My spiritual father was quite ill but improving, thankfully so. We spoke on the phone yesterday, and I reported my daily Mass experiences in the more local parish. He had advised me to go there, give it a try, despite being told a year ago by the priest there that I was not allowed to attend daily Mass--only Saturday evening and in the cry room, at that.
Friday's Mass, commemorating the Assumption of Mary, was in the main church with more people than the eight or so who go to the daily Mass. What has become the usual reaction by people came to fruition. Some anger with those assuming I was rudely sleeping with the kneeler slammed from behind into the pew, people after Mass avoiding eye contact or pleasantry.
The woman I met the day before spoke, however, saying she noticed that I seemed not aware from the beginning of the Scripture reading through the end. She said, "You missed the whole Mass! You weren't aware of any of it!" I quietly responded that I was very deeply aware, more than could be described. "I am subsumed into the Mass." She then said, "But you did not receive the Eucharist!" I replied that I receive at a very deep level, in a dimension beyond the temporal." I added that I thought she had the capacity to grasp this, and she said she did.
Still, she kept asking, "So I don't need to worry about you, then? I can stop worrying?"
I told my spiritual father that it is becoming repetitively sad that we Catholics seem unable to leave off with the assumptions, the judging, the doubting, the fear of what is but an unobtrusive, quiet, stilled experience of the numinous during Mass, albeit not usual but also not unheard of. I felt sorry that the woman took upon herself to "worry." Worry about what? That my soul was in peril? That I was not aware based upon her assumptions? That I did not receive His Real Presence tangibly?
She represents us all, I suppose, when we are so in tune with the temporal and external appearances. But my spiritual father said it is at and in the Mass that we all ought to be immolated. I had told him that this is my immolation, being at Mass yet under the scrutiny, fear, doubt and judgment of others over what does not neatly fit neatly into the temporal view.
I admit to having awakened this morning, thoroughly sickened to the core with realizing how easy it is for us to fall into making assumptions and being too caught up in temporal views and entangling judgments. The experiences I am gaining are teaching me in ways nothing other could supersede as a good lesson in seeking the spiritual view of love and mercy and of not succumbing to infertile ground. (Nothing grows there.)
In but four daily Masses, there is consternation among them. I did approach an older woman to say hello and ascertain if she is the other woman who the man (of the Potato Novena family) told me seemed to be a thoughtful woman. Evidently she did not recognize me in glasses, for she immediately asked, "Who IS this woman who is coming here now? Is she a PARISHIONER?" I realized her confusion, and said perhaps this woman she noticed is or will be....
This is His will to which I am called: Be an immolation. I have assurance within, during Mass. that His Real Presence is conforming my body, mind, heart and soul to Him as well as utilizing me in mystical ways for whatever He wills within me and within others. I am to be an immolation and in that, also, a conduit of His love and mercy.
I stand corrected in many aspects, and fear must be transformed to its flip side: Faith.
There is no need to be driving longer distances to attend Mass where the parish may be more in tune with good and holy activities of education and outreach, where the priest may be more plugged into his vocation. The people's reactions have not proven to be any better.
That and this is for all of us. I realize that each person, each body, each heart, mind and soul present at and in Mass, is an agent of change and fuller realization of all the Sacraments, including His Living Word, evident in temporal and mystical actualization. We are called from the limitations of the temporal and move toward the mystical, the supernal spiritual--as the priest ought stand at the portal, pointing to and leading us into the Promised Land.
The instruction to "Be an immolation" requires only that, and very much simply of "being." I am present in the Mass, very much among and deeply within the Body of Christ in silence and prayerful union of conformity through, with and in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Little children, let us love one another. Love Is of God. God bless His Real Presence in us!