Monday, January 16, 2012

Some thoughts on the various Rites of the Catholic Church

I will begin my very first post of my very first blog with a quote from one of my favorite Saints, Saint John of the Cross: "Mine are the heavens and  mine is the earth; mine are the people, the righteous are mine and mine are the sinners; the angels are mine and the Mother of God, and all things are mine; and God Himself is mine and for me, for Christ is mine and all for me. What then do you ask for and seek, my soul? Yours is all this, and it is all for you." This passage always comes to mind when I consider the different Rites of Liturgy and Sacramental and theological life that have come down to us through Sacred Tradition. I think it's a shame that so many Catholics of the Roman/Latin Rite don't realize the twenty-three different rich patrimonies that the Catholic Church boasts. From Anglican, to Latin, to Greek, to Coptic, to Ethiopian, to Maronite, to Ukranian, to Syrian, and to so many more, it is one of the principle gifts that the Father of Lights has counted us worthy of receiving. I am a convert from Lutheranism to the Catholic Church, and I can only speak for myself when I say that when I am Baptized and received into the Church, I am not just receiving the Latin heritage, as if that Highest Heaven was too little; I am receiving EVERYTHING, every corner of the Faith, every Rite, every Saint, every year in the two thousand that have gone by, and every good, true, and beautiful speck of our One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. It's almost too great of a gift to fathom, and along with St. John of the Cross I say in awe of our great and wonderful God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; What then do you ask for and seek, O my soul? Yours is Christ your God, yours is the fulness of Mary His Humanity, the Virgin made Church, and all of the splendor and majesty of the entire Church subsisting within their Sacred and Immaculate Hearts. Yours is the culmination and infinite point: of every Saint, every year of the two thousand, every drop of martyred blood shed, every tear wept, and the gate by which every spirit assumed through Mary into Christ and the Beatific Vision of the Most Holy Trinity; this culmination and infinite point: God the Word nailed to a Tree, the Tree of Life and the broken Rock out of which pours the fullness of the Life-Giving Spirit. Yours is the Fruit of this Blessed Tree, the Manna from Heaven, the Bread of Angels, the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of God Himself and the communion with God, His Mother, and every Saint in His and her Body and Members of both. How can I fathom, then, these following words..? ...yours is all this, and it is all for you.

We praise thee, O God :
    we acknowledge thee to be the Lord.
All the earth doth worship thee :
    the Father everlasting.

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