Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Acknowledge Your God, and Kneel Before Him

January 5th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

To kneel is to subject oneself to a higher power. For instance, one kneels when knighted by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth. Why, then, are people hesitant to kneel before Our God present in the Most Blessed Sacrament? Is there a sense of shame? “Why should I kneel in front of other people and in front of this piece of bread?”

To kneel is to pray. The simple posture states in such sublime majesty the mystery of Creation. We, the created, have the ability to kill God, the Ultimate Creator. How is this possible? Why is this possible? We who kneel before the Lord are separated only by time from those who knelt beside the cross to nail Our Lord’s hands to the instrument of His death and our most unworthily received redemption.

To kneel is to admit powerlessness. We surrender ourselves to Him with our posture of undeniable humility and weakness. There is no guilt complex, no hang-up or psychological fetter. There is, however, faith. This faith is only made manifest through humility. How can one approach the Throne of the Lamb on equal terms with the Creator? Does a well-behaved child address his parents as “Bob” and “Meredith?” No, he or she does not. A child learns at the feet of his or her parents – not from a position of dominance, of power, or of authority of any kind. The child depends on the parent just as we depend on the saving grace of Jesus.

To kneel is to confess a belief in something more important than oneself. When we kneel we leave behind us our earthly baggage. At least, we should. That’s what Confession is for, after all. There is no reason to focus on anything but Our Lord when we present ourselves to Him. He is all, and we are nothing save the manifestation of His will. He wills us to exist – not the other way around. We do not invent God to soothe our wounded identities. No, we discover God through adversity, and through this discovery pray more faithfully.

To kneel is to show honor to God and to His Most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary. If we approach the altar with familiarity, with a sense of casualness, we drive another sword into the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She was wounded enough in her earthly life, seeing her Son beaten, crucified, speared. She need not see His ultimate gift of Himself, the Eucharist, go unappreciated.

To kneel is to embrace Tradition and loyalty. Without Tradition, we would be as so many “Bible-thumping” Christians who cling to the shallow notions of self-importance in the eyes of God. We matter to God, yes. But we are not nearly as important as we think ourselves to be. Can one honestly declare without hesitation that he is something special? Can one approach Divinity through one’s earthly life? Yes, one may live a saintly life. But you can only do this through a complete renunciation of your own will and the will of those who may seek to hold you from your ultimate joy – the Blessed Sacrament. Love God. Love Him through His Word, His Church, and the Tradition which started with Jesus Christ Himself. Tradition is not without reason to purpose. It has evolved to its current state slowly, with tender respect and love, and without the politicization of every facet of faith itself.

For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom His whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge?that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. – Ephesians 3:14-21

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8 Responses to “Acknowledge Your God, and Kneel Before Him”

  1. Anonymous says:

    YES,YES!! I couldn't agree with you more. That is one of the magnificent gifts ST.STAN.offers every week. (communion at the rail on my knees) HOWEVER GEN,on behalf of men & women over 50 many many of us have plastic knees. I don't mind the pain,after all it does not compare to our Lords pain, but unless you have a rail you can damage your knees. When I attend a mass elsewhere a reverend bow clearly does not feel adequate and it does feel much too casusal. We seem to be bringing other things back to the church ,how about the rail? How about talking to Father A at OLV? He is my hereo for doing away with sign of peace.( DR K could do a poll on how many can't kneel due to orthoscopic knees LOL)

  2. Gen says:

    I think a spiritual kneel can be just as profound, if not more so, than a physical one. The main thing, in my opinion, is humility and reverence.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bring back the rail.

  4. Kelly says:

    My favorite quote in regard to kneeling, when considering how quickly the practice was dropped by Protestants:

    "If in any church the sitting position exists only as a protest against kneeling because enemy Christians kneel, then what we have is protest carried to its most dismal and barren end." –Thomas Howard

    If we resemble protestants in our worship, and forsake our origins as being no longer relevant, we too have come to a 'most dismal and barren end'.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Bravo! Kelly

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fr. Carpenter talked about kneeling during the Eucharistic Prayer in his homily for Epiphany. I hear he has had some trouble with parishioners who refuse to kneel.

  7. Gen says:

    I'll lend him my crozier.

  8. Michael says:

    Kneeling while receiving the Holy Eucharist on your tongue and not on your hands, is the best way to show reverence and give honor to God. Just like the olden days of common kings, queens, princes and princesses where their subjects have to kneel to show and honor, why can’t we give the highest honor to our own Creator, Savior and Redeemer the same reverence and honor.

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