Many of you know that my wife and I do a lot of work not only for and in the Catholic Church, but we especially enjoy our Ecumenical work with our Protestant Brothers and Sisters in Christ, so that being said, I would ask their understanding during this Blog as I vent a little frustration to my fellow Catholics.
Yesterday I was surfing through YouTube and ran across a video of my own Parish, St. Alphonsus Liguori "Rock" Church here in St. Louis. The video was taken toward the end of one of our Masses a few years ago and it showed only for a few minutes at the end of Mass, how we celebrate in our Worship Style, in Song (Lively), clapping, as well as some 'movement' for lack of a better word.
In the comment section under the video, I read so many hurtful words and comments made by my 'fellow Catholics' around the Country who stated that "This is not right... this is not 'Catholic'... they are Protestants masquerading as Catholic and if they want to be Protestant, then they should just do it...". The most hurtful of them all was "I heard this Church burned down, I am sure God was upset and showed His wrath against them.... they should not be doing this (singing lively songs, 'moving' the way they do, clapping) it is a sacrilege."
It is so sad to see so many sanctimonious, holier than thou people in this world and they even call themselves 'Catholic' and they OBVIOUSLY have no clue what the word Catholic means in the first place, nor do they understand our Liturgical Celebration of Worship, and then they want to demean, demoralize, criticize and tear down a People of God. My question to you (all of you who say the SAME THINGS - YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE) "Who died and made YOU Pope, a Doctor of the Church, an Expert on Canon Law...let alone... who made YOU GOD, by placing judgment upon a People you are not familiar with nor with their struggles?"
In the readings for today's Mass around the World, in St. John's Gospel in the 13th Chapter , Jesus foretold of things to come, and warned them that He was going to tell them about things before they even happened. Jesus said, "The one who ate My food has raised his heel against me." Jesus had just finished washing the feet of the disciples, and He said to them, I have given you a model to follow. The Creator and Savior of the World, humbled Himself, to wash the feet of those He came to serve, and yet He knew someone was going to betray Him, even someone who just broke bread with Him.
How can we continue to serve each other, love another and even begin to UNDERSTAND another, when we tear each other down so quickly... THAT my brothers and sisters is the SACRILEGE in not loving one another.
Christ humbled Himself to death, Death on a Cross...for ALL of us; Black, White, Latino, Asian, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Atheist, and everyone who was created in His Image and likeness. Before we begin to 'raise our heel toward each other, let us look at our OWN person and our OWN lives FIRST and realize that we are ALL SINNERS, and we ALL fall short of God's Grace and Mercy (Romans 3:23), ESPECIALLY YOU...the one's who POINT the fingers! For it is through His Grace and Mercy, we are ALL saved by Faith. When you have gone through what 'WE' have gone through for over 480 years, then and ONLY then will you begin to understand the TRUE MEANING of Psalm 150... "PRAISE HIM with SONG and DANCE, TIMBREL and HARP, PRAISE HIM WITH CLASHING SYMBOLS...", for 'we' have suffered for so long to be able to eat of the Bread of Life, and it is TRULY a Liturgical "CELEBRATION" of life and of His Life!
Mr./Mrs. Sanctimonious Catholic, how long has YOUR Parish been in existence? Ours has stood the test of time for over 140 years, and is STILL STANDING!
We were not burned down...WE GOT FIRED UP!
Let us ALL love one another the way Christ Loved us! Praise be Jesus Christ now and forever more...amen, Amen and LET THE CHURCH SAY... AMEN!!!
Peace be with you.
Evangelist Richard Lane