. . . as explanation for my interest in Holy Mass besides the usual for a mass-going octogenarian with a long history of mass attendance.
Along lines of something I wrote a few years back as “Church Reporter” for the (now defunct ) Chicago Catholic News:
Meditating at Mass: PRAYER AND MEDITATION
No paragon of these am I, even if at 18 I left home to study them full time. After two years of it (novitiate), I got my SJ degree, which I relinquished many years later but would rather not go into right now.
Even so, much of it has stuck. At Mass, for instance, I often enter the zone of prayer and meditation, which makes me a poor participant in the liturgy.
Doesn’t mean I think of nothing else (distractions, you know) or that I am superior to the fellow or gal next to me who belts out the songs and other responses. In fact, you could argue I’m not as good because I seem to reject the communal aspect of today’s liturgy.
So allow me to hang my head in shame at that, asking only for tolerance. I am what I am, stuff happens, and all that. Bear with me.
That said by way of self-exoneration . . .
Do we not exceed the limits of liturgical propriety when we proffer the handclasp of peace to other pew-sitters far and wide, even getting out of our pews to hug and chat or even extort the same from them? Just asking, don’t get mad.
Communion time also. What about our meeting and greeting on way to the communion station? Ushers do it. They are the souls of geniality as if they were the host greeting you at the door of a party.
And they and others seem sometimes to take it amiss if you don’t participate, like the elderly gent at Ascension-Oak Park some years back who stood where communion-goers passed, glad-handing one and all. When I didn’t oblige, he was surprised and wounded.
Do we get carried away with our communality?
Something missing here? Sense of the sacred? The R-word, reverence?
I had to wonder, and decided to look into the history of changes in the Mass.