
In my next installment next week I will continue in this same vein, extolling the graces one receives from striving to live God's Holy Will. By that act, we elevate, rather God elevates our soul to a higher spiritual realm and awareness where we can appreciate ever more the glories of God and His creations.
Next issue: (Tuesday, September 5) Elevating the soul to a higher realm
August 22, 2000
volume 11, no. 147
SYMPHONY OF SUFFERING
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