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Why you fell down that mountain ^ | 03/23/2013 | Ann Barnhardt

Posted on 03/23/2013 9:23:19 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum

Why You Fell Down That Mountain
Posted by Ann Barnhardt - March 23, AD 2013 6:40 AM MST

So, one weekday morning last year I got up with the chickens and went to the 8:30am Low Tridentine Mass uptown. It started out normally enough. In processed Father with one server. Father looked a bit flat-footed, but then this particular priest is pretty old, so one doesn't expect a Fred Astaire-like gait from the quasi-elderly. It wasn't until the consecrations of the Host and Chalice that it became clear that something was terribly, physically wrong with Father. At each genuflection he had to slightly twist his body and almost lay his upper body on the altar in order to genuflect, bearing much of his weight on his elbows both on the way down and on the way back up. It was obvious with each genuflection that Father was in excruciating pain. I sat in my little spot in the back of the church, at once horrified by the obvious physical distress I was witnessing, but also deeply moved by the courageous perseverance and uncompromising love for Our Lord that Father, seen by only the half-dozen or so people in the nave, demonstrated. Father wasn't putting on a show, because there was essentially no one there to see it. If he had been saying Mass alone in his room, he would have done exactly the same; of that I have no doubt. Why? Because he loved Our Lord, and to not genuflect to Him would be simply unthinkable. Our Lord, whipped until He was skinned and in shock, thrice bent His knee to us, falling three times beneath His Cross, to demonstrate His complete love for creatures that are totally unworthy of His love. How much more, then, should we bend our knees to Him who is our Creator, our King and our Savior?

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.

TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Ministry/Outreach; Worship
KEYWORDS: annbarnhardt; barnhardt; catholic
"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." --St. Francis of Assisi
1 posted on 03/23/2013 9:23:19 AM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
I am not Catholic and I still find these words highly moving. It is most refreshing to find that there are still good people to be found in this rapidly secularizing world.

May God bless us one and all,

2 posted on 03/23/2013 9:45:01 AM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

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.

3 posted on 03/23/2013 9:52:32 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

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.

4 posted on 03/23/2013 10:02:28 AM PDT by mrs. a (It's a short life but a merry one...)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Thanks for posting this.. Very inspirational.

5 posted on 03/23/2013 10:04:24 AM PDT by LADY J (You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have. - Author Unknown)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

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.

6 posted on 03/23/2013 10:16:04 AM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: Cicero

She may not have intended it, but this is a real reproof of Pope Benedict.

7 posted on 03/23/2013 10:32:40 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
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.

8 posted on 03/23/2013 11:05:46 AM PDT by Louis Foxwell (Better the devil we can destroy than the Judas we must tolerate.)
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To: Louis Foxwell; nickcarraway
I love Ann B. and often quote her (she IS a wonderfully quotable bit of red-hot, isn't she?) But I have not liked her tone against Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.

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.

9 posted on 03/23/2013 2:16:12 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("You can observe a lot just by watchin'." - Yogi Berra)
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