Archive for January 2011

He Gave Thanks and Praise

January 1, 2011

We were out of town, privileged to begin the New Year at Mass,
a Mass timed so that the consecration fell at roughly midnight…
and what a Mass!
It was celebrated by candlelight and treelight
–breathtakingly beautiful–
and attended mainly by youth who were fully present
to the Holy Sacrifice
(I think they were mostly from the diocesan youth group).
There was a spiritual vitality in the whole congregation
that we just don’t experience very often.
The servers were college-age young men
who embodied the best of the masculine genius;
strong, reverent, bringing to their role its full dignity. Awesome!
Much of the singing was chant, and much of that was Latin,
which just added to the atmosphere.

What struck me most, though,
was something I’ve heard many times before.
I’ve heard & read many times that we should place ourselves
on the paten and in the chalice
–the drop of water Father adds to the wine represents us–
and I was trying to do that
when Father picked up the host and said these words:

“The day before He suffered He took bread in His sacred hands…”

That’s me

“…and looking up to Heaven, to You, His almighty Father, He gave You thanks and praise”
-Eucharistic Prayer I

He did what?!

This is before the consecration.
Jesus hasn’t turned me into Himself yet.
He’s picked me up in my natural state
–weak, limited, rebellious, stupid, distracted me–
and He’s thanking and praising His Father for me.
My mind boggled.

After the fact it occurred to me that the same is true
of every weak limited person…
and I’m supposed to imitate Jesus.
If He’s willing to do that for me,
I need to be willing to do the same for the next person
whose limitations get on my nerves.
I need to give thanks and praise to God for them, just as they are.
He will handle their transformation.

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