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Kneeling at My First Mass

June 21, AD 2017 9 Comments

By guest writer Tasman Westbury.

In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. – Philippians 2:10

I was raised in the Uniting Church, but never truly grasped any of its teachings, and spent several years as an atheist before a series of events and signs led me to conclude that there was a higher, spiritual power, which I eventually came to accept as God. This Easter Vigil, thanks to Divine Providence, I was received into the Catholic Church.

When I first walked into a Mass, what really struck me was when everyone knelt for the Liturgy of the Eucharist. What encouraged me to kneel when everyone else was kneeling was that it is written in the Bible, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you.” (1 Peter 5:6)

When you feel something inside, you should be able to express that in a gesture, and that gesture should be a clear and concise representation of your belief. Humility is not expressed in big, loud gestures. Humility is quiet and small in physical appearance. It’s not seeking attention or approval, but rather the renouncement of yourself in a moment, for the sake of the good of another.

Kneeling is a gesture of making oneself quiet and small in the face of the presence of God, allowing ourselves to feel small in the presence of God, so that we recognize that we are like grass, which is here one day and gone the next (cf. Psalm 103:15-16; 1 Peter 1:24). Objectively, we can humbly say, without feeling that we are diminishing our worth, “we are absolutely nothing.” But at the same time, we are so special and of great value to God, Who has created us in His image and likeness, Who has suffered and died for each one of us, so that we may share in His divine life of Love.

Kneeling does not come from any culture — it comes from the Bible and its knowledge of God. The central importance of kneeling in the Bible can be seen in a very concrete way. The word proskynein alone occurs fifty-nine times in the New Testament, twenty-four of which are in the Apocalypse, the book of the heavenly Liturgy, which is presented to the Church as the standard for her own Liturgy.
— Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, The Spirit of the Liturgy

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Image: Joy-Sorrow

Tasman Westbury is a new Catholic who is currently exploring the Church’s treasure trove, which is found within prayer life.

About the Author:

  • tanmara

    The article says: “allowing ourselves to feel small in the presence of God, so that we recognize that we are like grass, which is here one day and gone the next”.

    When I saw this line, I thought about my family, specifically my children, and my children’s children who are here, and like blades of grass are continuing on this planet. What of them in GOD’S omnipotence? Are they to be taught by Pro-LGBTQ priests who lead the One True Catholic Church? Is the alter serving that my son does daily, weekly, monthly, going to be in obedience one day to one these heretical priests like Saint Pio was subjected to when he was alive? I have a lot to think about as a father. I am supposed to be prudent, and humble at the same time, but where does humility take its place when Pro-LGBTQ is being thrown right in my face by our pope? Am I supposed be a lamb slain by him as this agenda is pushed down the throats of faithful Catholics? Questions, just questions, but when does the suffering begin, now or later?

    I suffer now from the rearing of its ugly head, “Pro-LGBTQ”. The thought of priests being installed in Vatican positions who promote that way of life as being acceptable in the Catholic Church, and not in celibacy. Like Jonah who was small, and spoke to the Ninevites to change their ways, who will speak here about this evil that is infiltrating our Catholic church? Will it be silenced every time it is mentioned? Omitted from conversation like the plague that it is?

    Questions, only questions, but who on earth will answer them while I have a family that is thriving in GOD’S grace to be in His One Holy True Catholic Church? Who? God? I thought the pope was the successor to Peter, and every priest downward from that would be able to answer my questions, but no, I am told, let’s see what our pope has in mind. It is clear what our pope has in mind, “Viva La Pro-LGBTQ”.

    Jesus, I trust in YOU….

  • tanmara

    Wow, exactly what I said, and you did it. Omission of sin!

  • tanmara

    How can you people live with yourselves when you only accept your way of life as good? Only GOD is good, and when you express “freedom of speech”, as “freedom of speech only for you”, you become the oppressor of “freedom of speech”.

  • tanmara

    I will tell as many as I can about your illicit site.

  • tanmara

    sheep in wolves clothing

  • tanmara

    The article says: “allowing ourselves to feel small in the presence of God,
    so that we recognize that we are like grass, which is here one day and
    gone the next”.

    When I saw this line, I thought about my family, specifically my children, and my children’s children who are here, and like blades of grass are continuing on this planet. What of them in GOD’S omnipotence? Are they to be taught by Pro-LGBTQ priests who lead the One True Catholic Church? Is the alter serving that my son does daily, weekly, monthly, going to be in obedience one day to one of these heretical priests like Saint Pio was subjected to when he was alive? I have a lot to think about as a father. I am supposed to be prudent, and humble at the same time, but where does humility take its place when Pro-LGBTQ is being thrown right in my face by our pope? Am I supposed be a lamb slain by him as this agenda is pushed down the throats of faithful Catholics? Questions, just questions, but when does the suffering begin, now or later?

    I suffer now from the rearing of its ugly head, “Pro-LGBTQ”. The thought of priests being installed in Vatican positions who promote that way of life as being acceptable in the Catholic Church, and not in celibacy. Like Jonah who was small, and spoke to the Ninevites to change their ways, who will speak here about this evil that is infiltrating our Catholic church? Will it be silenced every time it is mentioned? Omitted from conversation like the plague that it is?

    Questions, only questions, but who on earth will answer them while I have a family that is thriving in GOD’S grace to be in His One Holy True Catholic Church? Who? God? I thought the pope was the successor to Peter, and every priest downward from there would be able to answer my questions, but no, I am told, let’s see what our pope has in mind. It is clear in my mind what our pope has in his mind, “Viva La Pro-LGBTQ”.

    I say, “Jesus, I trust in YOU…”

    • tanmara

      To be sorry about those who choose to follow an unGodly way of life, is
      one who is ashamed of Jesus! I am here to teach about peace, love and
      happiness. No one has the right to change the truth into a warped love
      that cannot consecrate! The Lord says, “My ways are not your ways”

      There is no peace without Jesus. If people really want Jesus, they will
      listen to the stories of the bible, and will not change them to suit
      their lifestyle, rather, they will listen to the stories written, and
      change their lifestyle to suit the bible.

      GOD bless you

  • I felt the same at my first Mass. Congrats on entering the Church!

  • Liesl

    Welcome home to the Church!