Friday, August 26, 2016


80% of holiness is presence.

That is what one of my spiritual directors in the past said.  I suppose that I cannot refute that statement.  But I might add that prayer is a lot like exercise.  The first 80% might be good for you, but it is the last 20% that really is the most beneficial.

Showing up as a warm body for Mass may be 80% of holiness, but the last 20% is what pushes everything over the top.  Moving into Chapter III of the GIRM (and skipping over paragraphs until we get to ‘THE FUNCTIONS OF THE PEOPLE” para 95.  When we celebrate the Mass, the congregation forms the People of God, “a royal nation, a holy priesthood, a people set apart” as the preface goes.  During the Mass, all are to participate in the offering of the Holy Sacrifice.  In this way, we offer our very selves as part of the sacrifice.

Pope Benedict, much vilified in certain circles, was a HUGE proponent of this.  Forget having 5 people read the petitions, three lectors, 500 EMHC in order that people might be “more involved.”  In fact, those persons are LESS involved because they are being taken away from their primary and earth shattering duty of offering the Mass by virtue of their anointing at their baptism into the priesthood of the people.  (We do a huge disservice in grade schoolers by making up ministries in order to get the children to feel more active.  We should be promoting their primary role and building that up!)  Being in an extra ministry is not part of that extra 20%.  It is more like being a dishwasher in the kitchen.  You are still at the party, but you are not celebrating, you are performing a service so that others may more fully participate.  (That may be a bit extreme but . . . you know.)

The true extra 20% is listening, growing, participating, and praying; thanking, worshipping, petitioning, and asking for forgiveness for yourself, your loved ones, for the world, and those who have gone before us marked with the sign of faith. 


Marie M said...

Beautiful reflection, Father! I will remember this each time I participate in Mass.

Stephen said...

Yes Father, Thank you Father. You are correct. There is a price to pay for being an EM at Mass. Seconds after I receive the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, BANG!, I am at work. The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ, The Body of Christ.... Some of these people look and act as if I am handing them a NECO wafer. Yes, I am happy and grateful for the honor and privilege of being at EM, but it is at a price. You Father Valencheck are the first to acknowledge that.

Thank You Kindly.

of life the color said...

Father! I will remember this each time I participate in Mass.

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