Monday, July 28, 2008

Reflective words

Yesterday at Mass, I read the words from the epistle and they brought back odd memories. Then I remembered "the other" reading from Corinthians from when I was a child. When I was in second grade, I was told to be the "reader"(as we called it) for our first communion. As nervous as I was, I had to memorize it. I was fearful of messing it up on an important occasion and thought of the worst case scenario. While my first communion was a joyous occasion, I wouldn't say it was life changing. Unfortunately, I didn't have that instilled in me. What is now, years later, ominous, is the words of St. Paul:

"I received from the Lord what I handed on to you, namely, that the Lord Jesus on the night in which he was betrayed took bread, and after he had given thanks, broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” In the same way, after the supper, he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.” Every time, then, you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the death of the Lord until he comes!"

At the time, I truly didn't get the supernatural aspect of the faith. We just weren't taught that. It was vague and mostly at face value. Even more interesting, what was "received and handed down" was not what was given to me(or my classmates). We were children of the mid-70's. For us, our faith was something we did, not who we were. I will never, as long as I live, forget the hokey song, complete with hand gestures we did after communion. His Banner Over Me is Love. I remember all the words. It was tacky at best, banal at worst. It symbolized my faith at that time.
This morning, while perusing Rorate Caeli, I came across the words taken from a general audience of Pope Benedict XVI from 2006(regarding yesterday's epistle).
This [understanding of Tradition] is clearly highlighted and visible in certain passages of the Pauline Letters: "I delivered to you... what I also received" (I Cor 15: 3). And this is important. St Paul, it is well-known, originally called by Christ with a personal vocation, was a real Apostle, yet for him too, fidelity to what he received was fundamentally important. He did not want "to invent" a new, so-to-speak, "Pauline" Christianity. Therefore, he insisted, "I have passed on to you what I too received". He passed on the initial gift that comes from the Lord and the truth that saves.

Then, towards the end of his life, he wrote to Timothy: "Guard this rich trust [deposit] with the help of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us (II Tm 1: 14).

Benedict XVI
General Audience
May 3, 2006

I suppose I have always been a lover of St. Paul's words. I think his words released me from the bondage of perceived feminism into my true feminine nature. It also led me to pray to better understand St. Paul and his place in our church history.

I have much on the mind and may not be coherent enough to express what I am thinking. The boys got me up at 6:30 and I'm staving off a summer cold sort of thing. In the end, I find so much "meat and potatoes" of our faith in Paul's letter to the Corinthians. Me thinks I need more coffee to think any further than this.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Welcome to the club! You are in good company; a growing number of disenchanted former novus ordo babies!

I've been there - like so many. I think the word, "banal" is best.

May God Bless you and your Catholic Witness with this site.

In Nomine Domini, Adrienne