Skip to comments.Why you fell down that mountain
Posted on 03/23/2013 9:23:19 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
It turned out that the priest had gone on a hike up in the Colorado mountains the day before and taken a terrible spill on the way down, tearing open his knee. Thankfully he was in a large group of men, and was thus able to be carried down, and transported to the emergency room in Vail where he had his knee sutured back together. The knee eventually healed, and all's well that ends well, but for the life of me I have no idea why such an old man was frolicking on such a difficult mountain trail.
I have lately also been reminded of the last years of John Paull II's pontificate. In the last years, suffering from Parkinson's, JPII became more and more frail, requiring more and more physical assistance. I can remember seeing Masses in which he was being essentially held up by one man on each side. Most especially, his genuflections after the consecration of the host and then the chalice were particularly moving because toward the end, he looked like a rag doll being lowered and raised by the two men at his sides. This, of course, points directly to the Fifth Station of the Cross, wherein Simon of Cyrene helps Our Lord carry His Cross. How beautiful to see the Vicar of Christ so clearly mirroring Our Lord in His perfect humility, and accepting help in order to bring to consummation and completion the Sacrifice of Calvary, made present in time upon the altar. As I have been told on a near-daily basis from every vector for the last several weeks, failing to ask for and accept help when it is needed is a pure function of pride, not humility. Indeed. I am very prideful.
There is a very important concept in the Church, and in life that says: Lex orandi, lex credendi. In Latin this means "the law of prayer is the law of belief", or "how we pray is how we believe." The Mass is a prayer - it is THE prayer par excellence. HOW we pray, and most particularly how we pray the Mass, is of unquantifiable importance. In the two examples above, we see that HOW we pray not only matters, but becomes meritorious and a massive conduit for grace, with the potential to turn instances of personal suffering into evangelical witnesses that could not be matched with any 50,000 word book or sermon. The world is collapsing and falling to pieces because of the destruction of the Mass and the lack of reverence toward Our Lord, most especially in the Mass and in the Blessed Sacrament. The two examples above demonstrated intense love for Our Lord in His Passion, and in His Resurrection by reverencing Him in His Real Presence in the Eucharist. The only hope for the world is MORE reverence in the Mass and towards the Eucharist, not less. The world will never believe that Our Lord is physically present upon the altar and in the Eucharist, in other words, the world will never believe the Gospel, if how we pray does not clearly reflect that supreme reality.
One of the greatest men in the history of the Church said it best:
"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."
Thus spake St. Francis of Assisi.
St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us.
May God bless us one and all,
Ann Barnhardt came out with some pretty strange attacks on Pope Francis this past week, because he hadn’t straightened out the Church yet during his first day in office, but I’m glad to see that this column is unexceptionable. Excellent, in fact.
I work with many non-Catholics, and they often feel that it’s their right to brace me with questions about why we do this or that or the other thing. I had an interesting conversation with one woman - she wanted to know why Pope Benedict had “stepped down”...she seemed almost accusatory - “Popes don’t do that!” A few minutes later into the conversation, she opined that JPII stayed in place too long when he was obviously infirm. I had no luck explaining the “suffering servant” to her.
So which shall it be, I asked her? No answer was forthcoming.
Thanks for posting this.. Very inspirational.
The Mass has always been the perfect prayer. The Eucharist is at the center of all Catholic devotion and is the central focus of every Catholic Church. Everything else pales into insignificance.
She may not have intended it, but this is a real reproof of Pope Benedict.
That is correct. And, yes, she intended it.
Anne is an uncompromising orthodox catholic. Her belief gives her the courage of profound conviction. There is no clearer or more courageous voice of truth.
Pope John Paul II was heroic as he kept soldiering on, despite Parkinson's and many other frailties. But one of the unfortunate consequences of that --- as inevitable as it was unintended--- was that the Church was essentially popeless in the last years of his pontificate.
The increasing frailty at the top was shown in the lack of discipline in the middle, when the Church's administration fell into the hands of disorganized, middle-management curia prelates. With the shepherd struck down by physical infirmity, the sheep were often unprotected, and at worst subjected to wolves in shepherds' clothing.
Our good John Paul is, in all charity, not to be blamed for that. But our good Benedict was not about to let it happen again.
Love and "one cheer" for John Paul. Love and one more cheer for Papa Benedetto.