Thursday, July 24, 2008

Upside the Head: Part III

The alarm went off at 5:00 AM so I could get up to pray. I didn’t get up until 5:25. I usually like to start by 5:45 after a small breakfast and shaving. I didn’t start until 6:25. I like to finish praying and be ready to help my wife to get ready by 6:35. I had to stop after two decades of the rosary and I only had time to put a few ants on the peanut butter and celery logs for my wife’s breakfast right before 6:45 when it was time to leave for Mass. I knew it was going to be tough to focus at Mass when I hadn’t taken the time to prepare. The evidence was the collared brown shirt I had on, as opposed to the long sleeve shirt and tie I wear when I’m supposed to be an Extraordinary Minister on Thursdays.

Appropriately for today, my wife was the lector for the first reading:
Jer 2:1-3, 7-8, 12-13
I remember the devotion of your youth,
how you loved me as a bride,
Following me in the desert,
in a land unsown…

I think God, with a sense of humor, was late in smacking me upside the head today because it wasn’t until the Offertory until I felt my head fly forward. Then the whole week made sense to me: God is my spouse. I’ve been neglecting the Lord as a spouse. The water began to seep into the fountain and once I had received the Body and especially the Precious Blood of the Lord and I was offering His Blood to others, I savored a fullness and a peace I hadn’t known for a long time.

I realized that when I’m playing Gemcraft for longer than 15 or 20 minutes, I look at the papers on my desk and frown, knowing that my wife would love to have the mess cleaned up. What I forget sometimes is the invisible clutter in my soul that the Lord would like me to clean up so that I can receive Him better. So today, I will make every effort to be a good spouse to my Lord and my wife. Thank you for reading.


Anonymous said...

How do you reconcile your growing interest in the Latin Mass with your role as an "Extraordinary Minister?" One of the most compelling reasons people go to the TLM is to avoid the sacrilege of unconsecrated hands touching the eucharist--in offering or receiving. And, yes, of course I'm aware the Church allows for it, but, while it was originally intended for only for very extreme circumstances, it's completely abused as common practice, especially in the U.S.

David said...

I agree that the “concept” of extraordinary ministers (EM’s) has become commonplace in the Novus Ordo in a large number of parishes. Yet, in a few parishes, I feel that the priest makes a careful discernment at each Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as to how many EM’s should be used, if any at all, per the USCCB’s instruction. I would like to point out that those instructions do come from our Catholic bishops who represent the unbroken line of authority passed down from the Apostles and Jesus as taught by Holy Mother Church.

Through the intercession of Our Lady and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, I have come to more profound awareness of the Holy Eucharist and every particle of Our Lord made flesh. As mentioned in the post, I assisted by serving the Precious Blood and by no means touched our Lord, except as to consume Him. If I did not serve the Precious Blood at daily Mass, the congregation would not receive that species, as no deacons attend daily Mass at this time. Father wants the Precious Blood to be served. Previously I had served the Host at Sunday Liturgies and remained unaware of my failure at keeping every little bit of Jesus safe. Through the reverence for the Eucharist of our pastor, Father, God’s grace, and my experience and self-education with the MEF, I have chosen not to serve as an EM on Sundays for the last six months. Father is currently employing the use of special vessels filled with water for the EM’s to wash their fingers, and then the water is poured into the Sacrarium.

In my opinion, there is no need to reconcile my actions. As it is, I obey the conscious discernment of a devoted and conscientious priest, in union with Holy Mother Church. If Father asked me to serve the Holy Eucharist, I would obey with love and extreme attention to detail. If people choose to strictly attend the MEF so that they can receive Jesus from the priest, as opposed to a lay person, than that is their prerogative. It is not for me to judge. I attend the MEF so that I can offer a sacrifice of praise and receive Jesus, just as I would in the Novus Ordo. I am very grateful for Pope BXVI’s Motu Propio.

It must be pointed out that the overuse of EM’s is based on one’s perception. The priest may have his own reasons for using them. In any other case, priests, who are human and sinners, like me, make mistakes. I am to forgive, love, and pray for them. If a priest is doing something that I may not agree with, I believe I should first enter into a dialogue and attempt to understand why the priest is doing it. I may not have all of the information, and I may be wrong. If the Mass will be invalidated by what the priest does, then by all means I have grounds to do something more.

Lastly, the Holy Eucharist remains inviolate, sacrosanct, and intact if it falls onto the floor or even, Lord please forbid, in the mud. Therefore, if I receive Him from the hands of a lay person, it will still be Jesus and I will still love Him and the one who gave Him to me.