They Just Don't Believe That Stuff

Father Longenecker on reverence:
G.K.Chesterton said every argument is a theological argument. Here is where we must agree: the real reason for lack of reverence at Mass is the erosion and eventual abandonment of a real, solid and actual belief in the Real Presence of the Body Blood Soul and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Sacrament of the Altar. Behind this is an even more insidious abandonment of the Catholic faith--a gradual ignorance of and denial by neglect of all the cardinal doctrines of the faith from which a belief in the real presence is derived: that is to say, the central beliefs of the Immaculate Conception, the Incarnation and Virgin Birth, the Atoning Work of Christ on the Cross of Calvary, the Resurrection and Ascension into Glory and the Hope of his coming again.

The real reason for lack of reverence at Mass is because huge numbers of Catholics just don't believe that stuff. They've never been taught it (except in some vague theoretical manner which implied that it was all some ancient system of symbolism) If they have been taught it they've forgotten it. They never hear it preached from the pulpit and they've never been fully catechized. If priests and people really believed that Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of Mary, who really took human flesh and died for the redemption of the human race and who really rose again on the third day and left a sacrament of the memorial of his suffering and death to be re presented by his mystical body the Church, why then, like the homeless man in Westminster Cathedral and my Baptist friend, there would suddenly be reverence in church.

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