Reply To: Personal Encounter with Christ

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#7819
Anonymous
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Your point is valid, however I think exposure to the entire ritual life of the Church, would be a better choice. Most people just show up for Sunday Mass. When they do so it is just the Sunday Mass as it is offered at their own Church. I however feel that the experience of Christ in His Church is more personal to me because I have gone beyond the simple Sunday Mass obligation. (Now there is nothing wrong with people who go to Mass on Sunday to fulfil the obligation to worship God, and say their daily prayers and keep it at that.)

By the entire ritual life of the Church, I would include processions, novenas, The Breviary (Now called the Liturgy of the Hours) For myself I prefer the old Breviary, which had the entire cycle of all 150 psalms prayed over a weeks time. The LOTH or new Breviary spreads them out over a months time. But I would not stop there.

While I don’t really like the New Rites as reformed after Vatican II, I do attend them because they are Catholic Rites, and are a valid form of worship due to God. But I would also suggest that Catholics attend Mass in at least one of the many different Rites of the Mass that are offered in communion with the Pope. Say the Ukranian, Ethiopian or Syrian Rites. I live near a Coptic Catholic Church which preserves a rite of the Mass that comes from Egypt. The liturtical language is the same language spoken by the Pharos, and in fact one of the ways that scholars know how the ancient Egyptians pronounced what is written in hyroglypics is because the Coptic Orthodox and Catholics preserved the ancient language. (But I digress) Attending the Liturgies of the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Pope gives one another perspective on the entire relationship with Christ that we as the Body of Christ has. Through opening our spiritual life to all that is availible to us, we can see that no matter how much we feel we have learned about and incorporated Christ Jesus and our Lady into our lives, there is still so much more He offers to us, and so many valid ways of embracing Him. By exposing ourselves to the entire ritual life of the Church we can better see that the rite is of secondary importance, but what it conveys is the life giving grace that Christ wishes to share with us.

I think too many leaders in the Church today want to put away the liturgical history of the Church and move away from the rites developed to bring us closer to Christ, rather than use them to their fullest, to incorporate us to Him. One example is the Te Lucis, A hymn of the old Breviary. I used to love it, as an ancient hymn, It is sung at Compline, the hour prayed in monastic settings before retiring for the night. “As daylight fades, before we end our day, We beseech Thee Creator of our world to show us your clemency, and grant us a peaceful night.” A wonderful prayer, but when the Rector of a Traditional Latin Rite Seminary explained the history of the Hymn, and that it was composed at a time when you went to bed not knowing if some Goth was going to swoop down on your town and lop your head off with an axe, the hymn took on more importance. When the rector explained further that the hymn today tells us of our prayer to remain free from the influences of the devil when in the darkness of night, he can take full advantage of our lonliness and fears, it became more than just a hymn, but rather a personal prayer to each of us listening to the lecture.