A couple of days before he was supposed to teach, J. fell down the steps and broke his leg and so was unable to give his presentation on the Creed to the people at RCIA. Far too late to enlist someone else to throw something together I took it upon myself to have the session. Of course that meant exploring in depth my own thoughts on the Creed, a process which turned out to be extremely beneficial.
There is a great wisdom in the repetition of the mass. One may fall into saying words by rote, but occasionally you are struck again at the profundity of those words. I suppose (it would be better for someone else to speak as to the accuracy of this statement) it would be like a married couple that got caught up in the business of life and then one day one of them looked at the other and realized how much love was still there and decides to act on it and appreciate the other better. Priests too can unintentionally fall into routine even with the Eucharist. As Fr. Groeschel mentioned on retreat, “Look at a good priest reserving the Blessed Sacrament. Does he look like he is putting away the King of the Universe?” (Shudder.)
A kind parishioner gave my sister and I tickets to hear the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus perform Joseph Haydn’s “Mass in D minor” shortly after this RCIA session. Hearing the words of the creed and understanding them in the sense of not only understanding the Latin but also understanding the deeper meaning of what was being said sent chills up my spine and gave me goose bumps. It struck me that I was not just hearing great music, but the basic core beliefs of my faith were being presented in a dramatic fashion.
As it turns out, Franz Welser-Most, the conductor, is a practicing Catholic and makes sure that all know what is being said and that it be performed with the passion that the composer intended. And what did the composer intend? The concert notes say this about Haydn, “Hayden was deeply devout, and the firm statement of belief at the start of the Credo has the stamp of sincerity.” All this combined to make the evening a deeply spiritual and moving re-awakening for me.
What a glorious thing it would be that what was said about Haydn would be said about us; that in our recitation of the Creed there would something of a stamp of authenticity about it. Perhaps consider, especially in light of our immediate preparations for lent, really praying the Creed one night. Not just pray through the words but slowly enough so that you can determine what is being said and what that means to you. Then the next time at mass recite the Creed with sincerity. Look for it to come to bear that stamp of authenticity.