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Awe

A Catholic friend told me recently about visiting a non-Ordinariate parish for Mass. He said that he had to remind himself over and over that it was a valid Mass, in order to keep himself from getting up and leaving. He then told me that when he went to his Ordinariate parish everything reminded him that it was valid; he never had to remind himself of it. My heart almost broke. I asked him not to tell me where the parish was or who the priest was since I did not want to have a bad attitude toward them.


If you have to do something to remind yourself that the Mass you are attending is valid, then there is something seriously wrong with the way that Mass is being done (and it is possible that your soul is in danger); regardless of what form of the Mass is being said. The Mass, in all its aspects, should point us to Christ and His eternal sacrifice on our behalf, when it points us to something else, then it is leading us away from Christ and that is never a good thing.


From the beginning to end the Mass should instill in those present (unless their hearts are darkened by worldliness or video addictions) a sense of awe. Awe means, "respect, esteem, wonder, admiration", and even "dread". If, however, the Mass instills in you a sense of niceness, something is out of balance. Niceness refers to something that is "fine, gentle, dainty, mild, and amiable". None of these really fits with the experience of entering into the presence of Almighty God, the Judge of all mankind, and re-experiencing the Sacrifice of Christ on the cross 2000 years ago in front of your eyes.


So then, pay attention when you go to Mass. What are you experiencing? What is being instilled in you? Are you responding rightly to what is going on? You should not have to remind yourself about what is happening in the Mass. Engage with the grace of God and be filled with that true sense of awe.

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