Tuesday, August 7, 2007
On fire with love for Jesus!
I recently had a conversation in emails with Sally Robb about the holy Mass. We were sharing our thoughts about how people might be more attracted to the Mass. The subject came up because of a friend of Sally's who wondered if more people would go to Church if the Liturgy was more interesting. Both Sally and I agreed that the Liturgy should never be changed. The Liturgy shouldn't be changed, but hearts need a change.
I told Sally that I feel priests should speak more from the pulpit about the holiness of the sacrifice of the Mass and I also feel that if people sincerely prayed to come closer to our Lord and to more fully understand the Mass, they would be coming more frequently, desiring to be close to the Lord whenever they could. Sally shared her sentiments with me which I feel are very beautiful, so I asked her permission to share them with you.
She said, "The first step is for the priests to nurture in themselves a deep love of the Eucharist through study (it always helps to read moving accounts of the saints' devotion to the Beloved in the Blessed Sacrament), adoration, and frequent reception of Him, both in the Eucharist, and in Reconciliation (since the encounter with the Living Truth always brings a word of 'merciful conviction', and our response needs to be to flee into His arms in the sweet darkness of the confessional). Then, when their own hearts are filled with Him, when their "eyes are seared by holiness, and their heads are on fire with prayer," they won't be able to stop themselves from speaking of their Beloved in every moment.
"Their love for Him in the Eucharist will set the hearts around them on fire with love....since the fire of love always throws out sparks, and sets the dry "tinder" of longing ablaze in other people's hearts. This is my prayer for priests.....that their own dry, longing hearts catch fire, and set fire to the hearts around them. That doesn't require any change in the liturgy....only a change of heart.....no "committees" are needed, only the "openness" of the priest, a movement of the Holy Spirit, and the prayers of the faithful to help open the door to grace moving in their lives."
Sally's inspiring words should compel all of us to be sure that the fire of love for Jesus is burning within our own hearts so that the sparks will fly all around us catching those dry "tinders of longing" in the people around us - our families, our coworkers, and our friends. We will then be a true light to others; leading the way to Heaven.
I am reminded of my dear friend, Mother Teresa's words to me, "Keep the joy of loving Jesus ever burning in your heart and share this joy with others."
If you'd like some more inspiration from Sally, listen to her reflections at her "Thread of Grace" on Catholic Radio International (a fairly new radio station) here.