22 February 2010

Papal Preparations

Blog reader Anita sent me a link to a reflection written by one of the seminarians who served the Mass of Canonization for Saint Damien of Molokai et al.

He offers a moving account of hope Pope Benedict XVI prepares to celebrate the Holy Mass:

The entire time Pope Benedict XVI was facing an altar lit by two candles, with his gaze fixed on a crucifix hanging just above the altar. As the MCs helped him vest each garment, Benedict prayed the ancient “Vesting Prayers” in preparation to celebrate the Mass. There is a special prayer assigned to each garment a priest is to wear, which helps the Priest to meditate on the Mystery at hand and to begin offering his entire Self in union with Christ.

As I watched the Holy Father pray in this way, a part of me--namely my ego--really wanted him to turn, look at me, shake my hand, and say something inspirational. But not once did Benedict’s gaze betray the crucifix before him. I will never forget that image. It spoke volumes to me...about what really mattered...about what that day was all about--not me...not my ego....something else...something so much greater...something deserving of all our attention, all of our praise, all of our love. I found myself praying something like this, deep in my heart, “May the Cross of Christ never leave my gaze, so that I May never forget how greatly I am loved and by what measure the King of Kings gazes back upon me.”
The rest of his account is worth a read, too.

1 comment:

  1. It has often bothered me to see how common joviality has replaced the time of focus and vesting prayers in so many sacristies these days. I wish more priests would return to the vesting prayers and even a few moments of quiet before the start of Mass. I know some priests do this, but so many don't. There is a time for joviality and laughter, but right before the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is not perhaps the best time. Balance, I think, is essential.