Thursday, October 22, 2015
Catholic Mass And Monotony
How to be motivated by the repetitive in our lives is the subject of an article in Bible & Life. A priest writing in the magazine recounts a senior priest telling him that he enjoys dramas but not watching a number of different dramas but the same drama over and over-again. This surprised him for once he has seen a movie he has no desire to see it again.
The older priest explained that it was not the story line that interested him but the performers' facial expressions, voice tones, and bodily movements in their role. Whether their words and the way they express them fit the atmosphere in which they were in. This, the older priest said, is what separates performers into levels of excellence. He finds this an extremely enjoyable past time. The same word uttered with a person's total energy makes a big difference.
Yes, that's true! Even though the same words are used, the way they are said can make a great difference; he had no trouble understanding this. With this mind cast, listening and watching, you will not be bored was his own conclusion.
He quickly thought of his saying Mass with only the readings and prayers that change: the ordinary of the Mass stays the same. And for many, this is a reason the Mass becomes tedious. Was this not the reason they have guitar Masses and the like for the young people?
He thought about his own way of saying Mass and whether his words are said with the appropriate ardor and sincerity. Does he feel the way Jesus felt on the night that he uttered those word: "This is my body this is my blood?"
Each Mass is a repetition of Jesus' death and resurrection: a rebroadcast. One way of looking at the Mass is to see the monotony which is natural. However, when we remember what it is renewing for us: the love that Jesus is confessing with these words than no matter how many times we hear those words of love we never tire. "I have set an example for you, so that you will do just what I have done for you" (John 13:15).
However, the priest is not a performer with a phony expression and emotion but is called to live in the way Jesus has shown us and when this is the case, the Mass will be real. When the priest is living like Jesus, the Mass will have the authentic feelings and expressions.
He concludes the article with the thought of St.Therese of Lisieux whose spirituality was to even in the smallest of acts to do it with the greatest of love. He wants to leave us with her spiritually to do all with great love. This is the way the priest should approach every Mass, and every act and word during the Mass, and should also be the mind of each person who attends Mass.