Thursday, September 2, 2010

reverence for reality

This is the title for the following reflection from Czeslaw Milosz, the Nobel Prize winning poet and writer. He was a Roman Catholic.
"Little animals from cartoons, talking rabbits, doggies, squirrels, as well as ladybugs, bees, grasshoppers. They have as much in common with real animals as our notions of the world have with the real world. Think of this, and tremble."
Perhaps we think of what takes place in our midst during the Divine Service, and tremble. Not timbrel, mind you, but tremble. After all, we gather at the Altar surrounded by the truly real world of the heavenly realms, with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven. We are in the presence of the Most Holy Trinity, the Creator of heaven and earth. We are sinners in the presence of a Holy God. This should make us tremble like Moses, Isaiah, John. We should fall on our faces, only to get up and receive the mercy of our God in the living Christ's precious body and blood. If our liturgies do not begin to reflect the real world, then we will always remain fools in the cartoon world of these dark days. If we do not conduct ourselves with fear and reverence and respect and awe and devotion, then we do not believe in the real presence of Christ, except in some docetic spiritual sense. If we insist on the casual, relevant, popular, consumer-driven models of worship, banging our timbrels down the aisle and exalting ourselves, rather than trembling on our knees with thanksgiving, then we effectively deny the reality of our Lord deigning to be in our midst. If we are ever to be relevant to this cartoon world, then we must become irrelevant to it. In our worship, we must become irrelevant to the chimera that is this world, bearing witness to that which is truly real, the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting that is ours through the incarnate, risen, and ascended Christ.
(thanks to Rev. Mason Beecroft for this post)

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