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Christ asks us to picture a peaceful home, and what it is like to enter where there are no loud disagreements or resentments or disobedience. The soul of a person who really loves Christ, welcomes Him with reverence, believes in His Church's teachings, and puts them into practice, is like a 'peaceful home' for Him, when He enters in Holy Communion.
The Church teaches the truth, in every age of our history, yet each of the mystics experiences it - for example, St Paul, St Teresa of Avila, St Thomas Aquinas. It is the Christian mystic who prays with trust, reverence and humility, who knows God better than anyone, through union with Christ in prayer. The mystics have produced the most lyrical and intellectually-coherent accounts of what they have learned of God - which knowledge echoes and confirms the truths taught by the Church, and illumines them.
God is loving, pure and wise; therefore God chooses, for intimate friendship, a person who loves Him and is reverent, prayerful, humble and obedient. That obedience includes loving his neighbour, and the Church. God cannot bring into close union with Himself those who hate fellow creatures, or believe Jesus was a liar, or hide away in sin, or despise the Church, or are self-important, or pray with little reverence, or despise popular devotions that lead people closer to Heaven, including honour to the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Virgin Mary and other Saints.
The living God is a 'Holy Fire', blazing with love in our sanctuary, it seems, as we gather to offer Him honour and praise in His house of prayer, through the Holy Mysteries. Christ is Present; with His Angels and Saints, enfolded in the glory of the Father: glory into which we hope to plunge at death, having been purified in the Sacred Liturgy. Our reverent attention should be drawn towards God, for Whose glory this Church was built.
The Lord wants us to remember that our Catholic churches have been built for the glory of God and not the glorification or parishioners or Clergy. That is why it is not appropriate to have self-assertive, frivolous or irreverent behaviour taking place within.
A major city cannot be called holy until those in charge have ceased to pour public funds and taxpayer's money into events, dramas, exhibitions and publications which are demeaning, immoral, irreverent towards worthy causes, or even blasphemous.
Christ assured me that if I made a hat to wear to my grandson's Baptism I would honour Christ by obediently covering my hair in church, honour the occasion by special dress, and honour my husband by looking so smart!
The Lord wants to see a crucifix on every altar, large enough to serve as a reminder for everyone that they are present at a solemn, living memorial of His Sacred Passion and death. The Mass is therefore not an appropriate place for frivolity, pop music, dancing, or chatter, or anything else which would draw hearts and minds away from the awesome act which takes place.
It pleases Christ whenever people make known the times of Mass - including the times of Masses in the Extraordinary Form, which are hugely esteemed by Christ for their phrasing, theology and reverence.
A Catholic who is neither noisy nor unloving, but who reads the church newspaper when in church, is lacking the awareness of the Real Presence of Christ, our God. To ignore Christ, there, is like reading a novel whilst in the presence of the Queen and her courtiers in the throne-room at Buckingham Palace.
When in Queen visits a hospital, people use every possible means of showing respect, through their approach, dress, speech, manner, welcome, warmth and gestures: yet how many Catholics use any of these means of showing reverence towards their King: Jesus Christ, Divine King and Savior, Present on the altar and in the tabernacle?
From the beginning, Christian life has been lived out using symbols and signs. What signs are there, in some modern churches, which have filthy entrances, and modernistic crucifixes, a hidden Blessed Sacrament, and no statue of Our Lady - in an area where people chat and cheer as if at a football rally. St. Pius X would be horrified by one church dedicated to his memory.
It is a sad thing for the faithful, the Lord explained, when a church is built which has few indications that it is a House of prayer, and where there are few of the signs and symbols which have marked our Catholic devotions, buildings and practices since the early days of Church life; and in a place that looks like a grubby stadium people behave as if in a stadium, instead of with reverent silence before Christ our God.
Plain churches, without images, encourage ordinary behaviour. Some of the Saints, to whom our churches are dedicated, would weep, if they could hear that noisiness, and see the disrespect shown by many Catholics in church. A wise priest in such circumstances puts out a notice, as a reminder.
When people are poorly-instructed about reverence, and when a church has few signs and images that indicate it is a sacred place, the faithful sometimes act, for a Mass, as if at a rally or a pop-concert. Even if a few pictures of the Saints are then put up around the walls, this is as effective as sticking a small plaster in a big wound. Change comes from clear instruction; and from effective signs of decoration at the entrance.
God invites us to kneel in adoration. The Pope is right to encourage us to offer reverent praise to God the Father, Who is Creator of the whole Universe, greater than the Universe, and awesome in His attributes, and in the beauty of His loving nature. We owe the same praise to Christ His Son, Who is Present in every Catholic Church, and yet often receives praise that is banal, vain, irreverent, frivolous or mundane.
The Lord sees irreverent Catholics, and He asks, Who are those people who refuse to bend the knee, and kneel before Him in prayer? Who are they, who fail to adore Christ, Really Present in the Holy Eucharist? Who are they, who offer praise which is banal, or careless, or frivolous or vain, to their God and Creator?
It is an immeasurable blessing, to be a baptised person who is forgiven, and who believes the Faith, lives in a state of grace, and prays in the name of Jesus Christ to the Heavenly Father. It is as if that person, when praying, is whispering into the Father's ear, in a loving intimacy, in combined reverence and trust, unlike others who shout to God as if from far away, not sure of being heard.
When Christ is made Really Present, at the Consecration, He prays for the Whole Church, to the Father in the Spirit; yet those who are bodily present gain special graces from being willing to be near their Saviour, in obedience and reverence and love. What great loss is suffered, therefore, by Catholics who are so lazy, or whose faith is so lukewarm, that they rarely take part.
To greet Christ in Holy Communion with sincere contrition for weaknesses, and with reverence, humility and love, is deeply consoling for Him. It is as if we had rolled out a red carpet for Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior and King
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