. . . why so many Catholics apparently suffer from serious injuries to their knees.
I say this because I don’t wish to be uncharitable, and I therefore assume that anyone who doesn’t genuflect properly does so for some legitimate and unavoidable reason – which I would assume must largely be the result of physical restriction; and indeed I have a number of friends to whom I know that applies – knee replacements awaited, things like that.
Being honest, though, I also know that those people go to great lengths to make a much of a reverence as they’re physically capable of, and I am perfectly certain that God is more than satisfied by that.
What I’m commenting on is the quite large number of people, with no apparent physical inability, who seem to feel that a modest ‘bob’ of one knee or other is sufficient reverence to make to the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle – even, sometimes, to the Blessed Sacrament solemnly exposed.
For me, the Most Holy Sacrament – Jesus Christ, truly present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity – is the ultimate treasure of the Catholic Faith, and I find it extremely hard to understand why anyone who actually believes in the doctrine of the Real Presence would seek in any way to moderate the prescribed gesture of reverence to Our Blessed Lord . . . and yet one sees it all the time.
I hesitate to ascribe this to ‘Vatican II’; but I do wonder whether the liturgical changes have been at least partly responsible for a regression in faith in the Real Presence, which in turn has meant that people see a genuflection less as an act of devotion, and more as just another symbol – more about ‘being Catholic’, in other words, and less about Our Lord.
Thomas Arnold, the Headmaster of Rugby School famous from ‘Tom Brown’s Schooldays’, wrote :
‘It is idolatry to talk about Holy Church and Holy Father, to bow to fallible sinful man, if you do not bend knee and lip and heart to every thought and image of God manifest as Man.’
. . . and it seems to me that there’s something in that. I’m sure, myself, that the Holy Father would be horrified to think that there were Catholics out there who made much of him, but would not even make the effort to make a proper genuflection to Our Blessed Lord on the altar . . . and a bow whenever they heard Our Lord’s name, or passed a crucifix.
Can't all of us Catholics make a point of giving the sincerest, most careful, reverences to Our Blessed Lord . . . both out of love for Him and His Church, and in reparation for the insults (often unwittingly) heaped on Him by all those who don’t love and care for Him ?
I think we can, if we want to – don’t you ?