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When we greet Christ carelessly in Holy Communion we treat Him, our God, with a dreadful lack of respect, even worse than when people show disrespect towards a Monarch in earthly life by casual or rude behaviour. Our God, coming to our hearts, deserves to be greeted with humility, reverence, joy and gratitude.
It is an outrage, in God's sight, and it saddens the Heart of Christ, whenever Catholics behave badly in church as if at closing time in a pub - even when they should be waiting in reverent silence for the start of a First Communion Mass for a member of the family. They show no reverence towards God, and set a poor example to the child, when prayer is necessary.
Saint Paul advises Christ's followers to remember that Christ is with His friends all the time; and we should revere the Lord Jesus in our hearts at any time of day as well as being prepared to explain our Faith to enquirers.
The smoke of Satan has entered the Church, causing many Catholics to approve of various types of immorality, to practice forbidden acts, to protest about legitimate discipline and constant teachings on faith and morals, to demand Papal approval of heresy, to water down the truth when catechising others, and to show little reverence for Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Christ is pleased when a mother imitates Him by giving thoughtful, unconditional love to her children, and being close to them, helping them at each new stage, whether basics like washing and dressing, or giving them confidence when they go to school, teaching them good manners, and encouraging love amongst relations - and love for God, shown by reverence in church.
If it is really necessary to ask people not to chatter loudly in church, where Christ is Present in glory, as His angels adore Him, and people are still kneeling in prayer, we must not be upset if we are criticised for sharing the truth: that this building is a house of prayer. If we are reviled, for Christ's sake, we should rejoice.
Christ wants us to encourage one another to keep a reverent silence in church, where He is Sacramentally Present, adored by the Angels. If we suffer unpleasant reactions to our gentle words, we should remember Christ's words: that when we are reviled on His account, our reward will be great in Heaven.
When people have a man-centered faith, with a too-exalted view of human beings, in relation to God, and make excuses for their sins, convinced that all people will be saved, and that penance and sacrifice are old-fashioned concepts, they develop a faith so distorted that they never humble themselves sufficiently to be lifted up to Heaven.
There are Catholics who complain about the Church and the world; but each of us needs a reminder that Catholics who cannot be bothered to get out of bed in the morning, to pray with reverence to their infinitely lovable and holy Saviour, are not going to become great friends of His, and cannot expect to be given great work to do, unless they change.
Real love for God is shown by offering Him the courtesies we offer to people on earth whom we respect. If in God's presence, in prayer, it is respectful to say: 'please exclude me, Lord' - if we have to rush away, suddenly, for example. We would not rush out of an earthly throne-room without a word to the King.
If women do not cover their hair in church, they should at least control it. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass should be respected as a sacred rite, carefully choreographed, with reverent and beautifully-vested Clergy. If women are sometimes allowed in the sanctuary, they ought not to be given privileges proper to the clergy; and they should be invited to attend to their hair and clothing, in honour of almighty God.
It's as if God is like Three loving parents. Some people mock the simple requests of the faithful, and say that God is not a 'Sugar Daddy' or a Fairy Godmother. Christ wants us to know, however, that what He said in the Gospel is true. The nature of God is generosity and love. So when we ask God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - for something in prayer, believing that it will be ours, we shall receive it, if of course we have prayed properly, with trust and reverence, in the name of Jesus.
Christ wanted to make His Catholic church buildings into 'little Heavens' on earth, where people could offer prayer, in peace, in His Presence, before the Holy Eucharist, with the Angels. When there is constant chatter, this defeats His purpose. The Clergy, above all, should encourage people in church to behave with a reverent silence.
As we pray in the name of Christ to God our Father, the most important thing about prayer is that we approach God with hearts open to His love, willing to learn from Him, and reverent, humble, contrite and grateful. Books can be useful, if they give us words in which to clothe our thoughts, for a sincere offering to God; but books are useless, if we read to God but do so without humility, without trust, or without willingness to love, forgive and serve our neighbour.
We help the whole Church by every good thought we have, every good deed we do, every humiliation or pain met with patience not resentment, and every prayer, and every act of humility or reverence; and the Church includes the Holy Souls in Purgatory, many of whom are released into Heaven - by the grace of Christ, because of the good we do.
There is a distorted or truncated version of the Catholic Faith which is widely taught today. It is the evil one who wants people to hear that they can disregard the sure teachings of the Church on sexual morality, neglect her devotions, down-play reverence towards the Holy Eucharist, ignore Christ's ever-Virgin Mother, and look upon the Pope as having no authority unless each of his acts delights all of the Bishops.
A priest who is dispirited about the state of the Church should resist temptations to leave and to enjoy earthly pleasures. By the altar, he can receive power from God, to help him to renew the Church, and to encourage people towards obedience to God, sound Catechesis, profound reverence in prayer, and respect for the Pope, as well as love for the needy.
In making a spiritual Communion we invite God to come into our hearts and lives in a more powerful way. If we turn to Christ, make an act of sorrow for sin, an act of trust in His love, and an act of confidence in His presence in our souls, with a reverent request for a spiritual Communion, it can be as if the clouds and the sky have parted, to let the light of Christ shine more strongly upon us, bringing His peace and joy to our souls.
A Mass can be offered anywhere appropriate, even in a private house, with due respect and reverence. But a domestic setting should not be an excuse for informality, or disregard for the rubrics. Jesus Christ is no longer a carpenter, but King of Heaven, and glorious in His Majesty. It is better if there is room to kneel, as we adore Him, and offer His praise and His sacrificial prayer to the Father in Heaven.
Most Catholics have heard the phrase, "The Real Presence"; but few have thought it through. Those who do so are aware the Almighty God, the Son of God, chooses to be Really Present in a special, sacramental way, in each of our Catholic churches! Those who know this kneel, bow, and adore Christ. Those who don't know, or don't care, chat and laugh as if in a pub or a cafe.
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