Not To Be Jerry Judgmental…

Hi everyone – haven’t blogged in awhile, with a lot of personal (graduations, weddings) and professional (actual interviews, coffee meetings)  going on, but I had an experience Sunday that motivated this reflection.

I volunteered for our men’s club to man the table outside the church promoting our annual golf tournament at the 8:30 AM Mass.  So I arrived about 9:10 and took up my position to hand out brochures.  This was a unique experience for me to be positioned outside the door as people left the church.  It was enlightening (and easy duty too – Sweet!).

I could hear the strains of the first Communion hymn when folks started coming out the door.  It’s a good old Catholic tradition for some to take Communion and proceed right out the door, but obviously some eschewed the Eucharist, just got up and made the sprint for their car…and maybe rightfully so, feeling not properly prepared for the sacrament.  They tended to have a “blinking mole emerging into the sunlight” expression on their faces.  I gave one unshaven gentleman in a collarless t-shirt, shorts and sandals – fashionably dressed for fine lawn-moving – a hearty “Have a great day!” as I caught his eye.  He grimaced and mumbled (I think) “You do the same” in the preoccupied manner of one contemplating a colonoscopy without sedation as he shuffled towards the parking lot.  My favorite was a dad with two young boys who was interested in the golf tournament.  His younger son exclaimed “Dad, that was the fastest church EVER!”  He replied, “That’s because we came late Justin, and that’s something Mommy doesn’t need to know.”  Arriving late and leaving early will speed things up considerably, for sure.  And not telling Mommy everything is undeniably good policy –take it from me, a happily married man of 30 years tenure.  What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas Mommy.

So what’s the big deal, you may ask?  Catalina Rivas, a Bolivian mystic, has testified to private revelations concerning the Holy Mass.  Catalina has been privileged to see what actually goes on in the spiritual realm during the Mass. In regards to punctuality, the Blessed Mother chastises Catalina “Why must you arrive at the last moment?  You should arrive earlier so you can say a prayer and ask the Lord to send His Holy Spirit that the Holy Spirit may grant you a spirit of peace and cleanse you of the spirit of the world, your worries, your problems and your distractions in order that you may be able to live so sacred a moment.  However, you arrive almost when the celebration is about to begin, and you participate in Mass as if it were an ordinary event without any spiritual preparation.  Why?  This is the greatest of Miracles.  You are going to live the moment when the Most High God gives His greatest gift and you do not appreciate it.”

In regards to leaving the Mass, Jesus tells Catalina “Do not run out as soon as Mass Is over; stay a moment in My company.  Enjoy it and let me enjoy yours.”  Catalina asks the Lord how long did He want us to stay?  His answer: “For as you want to have Me with you.  If you speak to Me all day long, offering Me some words as you go about your chores, I will listen to you.  I am always with all of you.  It is you who leave Me.  You come out of Mass and you are done with the day of obligation.  You kept the day of the Lord and that is it.  You do not think that I would like to share in your family life with you, at least on that day.  Everything has a place in your homes, but Me.  I know everything, even the deepest secrets in your hearts and minds.  But I enjoy your telling Me about your things, allowing me share in as a family member, as the most intimate friend.  How many graces men and women fail to receive by not giving Me a place in their lives!”

Not to be a Pharisee, but I call on all to pray and reflect on what we profess to believe occurs at the Mass.  The King Himself is present, the Host is not a sacred Thing but a sacred Person.  Where should one’s attention – one’s heart and mind and soul – be in the presence of the Author of Life?  How should one comport one’s self?  What emotions should one be feeling?

Just asking.

God bless us all!

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