Reason # 802 To Be Catholic: Power Outages
Our power has been off since the night Hurricane Sandy hit eastern Pennsylvania. Thankfully we had adequate heat with our wood stove in the kitchen and the ability to cook on the stove and keep food cold on the porch. We even had fresh ground coffee using a hand-operated burr grinder and French press coffee pot! So we tried to keep life as routine as possible being ever so thankful we really had nothing to complain about considering the horrific losses of those on in NYC and the NJ shore areas. Please continue to keep all those in your prayers
Part of our routine is going to daily Mass. As we made our way to the chapel of Saint Joseph the Worker on Tuesday evening, we noted the warm glow coming through the stained glass windows. As we entered the chapel, it was illuminated with several strategically placed candles and the altar was lit beautifully. We offered our prayers quietly with a few others beforehand then monsignor came in and celebrated the sacrifice of the Mass.
During the words of institution of the Eucharist*, as our priest raised the bread now becoming the body of Christ, I was moved by the realization that this is why the mass is designed to be universal, for all times, all peoples, and especially all conditions. Regardless of any weather conditions effecting light, heat, shelter, the mass has been continuously offered for almost 2000 years throughout all the world. Our worship to the Father is uninterrupted by hurricanes, power loss, snow storms etc. There is no need for powerful sound systems, professional musicians on stage risers, large LCD projectors, wireless mics and animated sermons. All we need is what has been required since the time of the apostles. Unleavened wheat bread, fruit of the vine, the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to change the elements into the actual body and blood of Christ through the hands of the priest, acting in persona Christi. (in the person of Christ)
Despite the terrible storm that caused power outages and massive disruptions to our daily lives, we can still enter into the sacrifice of the Mass and receive our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That my friends, is Reason # 801 to be Catholic.
*A description of the Mass in 150 AD by Justin Martyr:
"And this food is called among us Eucharist, of which no one is allowed to partake but the man who believes that the things which we teach are true, and who has been washed with the washing that is for the remission of sins, and unto regeneration, and who is so living as Christ has enjoined. For not as common bread and common drink do we receive these; but in like manner as Jesus Christ our Saviour, having been made flesh by the Word of God, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so likewise have we been taught that the food which is blessed by the prayer of His word, and from which our blood and flesh by transmutation are nourished, is the flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. For the apostles, in the memoirs composed by them, which are called Gospels, have thus delivered unto us what was enjoined upon them; that Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, said, "This do ye in remembrance of Me, this is My body;" and that, after the same manner, having taken the cup and given thanks, He said, "This is My blood;" and gave it to them alone."