Sunday, April 28, 2013

and Then my eyes were[n't] opened

10-day is meant to be a time of adventure.  Of learning about European culture and about yourself.

I got that and more.

I also learned about the Church.  Of how it is different everywhere we go.

I think I mentioned in one of my Sunday Musings that I have come to a better understanding of how the Church is Divine, yet made up of human members.  And sometimes (read:a lot of time), those human members mess up.

Last summer, as I traversed all over the northern states, I saw some interesting things within the Mass.  Sometimes, I scratched my head and thought, "Uh, why was that necessary?"  But still, I could accept it.  I mean, I grew up in what is apparently one of the "top 2" conservative dioceses in the States.  Who am I to comment on the Liturgy in other places?  I don't know the background, therefore I can't judge.

But when I was in Lourdes earlier this month, I was shocked.  The numbers of "off" things happening at almost every single Mass were astounding.  Slide shows, music during the consecration, and summaries of the readings... where on earth was I?  Is this not a Marian apparition site?  Of all places on earth, shouldn't this be one of the most reverent?

I stood in the sanctuary, reading the Epistle for the International Easter Vigil Mass, and I was shaken.
What am I doing here?  What is going on in this place?

It is unnerving to be part of something so great and grand, but is at the same time, to be uncomfortable with it.

Again and again I questioned.
Again and again, I forgot what was really important.  

I had to get over the fact that I had expectations, and remember for a moment that the Mass is still the Mass, Jesus is still Jesus.  He is present, even through our human failings and mistakes, both great and small.

In Lourdes, I learned the power of prayer.  The beauty of raising voices in petition, with people I don't understand and who I have never met.
In Lourdes, I learned priority.  Would I rather receive the King of Kings (while hearing drums and saxophones), or would I rather sit by myself in a chapel?
In Lourdes, I learned acceptance.  Acceptance of God's will and of the difficulties He places in my life. Difficulties that are always for my own good.

In Lourdes, I learned love.

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