Article by Marc Aupiais
As I stand, my hands in prayer... As I sit, back straightened, palms on knees... As I listen, and as I join... As quiet joy enter, softness gloats.
I recognise church as prayer, and so- when I stand, it is in a prayer I stand, and so my gestures boldly claim. When I take communion, I kneel, I am before a king. Genuflecting, I speak of my Emperor- the Emperor beyond the logical sea.
I do not clap in church- neither for people, nor if people do so when we should be praying by song.
A few hurt feelings are worth the lesson, the gospel I attempt to preach.
Church can be fun if properly done. Fun in a way beyond normal fun. A fun, spiritual felling of waste which enters all and fills the soul deep within all more shallow chasms. A game is not fun if not properly played- how boring is tennis without a net, how impossible if the boundaries are moved...
Church is about prayer first and foremost. The gospel is truth, and the Eucharist unites us with God- but all of these are just some life-giving parts of a high form of prayer.
One does not clap when praying in silence in the bedroom, the door closed. One should not trumpet the fact they are fasting in the streets. Clapping is communication, or a means of artificially creating community.
All those things, designed to spice up the mass- distract. They hide the hidden effect of the spiritual- like a buzzing sound, they move attention from the meaning- the force which plunges the clear of soul into God.
When entering mass, we quiet our souls with the water- and we take up our role. What we receive is the Eucharist, and blessings and the Word, which is read. What we give is to the world, by changing it by focussing on this as prayer, and by the grace given us.
Every Catholic should pray at least about an hour a week- this prayer in body and soul- gesture and word- thought provoked too. By prayer our soul dances joyously with God- by prayer it heals softly. Mass is about prayer- about you praying to God.
The word Worship refers to love, respectful, Godly love- it is why Catholics must not abandon this word in false ecumenism when talking of the saints- the word reveals the truth of the Gospel: that we must Worship one another as God has and does Worship us.
The ultimate form of love is to absolutely adore a person- when we say we only adore God- with utmost adoration- we say that we must think of whom we love most, and willingly love God more while not loving them less as an excuse. By loving others- worshipping them based on more than just our like of the relationship that is, with true Godly worship, by our just treatment of others we adore and worship God.
According to the Holy Scriptures, as seen in one of the Epistles, one of the letters of Saint John the Apostle- "this is love, to obey the commands of God..." Clearly, to love is to be in resonance with God, in sinc with this world we truly live in. The mass transcends this universe we touch, and is a foretaste of heaven. The transcendence is spiritual, and when at mass it is the spiritual we must see and taste.
When at mass I either stand and have my hands up in visible prayer, or else sit as Augustine did as Bishop of Hippo, with my hands respectfully on my knees. Here, I pray by mimicking the saints.
As we say the creed, I put my hand to my heart- it is our anthem- these words, we confess and believe unite us from being apart. As I kneel- it is proper and my hands do not rest on the pew in front- my elbows rest on air as I pray while kneeling and give this up to God.
When I genuflect- my knee touches the ground. Most of communication when in person is body language. I am in the court of the Emperor of my very own being when at church. I must allow others to see this also- least they offend the king.
What a gospel we can spread from the pews, what a truth- by celebrating mass as what it is- a prayer, a high prayer. At mass we are taught the long night of the soul- we must not take shallow joy from triviality, but rejoice for we Pray, for we eat God himself- Jesus: body, blood and soul!
It is the matter of mortal sin to take the Eucharist in mortal sin, and Saint Paul records to the Corinthians in the bible, of why some had died or fallen ill. They had not recognised the body of Christ, and like in the gospel account, where Jesus had chased the crowds from the temple- they had turned God's building into a human thing (eating and drinking normally- to fill their bellies), for the crowds had turned God's temple into a market-place.
Prayer is the power of mass- prayer in thought, perspective adopted, in gesture and in word, in action, and obedience.
Let us not distract from this for the sake of entertaining others. The focus of mass must be on our relations with God, and not triviality, or finding ways to "have fun" despite the Mass, despite God, despite God's asking for our being there to pray!
By prayer and action shall the Universe turn to God. Shall we desecrate one of our most powerful weapons- the mass, by neglecting in whose court we are. The fun we get from games come when we play them in the right structure, the way they are designed to bring fun. Whimsical fun comes and goes, but proper games continue to amuse. The way to have fun in church is to consider it a prayer- while in the presence of God almighty. My greatest joy is respecting God- adoring him. If worship in honour- powerful respectful love, based on their souls- is due the saints, the adoration that God asks of us, is a deep love on our respect- a love that I must yearn in, love which softly permiates our vision, and returns us to closer to where we were ordained to be.
How shall I be saved- if I do not care for the spiritual war of Christ- and all of God- ...a war of Reality against His enemy: illusion. Prayer is a weapon of truth.