“We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…”? What!!

In his excellent ASK FATHER series, Fr. John Zuhlsdorf (Fr Z) once again give a proper Catholic response to this confused reader…

four-ends-300x218

QUAERITUR:

Last summer I heard a bishop say, “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…” (I was too shocked to hear why we do go.) Last week, my own priest in his homily, said something to the effect that we go to Mass to support each other in our journey as Christians.

I can support my friends over coffee; they aren’t why I come to Mass.

Am I wrong to have adoration as my primary focus?? Doesn’t Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication still apply?

Is this confusion why we have to sing constantly during the Communion procession? There is no silence for personal prayers of gratitude and love.

I’ve tried to ask for clarification, but those who are committed to this community model become very agitated when I question. It’s pretty much the universal model in our diocese. Am I really that far off base? Please some direction or explanation. If I’m wrong, I will do my best to go along with this, but the best spin I can put on it is that it’s rude to ignore our Lord, and I believe it’s probably a lot worse than rude.

We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus?

Huh! Who knew?

The first of the “Four Ends” for Mass comes to mind. The Four Ends (reasons/aims/purposes) are:

Adoration [Hey! It’s the first!]
Thanksgiving
Atonement
Petition

A wag once said,

“To pray the liturgy is to really enter into the mystery of God, to allow ourselves to be brought to the mystery, and to be in the mystery. [We are all] gathered here to enter into the mystery: this is the liturgy. It is God’s time, it is God’s space, it is the cloud of God that surrounds all of us. To celebrate the liturgy is to have this availability to enter into the mystery of God, to enter into His space, His time, to entrust ourselves to this mystery. We would do well today to ask the Lord to give to each of us this ‘sense of the sacred’ — this sense that makes us understand that it is one thing to pray at home, to pray in Church, to pray the Rosary, to pray so many beautiful prayers, to make the Way of the Cross, so many beautiful things, to read the Bible — [but] the Eucharistic celebration is something else. In the celebration we enter into the mystery of God, into that street that we cannot control: only He is the unique One — the glory, the power — He is everything. Let us ask for this grace: that the Lord would teach us to enter into the mystery of God.”

Entering into that mystery is another way of saying adoration.

In the Holy Mass, God touches earth and gives us a glimpse of heaven. The Second Person of the Blessed Trinity becomes truly present in the Eucharistic elements.

God is really there.

Adoration seems like a reasonable response.

Adoration of the God who made us could be among the reasons for going to Mass.

So, keep adoring. And keep ignoring silly things that some people say, even if they wear pointy hats and rings.

Oh… and that wag? That was Pope Francis on 10 February 2014.

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12 Responses to “We don’t go to Mass to adore Jesus…”? What!!

  1. reinkat says:

    Who ARE these ridiculous bishops and priests that I read about now and again, saying such stupid things? I guess I should just thank God that they haven’t come to any parish that I have attended or belonged to. I hope that there aren’t too many of them. I suspect not.

  2. geoffkiernan says:

    reinkat:
    ‘fraid so. The Church is awash with delinquent Priests Bishops Cardinals. I hesitate to Say ‘Pope’, but sadly the Holy Father is on record as saying some ‘stupid things’ One that readily springs to mind….” two of the greatest evils facing the world today is youth unemployment and loneliness of the aged.” Forget about abortion, euthanasia, apostasy of the Faith, slavery starvation child sexual abuse, abuses to the Sacred Liturgy (the Mass) ….. give every young person in the world a job with a fair pay and overwhelm every aged person with every possible antidote for loneliness and nothing will change. Evils? maybe but the two greatest?

  3. Tom Fisher says:

    Hi Geoff,

    I take your point; but when he singles out loneliness of the aged he was touching on not just a breakdown in family, but also the essential paradox of modern society — “you live in complete freedom, but you die alone”. — I think he was right to mention the loneliness of the aged, but I don’t disagree with your comment🙂

  4. geoffkiernan says:

    Yes Tom My only point was, Evil? yes, but the greatest??…..I suppose It all points to clarity and as clarity is an important element of the Truth……

  5. toadspittle says:

    The Pope as wag.
    What are we to make of this?

  6. toadspittle says:

    Geoff, read what you’ve actually written yourself: “two of the greatest,” not “the two greatest.” Two rather different things here.

    “I suppose It all points to clarity..” …In this case, apparently not.

    Just possibly, Pope Francis has a list of the ten greatest evils, and “youth unemployment,” and “loneliness of the aged,” are numbers eight and nine on it – the first seven being the ones you choose to cite.
    …I don’t know.
    And neither do you.

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    This reminds me of a notice I once saw posted outside a Presbyterian church:
    “ATM Inside”

  8. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad at 649. Point taken but do you really believe he meant that. Even if he did, don’t you see the confusion and lack of clarity in his words…. “I don’t know and neither do you” is exactly my point in respect to some of the Holy Fathers words.

  9. toadspittle says:

    “…don’t you see the confusion and lack of clarity in his words….”
    Pope Francis’s words are no more confused and unclear as those of most folks, Geoff. If he said for example, something utterly unambiguous like “Thou shalt not kill,” what does it actually mean? Is it open to interpretation?

  10. geoffkiernan says:

    Come on Toad, You are equally confusing. The Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ has a greater obligation than any other, to speak with Clarity…Can’t you see that????

  11. geoffkiernan says:

    Toad, I am looking to see precisely what the Holy Father did say…..”two of the greatest” or “the Two greatest”. You have made a good point.

  12. toadspittle says:

    “The Holy Father as the Vicar of Christ has a greater obligation than any other, to speak with Clarity…Can’t you see that????”
    The Pope, like all of us, Geoff – is only human.
    And, as Karl Popper says, “It is impossible to speak in such a way that one cannot be misunderstood.”
    A huge amount of the world’s problems, and consequent misery, result from that.
    Or so I reckon. Might be wrong.

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