A son honors his father, and a servant fears his master; If, then, I am a father, where is the honor due to me? And if I am a master, where is the fear due to me? So says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who disdain my name. But you ask, “How have we disdained your name?” By offering defiled food on my altar! You ask, “How have we defiled it?”By saying that the table of the LORD may be disdained! Malachi 1:6-7
I have been sitting back watching the tension rise over reopening Mass. As I stated before, there is a push to stop communion on the tongue. It has been banned in some Dioceses. Masks are being prescribed as mandatory, diagrams of where to stand and safety goggles for Priests are just a few of the things I have seen. I am not hear to comment on the science for this is not my purview. I am not here to condemn the decisions of the leaders and in fact would ask we don’t do this as the world has enough condemnation. God has given them the authority. If we got on our knees to pray for our leaders half as much as we got on social media to condemn them I actually think the world would be very different.
I comment only as an observer of the Spiritual implications of all of this. If we’re focusing on how not to touch one another, are we focusing at all on who it is we are receiving? Are we looking at the storm of sickness and missing the God who can make us walk on water? I find it such a stark contrast to watch what is happening in our churches while at the same time reading Acts of the Apostles. What a difference between the two.
The masks too, they cover the place we have relationship, the place we engage in relationship with another person. And beyond masks and canceling mass, we decided that even confirmation, touching the head with holy chrism oil wasn’t safe either. Holy water has been removed from our fonts.
They will look upon his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. Revelation 22:4
I have to be honest I felt in despair and overwhelmed seeing all of this. So I did what I do. I went first to confession, which I have done a lot because it is the only place I am receiving the grace of Sacrament, and I went to adoration and cried. I told God what I was feeling and how the Mass seemed to be becoming a show of how we men can become our own Savior. I told Him I didn’t even want to go to Mass. Yes, I said that. He already knew I felt it, there was no sense in hiding. I told Him that it seemed to be a display of man made saving our physical bodies and that I didn’t feel free to just love Him so that my soul may be saved.
And then he showed me His Passion. He showed me Himself getting struck in the head and spit at in his mouth.
And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. Matthew 15:19
And he just said to me, “now it’s your turn. Be like me so the bride can be purified.”
He was silent and submitted and he let them defile what was holy.
And I actually got up and left adoration and I walked to the grotto of Mary and I asked her, “how did you watch? I now fully understand why the Apostles ran away, their fear, and their anguish. How did you watch?” And I sobbed. And she just said one word, “trust.”
I felt as though the Pharisees had made Sabbath worship into a dinner party. Perhaps we have made worship into a country club. I think He is purifying us and our worship because worship was never for Him, He is perfect and doesn’t need anything, it was always for us to know Him, to know true love, so He could bring heaven to us. But we have made it about us and our idols and not about Him and His love. He wants me to be like Him. So I will go to Mass. I will watch and observe and participate reverently. I will pray without ceasing. And I will seek holiness asking the Holy Family to guide me. I pray for perseverence.
In all of this anguish about our churches, I started thinking about holiness in our homes. I read an article about things we can do at home to worship and I started also thinking too about Sacramentals. I wanted to end this post with something brighter so you can bring holiness into your home.
Because I work in deliverance ministry, I use Sacramentals all the time. By all the time, I mean daily sometimes several times a day depending on the day’s activities. I bless everything that comes into my home. I mean everything; including food and medication. I can do physical things to clean my home but I can also do spiritual things to clean my home and protect my home and the people in it from harm.
I do not think regular use of Sacramentals should be only for a person who works in deliverance ministry. They should be for all of us, all the time. I was so super grateful when one of the Priests in our Diocese offered Saint Joseph Oil to protect and bless us in our homes during this pandemic. We blessed my family and all of the entrances to our home. The prayer was to keep pandemic away.
If you don’t have any Sacramentals you should contact a good and holy Priest to try to get some. One thing I do want to mention though is that when it comes to Sacramentals is that the belief of the Priest matters, as does your belief.
When it comes to blessing Sacramentals, the term is Ex opere operantis, or “from the work of the doer.” This refers to the ministers (or recipients) moral condition in causing or receiving Sacramental Grace. The Sacramental Rite itself (when the blessing is performed) is ex opere opera-to, which refers to the grace conferring power of the Rite itself. What this means is the Rite itself has grace, but the application of that grace actually depends on the moral character of the minister performing the Rite, and also of the person receiving the use of the Sacramental. If the minister is morally corrupt, his performance of the Rite does not confer the grace that it would if he is not morally corrupt. If the minister is very holy, but the person receiving the Sacramental is not, here to, grace is hindered, even though the item itself has the intercession of the church.
I thought I would mention this just so you are aware that it matters where a Sacramental comes from, and so does your belief in it’s efficacy. Get your Sacramentals from a Holy Priest and use Sacramentals with confidence. Use them now. The protection they offer is great. We need them for these times.
God Bless and Keep you all.