Monday, January 18, 2010

"Explosive Prophetic Corporate Prayer" - Evangelizing Liturgy

Just back from a routine medical test, and while I waited, I happened to pick up a local independent weekly newspaper and notice an ad in the church section. "Explosive prophetic corporate prayer" proclaimed the small headline, and gave an address for a church in Chicago. Whoa! Now that must be some worship service! (Check out that particular church's web page.)

I am not sure I have ever participated in a Catholic Mass that could fit that description - and I have been to some lively, faith-filled celebrations, such as Cursillo closing Masses and youth Masses where it seemed like we raised the roof with our enthusiasm. But, when you think about it, isn't that 4-word description what we are to be about at Mass?  Well, it IS prayer, but what about those powerful adjectives?

Explosive - something that combusts nearly instantaneously. Are we ready for that? If we don't want to burn,  why do we sing "Send Down the Fire" and "Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love"?  If we really experienced that at Mass, would we not "explode" into the world at the dismissal, on fire with the mission to spread the Gospel?  What would it take to make us that bold?

Prophetic - are we not, by definition, partakers in the role of Christ as prophet? (see CCC 904-907) This not only speaks to our mission to evangelize the world and to call it to accountability - but to our call to speak out, when grounded in competence, to leaders of the church (yes - it's in there - read paragraph 907)  On both counts - what would it take to make us that bold?

Corporate - we proclaim that we are One Body in Christ - but operationally speaking, are we? Do we truly have solidarity with all Christ's people no matter who they are? Or are many Catholics perhaps complacent, parochial and individualistic?  How do we get people to park their egos not only at the door, but to lay them aside when they go forth to live the mission of the Church?  What would it take to make us that bold?

Well, perusing the website of the church that inspired this post, I am not sure they do much better - so is this just so much good advertising? Or is it a description of what should be happening for all Christians each Sunday? Food for thought.


  1. I believe that I've been at Mass in a few parishes that if they don't meet all of the criterion, the certainly come darn close. My two examples are St. Timothy's Catholic Community in Mesa, AZ and Assumption Parish in O'Fallon, MO.

  2. I've heard of St. Tim's - the parish where LifeTeen originated. Too bad most average parishes save that kind of involvement and inspiration at liturgy for the youth!