LIBERA ME, Domine, Iesu Christe, ab omnibus iniquitatis meis et universis malis,
fac me tuis semper inhærere mandatis et a te numquam separari permittas. Amen.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Being Reverent Outwardly as well as Inwardly

Don’t get me wrong . . . this is not a criticism of anyone who is unable to adopt any particular posture of reverence : but I do want to encourage those who can to adopt as stringent a posture of reverence as they are able to.

The reason I suggest this is because nowadays there seems to be so little in the way of reverence for the Most Holy Sacrament . . . it’s by no means uncommon to see people who have been apparently reverential during the Canon of the Mass go and receive Holy Communion, and then return to their seats and just sit straight down . . . sit down, often casually and comfortably, just at the moment that they are, for a short while, the home of Our Blessed Lord Himself in His sacramental form.

It’s not uncommon for people, nowadays, not to pay any attention to a priest who is carrying the Most Holy Sacrament from the Church : not to kneel in reverence and respect as a priest carrying the Pyx to the sick goes by them.

I’m prepared to accept that these people may be reverential enough internally; but, with respect, that’s hardly a good example to others : to the outsiders who urgently need that example.

You may remember that the Holy Father caused Archbishop Nicholls to suggest that, for instance, the making of the Sign of the Cross in public would be a good thing to do; a good example to others . . . well, I venture to suggest that kneeling, or adopting some other obviously reverential posture, to the Most Holy Sacrament, slightly bowing to any priest you pass in the street, and (for gentlemen) removing your hat if you pass a Church, or a Crucifix, or someone with the Most Holy Sacrament, is a truly valuable witness to outsiders of the importance of these things . . . and challenges them to consider their own position.

During the Quarant ‘Ore, do try and beg God to be a good example to others in whatever way is open to you, that slowly we may return to a way of life in which God is treated with the reverence and respect he deserves . . . and life becomes better for everyone as a result of this deepening holiness.

1 comment:

  1. One of the wisest pieces of advice I was given by my spiritual director over 30 years ago was - always be as reverent in church when you are there on your own as you would be when your people are watching you. The advice still brings shivers down my spine!