Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Learning and Growing

So when I got into my faith, my parish at the time was very Charismatic. (For some reading on it, there is This link from EWTN and there is This link from Sienna that can help us understand this just a little more.) So I was brought up around hand clapping and hand raising, song singing in and outside of Mass,  spontaneous prayer, and there were even manifestations of extraordinary gifts around me as some of the above links refer to. This is how I grew in my faith. This is how I came close to God. I experienced the Spirit in a very real way in this manner of prayer. My love for God and love for neighbor was fueled by this kind of prayer life.

When I was first exposed to the Mass with organ music, I felt like I was going to die! Hahahaha...it was so foreign to me. I couldn't pray using this form of music and spiritual approach. But I grew accustomed to it, and I began to see the Lord working in me through it. I saw the beauty of the Liturgy in a different manner than before. I began to understand the Lord was present here too, and that it was here the Lord was speaking to me.

And then, I went to school where Gregorian Chant was used within the Liturgy and so was Latin. I wanted to die! Hahaha. I felt stifled. I felt imprisoned. Nothing made sense to me. I felt unable to truly be myself...and then something happened one day. During the Kyrie (Lord, Have Mercy), the Gloria, and the Sanctus (Holy, Holy, Holy), I felt...HIM.

Through the ancient language of the Church, my heart was moved in a manner that I had only experienced in Praise&Worship. My mind was lifted up and my being was filled with a passion that raged with LOVE for God. I found that I had to actually keep myself from standing in the middle of mass while the chant was being sung. I had to voluntarily keep myself from lifting up my arms. I didn't want to bring attention to myself, so I had to quietly allow myself to be overcome by the Spirit.

I began to learn of the various aspects of our Catholic worship. I was brought up with the most recent spiritual exercises, but as I traveled around the US, I was exposed to the traditions of the Church and encountered the same Spirit in them all.

And then, one day, I attended the Extraordinary Form of the Mass. The "Tridentine Mass." The Mass that was celebrated for the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church from the 1570's to the early 1960's...in complete utter Latin...with the priest, facing the altar....away from the people...

I...wanted...to...DIE! I mean, why does he put his back against the people! No one can understand anything! He's doing his thing and what about everyone else?! This feels soo cold. So rigid. So...so...LETTER OF THE LAW!

But as I began to understand our Church history, as I began to learn what the priest was actually praying, what various movements meant, what spiritual/theological meaning different things had...I...I began to have a slight change of heart...I went from, I will NEVER go to something like this again, to: I will can appreciate this but it is NOT for me, to: I can see this only spiritually good for the priest but NOT THIS SOON-TO-BE-PRIEST NOR FOR LAY PEOPLE, to: I can see myself celebrating this simply for myself as a private devotion, to: I think I can actually see the how spiritually nourishing this is for people (once they actually know what is going on :) I mean, hey, our greatest saints were brought up with this Mass, right?), to: I can see the Spirit here...and I see how charismatic this can actually be for me and everyone, and how the priest is LEADING the people in worship to God the Father, to: I am going to learn this for myself and for the people.

What I have noticed, though, is that my Charismatic prayer formation is NOT compromised by the Extraordinary Form of the Mass; nor is my charismatic prayer lifestyle contradictory to the Extraordinary form. If anything, my prayer life is fueled and guided by it.

I want to say more (I just chopped off a whole second essay! hahaha), but I will say that as I continue on in my faith walk with the Lord as his priest, I will continue to be learning and growing.

1 comment:

  1. You should put up the second essay


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