Monday, July 20, 2015
Good directions. . .
“Please come to Mass early enough not to disrupt. Leave late enough not to insult. (The Mass does not end until the final blessing). Worship reverently enough not to distract. And dress modestly enough not to offend.”
The advice or direction given above should not be lost on us merely because we are Lutheran. In fact, it is advice and counsel well taken in an age when personal comfort and casualness have replaced the awe and reverence for the mystery of God whose presence among us in Word and Sacrament are on occasion of great solemnity as well as great joy. We have become a people obsessed with our wants and desires. We carry around water bottle and coffee mug like we are really in danger of suffering from dehydration or decaffeination, who dress without care or concern for the occasion, and who feel the incessant need to blab through everything from the Holy Sacrament to a concert or movie. It is not easy to hear but hear we must. Worship is the holy ground of the almighty God whose presence is not at all a casual occasion. To fail to acknowledge this is itself a spiritual problem symptomatic of our sinful condition. Perhaps it is one more sign of sinful rebellion -- the same rebellion against God that began in Eden and has been our greatest problem ever since. As the quote put it well, irreverence is a way of playing hooky and remaining present at the same time. Such is not the way of faith or the faithful.
Also included: From a letter of St. Francis of Assisi to his friars, in which he reveals his profound respect for the Holy Eucharist. He writes: “Let the entire man be seized with fear; let the whole world tremble; let heaven exult when Christ, the Son of the Living God, is on the altar in the hands of the priest. O humble sublimity! O sublime humility! That the Lord of the universe, God and Son of God, so humbles himself that for our salvation he hides himself under a morsel of bread.”