January 9, 2013
First Year Confirmation students are able to ask questions in class or anonymously via a question box to then be answered by our Catechists. November's question, answered by LisaMarie is: Why does nobody smile during Mass if the Church is all about the joy of God?
In our Church we have people with many different personalities and they express their faith in many different ways. Many people approach Mass as a time of seriousness in which they listen deeply to the readings and reflect on what God is saying to them. Then they listen attentively to the homily and how to apply the Gospel to their daily lives. These are times for reflection and many people do not smile when they are deep in thought.
During the music portion of the Mass, the music reflects the readings and the season. Some songs are meditative while others are very happy. In different parishes the musical style will vary according to the personalities of the cantor or choir director. If you have an extrovert personality and enjoy singing “praise music,” you would probably enjoy a Charismatic mass. These masses focus their music on joyful praise and are uplifting experiences. The archdiocese has many Charismatic groups that celebrate a Charismatic Mass on a regular basis.
People often mistake true joy with having a good time. Having a good time, like at a party, is fun and exciting and we are happy to be there, but this is not joy. Joy goes beyond our emotions of the moment. One can experience true joy at Mass without outwardly expressing it by smiling. True joy comes from being in communion with Our Lord. It is with wonder and awe that we reflect on the mystery that the Lord of the universe has humbled Himself to allow us to hold Him in our hands. The joy we feel at becoming one with Him in Communion is a lasting joy that profoundly touches our souls in a way that words cannot express.
God reaches out to us in many different ways because we are all so different. The Church has many ways to pray. Lectio Divina is a way to prayerfully read scripture and meditate on God’s word. The Rosary is a meditation on the Gospels. We also have contemplative prayer and Charismatic prayer. We will explore many different ways to pray during the two year journey to Confirmation. You may find some of them appealing right away and other forms you may find appealing when you are at a different time in your life.
Of course some people may not smile at all at Mass because they have not prayerfully reflected on the mystery of the Eucharist. Some are preoccupied with worry or other thoughts. Sometimes they forget to leave their troubles to Jesus. He can take care of everything better than they can so they really don’t have to worry, especially during Mass. Others forget that God really loves them and wants to give Himself to them. They fail to remember that all the angels of heaven gather around the altar at the moment of Consecration. Do not spend time judging them. Ask God to send them graces to open their hearts to Him.