Corpus Christi and a reflection on our state of grace
Today and I think unfortunately we are celebrating the Feast of Corpus Christi. It should have been celebrated last Thursday or at a stretch yesterday the 1st of June. The hierarchs in order to make it easy for us to do all religious things simply and with out either much effort, nor to be uncomfortable in any way, changed the day. During the liturgical celebration of this feast and as I approached the Altar I as usual say the great byzantine confession.
"O my Lord I believe and I confess You are truly Christ, the Son of the Living God, who came into this world to save sinners of whom I am the first. O Son of God receive me today as a partaker in Your Mystical Supper for I will not betray Your Mysteries to Your enemies with a kiss as did Judas, but like the thief I acknowledge You: remember me O Lord when You come into Your kingdom. Remember me O Master when You come into Your kingdom. Remember me O Holy One when You come into Your kingdom. O Lord, do not let my partaking of Your Holy Mysteries be for my judgment or condemnation, but instead, for the healing of my soul and body. Here I add, "A time of righteousness and sanctification". God be merciful to me a sinner. God cleanse me of my sins and have mercy on me O Lord. I have sinned many times. Forgive me O Lord".
St Paul wrote, "Those who eat and drink unworthily, eat and drink judgment to themselves". What does the byzantine prayer of confession mean and what does St Paul tell us? For me I see it this way. It is just as we arrive to receive Him it happens like the Psalmist tells us in Psalm 138, "O Lord you have tested me and known me." Is He present veiled by Bread and Wine, as God the Father was by the veil of the sanctuary in the Temple at Jerusalem? He above all can be critical of the state of our soul at this moment. Does He try us right then and find so many wanting? I believe so. How many are really worthy? It is part of our human values to take out insurance against death in this world. How many have taken out spiritual insurance through the Sacrament of Confession? Why take a chance on our eternal life when it seems so many of us take no chances on our worldly lifespan through insurance and pension schemes. I do find it no coincidence as I pray the byzantine confession, in the dreadful unseemly procession, that lacks reverence, which brings us before Him at the altar, the sign of peace takes place just begin the journey we make to the altar to receive Him who died for us. Are many of us Judases as the prayer describes? Why do so many not consider who is waiting there for us? He, our Christ, is waiting at the altar. Do we love Him as He loved us? It is bordering on silliness to say after this bedlam, "Lamb of God grant us Peace". Do so many believe they can grant peace by the touching of hands. Many must think they do by the eagerness to by which they embrace this worldly action. It is certain we the laity cannot grant peace. Ours is a worldly peace and if I read Pope Pius 9th. or was it the tenth who in an encyclical wrote, "those who communicate daily should confess daily". Later on in the same encyclical he wrote of the contagion of sin". How inaccurate am I? In your humble opinion I am probably out to lunch. It is easy to find out. Take this to your parish priest, your spiritual guide appointed by the local ordinary to aid in your salvation, or even write the local ordinary who is responsible for every soul, catholic, or christian and gentile in his area, ask him to guide you. You might ask your priest if you deem it necessary that when he leads us in the Credo not to gallop, as do so many parishes I have visited, when you pray the this great unifying prayer declaring our faith. We say it so fast it is impossible for us to understand mentally what we are saying.
Labels: Byzantine, Corpus Christi, Encyclical, Pope, Sacrament of Confession, salvation, the eucharist