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The Procession

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Why do we have a procession from the back of the Church to begin Mass? As with the past topics we have covered, the physical actions we perform in our Faith convey a message which would take much longer to say with words. Case in point, the procession takes about a minute, while its explanation takes 3-4 minutes.

A procession always has a destination; you process to something. In our case, we process to the altar which represents Christ, so at its foundation it is a procession toward God.

Now while it is technically only the ministers who process down the aisle, they represent the larger assembly. One of the reasons we all face the same direction in the pews is to reflect this. We are all moving in the same direction, moving toward God. This unified movement toward God is very important, for it is a reflection on how all of us outside of Mass should be living our life, toward God. We are growing in holiness together, not as individuals.

The more unified in this act we are, the smoother and easier the road, the procession, will be. If you have ever been to a Packer Game or any stadium environment, you probably have experienced the same frustration I have when encountering someone who is walking against the flow of traffic. It causes a ripple of chaos.

The same holds true when someone stops suddenly or is just standing there. It causes great disruption. So it is on our spiritual procession toward God, the more we grow in the holiness, the less we move away from God or stop because of sin, the quicker and easier it is for not only ourselves to reach him, but others as well.

It is one of the strange yet beautiful aspects of our Faith, when we grow in holiness, the people it benefits the most are those around us. We make it easier for them to move to God. So the procession before Mass represents the procession of all of our lives. Our procession toward holiness, our procession toward God.

 

The Call to Holiness

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In the papal encyclical “Gaudete Et Exsultate, On the Call to Holiness in Today’s World,” Pope Francis talks about the challenges we face as followers of Christ. He also reminds us to call upon the saints/Saints as companions on that journey to everyday holiness. They are there to help protect, sustain, and carry us when we feel that we cannot.We can do this for one another as well. We all have the same goal in mind – to be transformed into the image of Christ, right? It is only through community that this can happen.

Throughout the entire encyclical, Pope Francis reminds us of the many saints who, by their lives, were not perfect, but tried very hard to live a life worthy of God. They always sought forgiveness. They always sought love. They always had hope, and they brought others to the Lord by their witness.

There is no greater example of how to live a life of faith, than to live a life of faith and have courage in it. Let us begin by acknowledging that we are His, and never apologizing for being in love with Him, and being grateful for all He has done for us.

The Road to Holiness

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The way to live a life of holiness is found in the gospels. Embedded in all the wonders and teachings of Jesus lies the key. The life of holiness is a life rooted in the beatitudes. To be holy is to be poor in spirit, meek, empathetic, just, merciful, simple and pure, peaceful, and courageous in faith. In other words, to be holy is to be unaffected by the worries of the world because of a dependence on the will of the Father.

Is that easy? Not at all. This is why a "holy" person depends on prayer, a tight relationship with God that goes beyond formal words to conversations with Him. Conversations where you are not just talking, but also listening. Listening for what God is saying to you through Scripture, through others, through the events of your life. "Holy" people depend on their relationship with God. They trust in God. "Holy" people don't take life too seriously, but they are serious about loving and serving God and others.

"It takes effort to always do good…The road to holiness is not for the lazy!" ~ Pope Francis tweet on 9/17/2018