A faithful priest prepares himself well to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and is mindful that every action he makes carries a deep spiritual meaning. There should be nothing of himself for every action is the action of Christ.
In prayerful recollection he goes to the sacristy and washes his hands and says to himself quietly the ancient prayers as he puts on each item of vesture. He puts on the whole armour of God so that clothes in Christ he is renewed and a new creation of Christ. With firm resolve he asks for blessing and protection before he goes to the Altar of God. For the Mass is a serious business. This preparation is a gathering up of spiritual energy to become nothing so that the wonder of Christ's sacrificial love is more clearly shown through his hands. Hands anointed at Ordination to give and to bless, which are the action of Christ Himself.
It is a serious business but he goes with joy in his heart to the God who renews the joy of his youth. The Mass is not entertainment but an encounter with the living God and certainly not the "Fr Joe show". Sadly when a priest loses a supernatural faith it effects how he says Mass. Caught up in a love of social activities the centre of focus shifts from quiet prayerful encounter with the Lord to distracting gimmicks to entertain people. But the action of the Mass should deepen a persons faith and desire to become holy.
Truly the Church at this time is going through its own "dark night". She is suffering, a suffering willed by Our Lord as a process of purification because of her foolish love affair with secular approval and thus the wholesale abandonment of prayer and a supernatural faith even by some of its Bishops and Priests. We are faced with a situation of a Church that is ineffective in demonstrating the truly transformative power of prayer in the life of the Christian.
Therefore we are called to give prophetic voice amidst the turmoil being lead by the Spirit into a truly authentic encounter with the Lord, in the Scriptures, in the Church and sacraments, in prayer and conduct of life. Waiting in patience and humility before the Lord in this time when all the "little ones" of divine grace are striving to keep safe their baptismal garment. May the Lord give us the strength to hold our lamps burning brightly with joy and expectancy so that the Mass is THE prayer in which we go out of ourselves to meet Him.
The Parish is part of the Archdiocese of Birmingham registered Charity No. 234216.
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