Re: Re: reorganisation and destruction of irish catholic churches

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Luzarches
Participant

I found this on the subject of kneeling a book, Sacred Signs, by Romano Guardini, a leading contributor to the thought of the Liturgical Movement. It serves as a timeles rebuke to those who would covertly or overtly attempt to reduce the frequency of this gesture in the liturgy:

KNEELING

WHEN a man feels proud of himself, he stands erect, draws himself
to his full height, throws back his head and shoulders and says
with every part of his body, I am bigger and more important than
you. But when he is humble he feels his littleness, and lowers
his head and shrinks into himself. He abases himself. And the
greater the presence in which he stands the more deeply he abases
himself; the smaller he becomes in his own eyes.

But when does our littleness so come home to us as when we stand
in God’s presence? He is the great God, who is today and
yesterday, whose years are hundreds and thousands, who fills the
place where we are, the city, the wide world, the measureless
space of the starry sky, in whose eyes the universe is less than
a particle of dust, all-holy, all-pure, all-righteous, infinitely
high. He is so great, I so small, so small that beside him I seem
hardly to exist, so wanting am I in worth and substance. One has
no need to be told that God’s presence is not the place in which
to stand on one’s dignity. To appear less presumptuous, to be as
little and low as we feel, we sink to our knees and thus
sacrifice half our height; and to satisfy our hearts still
further we bow down our heads, and our diminished stature speaks
to God and says, Thou art the great God; I am nothing.

Therefore let not the bending of our knees be a hurried gesture,
an empty form. Put meaning into it. To kneel, in the soul’s
intention, is to bow down before God in deepest reverence.

On entering a church, or in passing before the altar, kneel down
all the way without haste or hurry, putting your heart into what
you do, and let your whole attitude say, Thou art the great God.
It is an act of humility, an act of truth, and everytime you
kneel it will do your soul good.

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