"But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." Luke 10:42
I have written before about the fact that the present situation we find ourselves in as a society has to do with the fact that we have broken the first commandment. It's about worship.
As if the Lord wants to hammer the point home to me, I have had experiences in both worship and in prayer of late. The Lord talks to me a lot about the wedding feast of the Lamb. And it seems I am being taken in a more traditional direction.
Before everyone gets upset about this or comments I want to say a few things which I have probably said before, but it is worth reiterating. I am not against Vatican II. I am also not a scholar on it. There are some things from that council that I believe were necessary, not the least of which is being able to bury our loved ones who committed suicide with a church burial. This is personal for me. I am grateful for that change.
Most of the documents I have read are beautiful to me and I don't think say anything that cannot be read through the lens of upholding tradition. And I am not here to say that the Extraordinary Form of Mass will save us. God will save us.
I also don't want anyone to get the impression that I am flinging poison arrows at specific people or the way things are done. I am grateful for the path I have been taken on, all of it. I don't think 10 years ago I would have viewed things through the same lens I view them now. God accompanied me to where I am. And one thing he speaks to me about a lot is not judging other people or their interior.
With all of that said, I want to share a moment of prayer I had the other day.
On Tuesday of this week we had a tornado warning where I live and work. I was at work at the time and the sky turned ominously dark and our phones began alerting us to the danger.
I went to the chapel. If a tornado was going to plow through our church, like it did at Church of the Assumption, I wanted to be where I could get to the Eucharistic Lord. As I sat in the chapel praying, I began to feel the Lord speak to me about, of all things, architecture.
Before I explain what He said, I should preface it with what I had previously been told by Priests about the architecture in the churches (for the most part) where I live. Most of the churches where I live have some combination of the tabernacle off to the right, the ambo to the left, the altar in the middle – though some even have this moved slightly to the right also. Many churches had no actual crucifix, at least for a time, but of late they have been brought back.
The Priests back then would explain to me the layout, and it was always something like this;
"The tabernacle to the right – which houses the Eucharist. The ambo and lectionary highlight to the left. Showing the equal value of the word and the Eucharist. Both the word (Scripture) and the Eucharist of equal importance."
I accepted that explanation as logical and didn't think too much about it, though innately, I always thought the tabernacle in the center was prettier, and I always had a desire to just shove it over to the center. But I never could explain why.
So as I was praying during the tornado warning looking at the tabernacle off to the right, the Lord simply said to me, "I AM the WORD."
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shine in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. John 1:1-5
And then it was as if the Lord explained to me about marriage – and God's creative power – and the Mass.
The Priest is front and center during the consecration – but he should be facing God (East) away from the people because His offering is towards the Creator who wants the Priest participating in His creative power. The Priest is speaking the WORD – during the Consecration – partaking in God's creative power to bring the sacrifice. The Word becomes flesh – and it dwells among us. It is the offering of us all as one Mystical Body with the Priest acting as the head of the Body.
The Tabernacle should be front and center as well – veiled because it is a marital act of covenant. When the Word becomes flesh the Priest has a key to the tabernacle to house the Word/Eucharist. Peter also has the keys to house the Word/Eucharist within the church itself. Thus impregnating the tabernacle/church. The Word and the Eucharist one in the same union – never meant to be separated – housed in the tabernacle like a living sanctuary. Mankind restored to partaking in the creative power of God – the way it was meant to be in the garden before the serpent separated. The church too a tabernacle.
When the tabernacle is unlocked and the Word – the Eucharistic Lord is distributed – we become the tabernacles of life. That should bring the light into the darkness of the world.
Separating the Word (as just the bible which does contain the Word but is not the full essence of the Word) from the Eucharistic Lord as if they were two separate things to highlight them as "equally important" actually bore fruit that made neither seem important. It is like separating the marital act from it's pro-creative power on purpose – like a contraception. Thus rendering impotent the full meaning of what God wants to do within us and thwarting the union and life giving power he desires for us.
This experience coupled with my experience of rest in the Latin Mass, made me think of the story of Martha and Mary.
Mary is worshiping at the feet of Jesus. Martha is busy preparing a meal. Martha is mad Mary isn't helping, but Jesus reprimands her and tells her Mary has chosen the good part.
Did you every wonder what would have happened if Martha sat at his feet too? Martha probably thought that the meal would have been horrible. That she was needed to be busy and work to have this meal with our Lord. But I think Jesus would have provided an even better meal, after all He was known to provide miraculous food. What if Martha too had just rested, and let Jesus save her?
And I believe this to be about worship. What if we just rest in Worship and receive Him in reverence and awe? What if we don't try to save ourselves and we let the creator save us?
Don't mistake what I am saying to be about not working for the Kingdom. We should all be working and cooperating for the Kingdom. I am simply talking about in worship specifically, what if we just rest and receive? Perhaps our brokenness would be healed.
I know forever I was a very broken daughter. It wasn't until I handed it all to God and let Him come in fully, that I became a confident daughter. I feel like I have been walked into the deep, to greater reverence in worship, out of the depths of love for my soul that the Father has for me.
I am also grateful for Him walking me there. This means that – I am grateful for all of the Masses I have attended. I am grateful for the path along the way because again – 10 years ago – none of this would have made sense to me.
God truly works all things for the good of those who love him.
In the times we are living in now, the Lord needs us to rest in Him and trust Him fully and completely. And we, as one of my friends always says, just need to take the next right step, when he calls us to action. We will be walking blind, so it's one step at a time, resting in God when we need to, and working when he calls us to.
Sometimes we even need to be still because God will fight for us. We are not in control, so let the one who is in control fight for our purification.
May God Bless you all. Stay safe out there.