Friday, March 30, 2007

Wise words from Fr. Stephanos

There has been a collective cry of pain in the Catholic blogosphere lately over the sorry state of the liturgy in most American parishes. Father Stephanos and Amy Welborn have both contributed mightily to the ongoing discussion.

I wanted to highlight Father Stephanos' breathtaking point of view, though. He points out that at the end of His life, Jesus had precious few people who were there trying to comfort and mourn for Him--the Blessed Mother and a few other women, and John the Apostle. They were below the cross, gazing up at Jesus.

What was going on around them? Chaos. Disrespect. Horror. Yet they stayed. They prayed. They persevered.

The next time we are distracted or discouraged at Mass, let's think of those few who kept vigil with Jesus no matter the distractions.

Let us remember what is really going on at Mass.
And behold, I am with you always, until the end of time.
~Matthew 28:13
Is it so surprising, really, that the Church--the people in the Church, rather--are so flawed and sinful? Perhaps the surprise is that the Church has survived in spite of us all.
That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
~Matthew 16:18


Autumn said...

Even though there might be problems, I think our focus is to "keep the faith" and press on, and still be loving and caring to those we may perceive as not doing things in the 'right' way.

It's the criticism which gets out of hand I find hard to take. Where's the love in that? Sometimes I read blogs and I'm dismayed at how badly we can treat one another, and how nasty we can sometimes be (I include me, because although I may not blog these things, I sometimes might be thinking thoughts which aren't pleasign to God)

Thanks for your links :)

Staying in Balance said...

I agree, AutumnRose.

Innocent said...

Upon This Rock - a delightful essay by GKC.

Staying in Balance said...

Very interesting, Innocent!

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"Slavery ended in medieval Europe only because the church extended its sacraments to all slaves and then managed to impose a ban on the enslavement of Christians (and of Jews). Within the context of medieval Europe, that prohibition was effectively a rule of universal abolition. "— Rodney Stark

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