Dear TOUCHY-FEELY fellow priest,
1. I would appreciate it if you could tone down on all references to yourself via touchy-feely statements like: a) “My brothers and sisters, the gospel of the Lord!” (It is the Church that proclaims the Gospel, not you. You are just a mortal medium). b) “My brothers and sisters, let us give ourselves the sign of peace.” We know that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ, but then again, it is not you who open the faucets and floodgates of peace, but Christ, who was the original one who said “Peace be with you.” Whilst the Mass is celebration of the sacrament of love par excellence, our love for God and for each other is not centered on you.
2. I would also appreciate it if you could refrain from making the Eucharistic Prayer (the most solemn portion of the Eucharistic celebration) appear like you are delivering an ORATION or a DECLAMATION. Your empty, inane, and dramatic gesticulations of hands going up and down, sideways and forward, distract us and confuse us. We wonder if the focus has been taken out of the sacred Body and Blood of the Lord just recently consecrated and transferred to Father who makes the Mass come out so dramatically alive!
3. Please remember that the Roman Catholic Mass has been in existence since the Lord first celebrated one at the Last Supper. Whilst the congregation appreciates your creativity and youthfulness, they would rather have the “Roman Catholic Mass,” not the “unique” Mass idiosyncratically celebrated by Father So-and-So, replete with additions, deletions and all sorts of accretions.
4. Do remember, finally, that you are just a “stand-in” for Christ the supreme High Priest. You act only “in persona Christi.” If you have a nice voice, thank God for it and use it, but please do not make the Mass as a platform for an extended selfie that lasts for a good hour or so. You see, the Mass is the highest form of sacrifice and only Christ, God-man, is worthy of offering that to the Father, NOT SINFUL ME AND SINFUL YOU. Again, you act only in Christ’s name, through Christ and with Christ.
THE LESS PEOPLE SEE OUR RAW HUMANITY (undoubtedly with all our giftedness and sinfulness) AND THE MORE THEY SEE CHRIST, THE BETTER IT IS FOR EVERYONE, INCLUDING YOU AND ME.
© Rev. Fr. Chito Dimaranan
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