Monday, February 20, 2012
Making a Fuss
In the Gospel for the EF Mass readings the blind man of Jericho screams and shouts until Jesus notices. In the OF the four men who are carrying their paralytic friend make a fuss and tear the roof of the house just to bring him to the Lord's attention.
Post Resurrection we not need to shout or tear houses apart for the Lord to notice, he knows what we need before we even ask.
Making a fuss doesn't attract his attention but it does focus our attention, it does make sure we are serious about prayer. It also helps us grow in faith, we need to make signs of faith to ourselves, not to God. We need to have victories to help us grow in our relationship with him.
Lent is about making a fuss. Abstaining from certain foods, fasting, vigils, a judicious use of penitential instruments; a slightly heavier crucifix around the neck or one on a slightly scratchy cord, or the endurance of a little pain such as kneeling on painful knees, even the discipline, celise or hair-shirt, in solidarity with Christ's suffering do nothing for Him but they can help us focus on Him. The great problem is that they can become an end in themselves and a source of pride. Inflicting a bit of discomfort on oneself whilst doing everyday actions, rather than during prayer time, especially for those who find prayer a difficulty it can help to focus our minds on the Lord, such things should never be used if they distract from him.
As a young man I remember how much my ardour grew for a girl I was fond of after walking six miles in the rain on a dark cold morning just to leave a rose on her doorstep on St Valentine's day. It increased my love for her but providentially not her love for me, she just thought it slightly weird. Such are the ways of lovers!
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