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Intentional Irreverence

If you refuse to be safe, you are living unsafely. If you refuse to be reverent, you are living irreverently. One choice of "unsafety" is not a pattern of life, but multiple intentional choices reveal where a person's heart is. In the same way, one choice of irreverence is not a pattern of life, but multiple "irreverences" reveal a person's heart. When a person continually makes a willing choice to do, or not do, something, that is a testimony to what that person thinks and believes. Now it is possible that someone is mistaken about their actions. A person may think it is safe to drive without a seat belt (as someone once tried to convince me), but that is different than the person who knows what he is doing.

Thus, if a Catholic consistently chooses (physical inability is another matter) not to show reverence to the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, then he is telling you where his heart is at; and it is not in submission to Christ and His Church. I speak often about the importance of reverence, largely because we live in a stunningly irreverent day and age. One's attitude toward the Lord will be most clearly revealed in how they reverence Him, and for a Catholic the Blessed Sacrament is the touchstone of that reverence. All other attitudes may be gauged by that one thing. For a clergyman (who definitely should have been trained to know better) to choose an irreverent action or mannerism toward the Eucharist is not just a "problem", it is absolutely unacceptable.

In Psalm 74 we read about the agony that faithful Jews went through when people attacked the Temple. It kept happening over a long period of time, and it made the Jews think that God was not going to fix things, as though He had abandoned them. The Psalmist cries out asking God to stop the abuse, to stop the immorality, to stop the desecration of what is holy (I encourage you to read it in the full context). Christ has the same attitude when He drove out the moneychangers from the Temple centuries later: people have misbehaved in the House of the Lord and they must be judged.

It may seem like those who willingly choose to be irreverent towards everything that is holy in the Church of God are getting away with it. It may feel like God is doing nothing, but that is not the case. He will bring justice and discipline to any who intentionally (or even just carelessly) show disrespect for any holy things. This is what we should be praying about. Remember, when Jesus cleansed the Temple, it was the first time anyone had done anything like that, but the Psalm shows us that it was not the first time anyone prayed for it. We too must be in prayer, like the Psalmist, for holy reverence to be restored to God's Church. We must be doing our part to exemplify it (even those incapable of a genuflection can show clear reverence in other ways!). Choose what is right; choose holiness; choose to show honor and reverence to God Almighty.


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