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To conclude my series on Ann Barnhardt's take on Pope Francis, I offer her latest entry, in full, pertinent to the topic of Pope Francis and his lack of genuflecting. My commentary is included after the end of her entry as it was posted. I'm happy to see Ann back at doing what she does best: offering insightful, intelligent commentary without the swirling invective.

Quote:Why You Fell Down That Mountain
Posted by Ann Barnhardt - March 23, AD 2013 6:40 AM MST

So, one weekday morning last year I got up with the chickens and went to the 8:30am Low Tridentine Mass uptown. It started out normally enough. In processed Father with one server. Father looked a bit flat-footed, but then this particular priest is pretty old, so one doesn't expect a Fred Astaire-like gait from the quasi-elderly. It wasn't until the consecrations of the Host and Chalice that it became clear that something was terribly, physically wrong with Father. At each genuflection he had to slightly twist his body and almost lay his upper body on the altar in order to genuflect, bearing much of his weight on his elbows both on the way down and on the way back up. It was obvious with each genuflection that Father was in excruciating pain. I sat in my little spot in the back of the church, at once horrified by the obvious physical distress I was witnessing, but also deeply moved by the courageous perseverance and uncompromising love for Our Lord that Father, seen by only the half-dozen or so people in the nave, demonstrated. Father wasn't putting on a show, because there was essentially no one there to see it. If he had been saying Mass alone in his room, he would have done exactly the same; of that I have no doubt. Why? Because he loved Our Lord, and to not genuflect to Him would be simply unthinkable. Our Lord, whipped until He was skinned and in shock, thrice bent His knee to us, falling three times beneath His Cross, to demonstrate His complete love for creatures that are totally unworthy of His love. How much more, then, should we bend our knees to Him who is our Creator, our King and our Savior?

It turned out that the priest had gone on a hike up in the Colorado mountains the day before and taken a terrible spill on the way down, tearing open his knee. Thankfully he was in a large group of men, and was thus able to be carried down, and transported to the emergency room in Vail where he had his knee sutured back together. The knee eventually healed, and all's well that ends well, but for the life of me I have no idea why such an old man was frolicking on such a difficult mountain trail.

I have lately also been reminded of the last years of John Paull II's pontificate. In the last years, suffering from Parkinson's, JPII became more and more frail, requiring more and more physical assistance. I can remember seeing Masses in which he was being essentially held up by one man on each side. Most especially, his genuflections after the consecration of the host and then the chalice were particularly moving because toward the end, he looked like a rag doll being lowered and raised by the two men at his sides. This, of course, points directly to the Fifth Station of the Cross, wherein Simon of Cyrene helps Our Lord carry His Cross. How beautiful to see the Vicar of Christ so clearly mirroring Our Lord in His perfect humility, and accepting help in order to bring to consummation and completion the Sacrifice of Calvary, made present in time upon the altar. As I have been told on a near-daily basis from every vector for the last several weeks, failing to ask for and accept help when it is needed is a pure function of pride, not humility. Indeed. I am very prideful.

There is a very important concept in the Church, and in life that says: Lex orandi, lex credendi. In Latin this means "the law of prayer is the law of belief", or "how we pray is how we believe." The Mass is a prayer - it is THE prayer par excellence. HOW we pray, and most particularly how we pray the Mass, is of unquantifiable importance. In the two examples above, we see that HOW we pray not only matters, but becomes meritorious and a massive conduit for grace, with the potential to turn instances of personal suffering into evangelical witnesses that could not be matched with any 50,000 word book or sermon. The world is collapsing and falling to pieces because of the destruction of the Mass and the lack of reverence toward Our Lord, most especially in the Mass and in the Blessed Sacrament. The two examples above demonstrated intense love for Our Lord in His Passion, and in His Resurrection by reverencing Him in His Real Presence in the Eucharist. The only hope for the world is MORE reverence in the Mass and towards the Eucharist, not less. The world will never believe that Our Lord is physically present upon the altar and in the Eucharist, in other words, the world will never believe the Gospel, if how we pray does not clearly reflect that supreme reality.

One of the greatest men in the history of the Church said it best:

"Preach the Gospel at all times. If necessary, use words."

Thus spake St. Francis of Assisi.

St. Francis of Assisi, pray for us. 

[Image: popejp7.jpg]

I concur in large part with Ann Barnhardt's fears, though not with the method she has chosen to express them in recent articles. This article, however, is much better and much less shrill. I can actually hear the words instead of the tinnitus-inducing shriek of a woman who sounds like she drank gasoline and lit a cigar with a hellfire belch. I've simply just decided to wait it out and see what happens, as the changing of a man's position can drastically change a man. As one of the guests said on Michael Voris' show "Mic'd Up!" [] this past week, popes have a habit of turning out to be very Catholic.

At the end of the day, we simply do not know why Pope Francis doesn't genuflect when his seemingly more frail predecessors have, even with massive amounts of assistance. While the considerations may range from begrudgingly acceptable to horrifically unedifying, it is simply unacceptable, and unedifying, to speculate on the diabolical end of the scale.

YES, we should show utmost reverence to Our Lord in the Eucharist. I shall add my own anecdote on this, though I cannot recall whence it came to my ears first.

The story goes something like this:

A woman of grandmother age recalled a story of her own grandmother. Grandma told a story about how her parish priest was a manly man. The kind that would just as easily build a house from scratch as storm the beaches at Normandy; the priest was a dying breed and all but extinct in today's culture. He almost always had a military-like demeanor. No fluff and always business- the business of saving souls; keeping the flock in line; doing it like his own soul depended on it (and it did). He rarely cracked unnecessary jokes and never showed a hint of weakness or emotion which was not pertinent to the situation.

The parish had recently installed brand new carpeting by the communion rail. One day while serving Holy Communion at Mass (GOD; see this entry: http://jonbhorton.wordpress.com/2013/02/...road-path/), a feeble old lady who no longer possessed great control of her muscles, including her tongue, had the Host slip out of her mouth before she was able to completely receive Our Lord. The Host fell onto the new carpeting and Our Lord, as He is whole in either part of the Host or the "whole" Host, fell onto and into the carpet.

The priest immediately broke into tears. Sobbing. A massive wreck of a man. Like St. Peter, or St. John, or any of the Apostles who must have thought back to Our Lord's Passion. In short, this surprised the parishioners because he'd never once shown so much emotion, being in such control of his emotions.

He immediately collected the pieces of the Host which he could, which were each Christ whole, and proceeded through Mass. After Mass he came out of the Sacristy where the priest prepares in his vestments (kingly vestments, being an alter Christus). In his hand he had a box cutter. He cut a giant square out from where Our Lord had fallen, and proceeded to properly dispose by burning the carpet square, as you don't just suck Jesus up in a Hoover vacuum.

He then proceeded to rip up the rest of the carpeting and, if memory serves correctly, did penance for this unintentional act of sacrilege by installing the hard floor himself.

There are two things to draw from this, the example of the priest and the example of Our Lord. Both show love, but the priest's shown-love was built on his understanding of Christ's love.

1) You MUST show the most reverence you can to Our Lord, especially in the Eucharist. Anything less than your best is unacceptable.

2) Our Lord demands this respect by His utmost humility to even BE in the Eucharist to begin with.

The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost KNEW from before that priest, little old lady (who was also horrified), that parish, or that carpeting ever existed that this would occur. But Our Lord let Himself be subjected to this out of pure LOVE for not only the priest, old lady, and the rest of the parishioners, but all who would ever receive Him from the time of the institution of the Blessed Sacrament until the last person on earth receives Him in the Eucharist.

Our Lord KNEW that soldiers in pagan Rome would desecrate Him in the Eucharist and that people would die to prevent it, such as St. Tarcisius [ http://www.ewtn.com/library/mary/tarcis.htm]. He knew soldiers in Freemasonic Mexico would desecrate and revile Him in the Eucharist, often killing priests and laity to get to Him, and that many would rather die than show one modicum of disrespect to Him in any form-- such as Blessed Jose Luis Sanchez del Rio [], Cristero Martyr, whose nickname by his fellow Cristeros was "Tarcisius". He KNEW that on that day, in that parish, with that priest, and that little old lady, He would be unintentionally dropped into the carpet in a continuation of His Passion, in some mysterious manner.

He did it out of love, and nothing but the purest love. This is the standard of love we must approach to properly reverence the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. We must be willing to go to whatever ends of pain or trial we can, whether our intentional bodily desecration by pagan soldiers, muslims, Freemasons, etc. or whatever. Even scourging, beating, or death by our fellow supposed Christians must be borne. The servant is not greater than the Master.

I don't know if this is the case for Pope Francis, or his time as Cardinal Bergoglio, as far as reverence for Christ truly present in the Eucharist. I can't know without asking the man why he doesn't genuflect after the consecration, be it a physical issue or a spiritual one. To assume and put it out for the world to read would be a dangerous proposition on my part or that of anyone else. But then again, neither can Ann Barnhardt know without asking him. She is correct that if he is able to do so, and doesn't out of a disbelief, there is a major problem at play before our eyes. She is correct that proper decorum in the Mass is a necessary part of our spiritual and evangelical life. She might even be correct, at a factual level, as to the entirety of what she has written as far as what is not easily proven false or more nestled in nuance. Only time will tell. In the meantime, I hope she sticks with articles like the above. It suits her more than being the flamethrower guy on the beach at Normandy. If you've ever seen footage of the guy with the flamethrower, you know he often ends up baked by the very fuel he uses to fight.

I do not want to see a crispy, blackened, writhing, screaming-in-eternal-agony Ann Barnhardt, nor anyone else.

And now, I'm going to go get ready to worship Jesus at a beautiful little church that has no carpet, and whose pastor is of a military demeanor-- moving forward despite injuries, insults, spills, and anything else life throws at him because he loves Jesus Christ.

P.S. - St. Francis didn't actually say that, Ann. It's become attached to him through the mythologizing of his life. What he said was,
Quote:"Let none of the brothers preach contrary to the form and institution of the holy Roman Church, and unless this has been conceded to him by his minister. But let the minister take care that he does not grant this leave indiscreetly to anyone. Nevertheless, let all the brothers preach by their works."
http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/wosf/wosf06.htm
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