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  #1  
Old Apr 15, '11, 5:38 am
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NeedImprovement NeedImprovement is offline
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Default The Next Time You Genuflect

Among the many blessings I benefit from serving in an apostolate with long-term and palliative care patients, is the fact that the majority of them come from one or two generations before me. Those patients who share our holy Catholic faith, frequently demonstrate just how deeply rooted this faith of ours can become... but we need to be able to see it.

In this modern-day society that surrounds us, we tend become blinded a little or numbed into thinking that “newer” is always somehow better . But the Gospel of Matthew [13:52 ; DRV] tells us that , “...every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven, is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.”

And what more concrete example could we have of the fulfillment of those words from our Blessed Lord other than the entire Old Testament and New Testament which consummate each other ; and which we commonly refer to in their entirety as the Word of God ?

On occasion, I have happened upon these little “jewels” which certain patients “bringeth forth out of their treasure” - jewels which have been handed down to them by tradition ... Please permit me to share one of them with you :

Three or four months ago, I was bringing Holy Communion to one of the (many) patients who were unable to attend Sunday Mass – André . André is a layman but had been educated by members of a religious order ; as he tells me (in French) “They gave me a very thorough formation.”

At one point in our conversation, André said to me, “Let me ask you : When you enter a church, why do you genuflect ?”

I told him it wasn’t so much because I entered the church that I genuflect , but because Jesus is truly, entirely and personally present in the Blessed Sacrament reserved in the tabernacle. I told him I face the tabernacle when I genuflect; that the genuflection is an expression of reverence – an exterior expression of what is in my heart for my God and Savior; and, I told him, I hoped it could help to also remind others of Jesus’ Presence there.

André smiled a little, but then shook his head and said to me, “You still haven’t got it.” At that point I would usually have the option of bringing in a little lightheartedness, by providing a reply along the lines of, “Sorry André – I didn’t study. No one told me there was going to be an exam.” However, the look in André’s eyes was a serious one. So instead, I asked for his explanation of why we genuflect “when we enter a church”.

He said, “They taught me that when I genuflect before the (Blessed Sacrament in the) tabernacle, I am making reparation to Jesus for the cruel mockery- for the genuflections of the Roman soldiers before Him as they crowned Him with thorns, beat Him, and spat upon Him.”



“What a holy thought”, I said to myself. I told André I would try to remember that the next time I was before the tabernacle . The “thought” has become part of each of my genuflections before Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar . It adds a new perspective.

Anyone who has been Catholic for a while knows how easily we can slip into that rut- where we discover that some of our holy gestures (even the Sign of the Cross at times) can suddenly appear to have become routine . In other words, we make the physical gesture without really thinking about what we are doing. If anyone feels or senses it may be happening when they genuflect, they may wish to try looking at it the way André describes, if they haven’t already : That you are making reparation for the sacrilegious mockery - the genuflections of the soldiers after they'd pressed the Crown of thorns into Jesus' sacred head. Even when we may be physically incapable of genuflecting, we are always able to carry that intention in the heart – in that place where Jesus looks first.

A little research on genuflections (right here at CAF's Catholic Encyclopedia), turned up this reflection by St. Ambrose:

"The knee is made flexible by which the offence of the Lord is mitigated, wrath appeased, grace called forth" (St. Ambrose, Hexaem., VI, ix)

Was St. Ambrose also referring to that first offence when he said the "offence of the Lord" ? That we should be mitigating the very offence of mock genuflections made to our Lord during his cruel Passion by our own genuflection before Him in the Blessed Sacrament , would seem to be a particularly appropriate thought for Lent. Was there ever a greater offence in the universe regarding genuflecting ? Yet He endured it because He loves us with such unspeakable love.


Mark 15:16-20 [DRV]

"And the soldiers led him away into the court of the palace, and they called together the whole band: And they clothed him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it upon him. And they began to salute him: Hail, king of the Jews. And they struck his head with a reed: and they did spit on him. And bowing their knees, they adored him. [20] And after they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own garments on him, and they led him out to crucify him.".
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  #2  
Old Apr 15, '11, 6:32 am
PaulinVA PaulinVA is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Very nice!

I would add one of my pet peeves - if a properly executed genuflection is a show of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, what is a half-genuflection and a cursory blessing of oneself? You see that more often than anything else.
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  #3  
Old Apr 15, '11, 6:56 am
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Smile Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

I love this post. Thanks for sharing. As we (my family) enters the Church and start to look for a place to seat, I quite frequently remind my kinds of the Genuflect. However, I could not explain to them in great detail why it is so important. Once again, thanks for now I have better way to explain why we Genuflect.
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  #4  
Old Apr 15, '11, 7:54 am
Barbkw Barbkw is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect



Thanks for the post. It's a keeper!
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  #5  
Old Apr 15, '11, 8:08 am
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Your friend added yet another level to the great truths that you already accepted in your devotion.
The Genuflection is ALL of the things you listed plus what he added.

Thanks for the inspiring post.

Peace
James
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  #6  
Old Apr 15, '11, 8:10 am
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
Very nice!

I would add one of my pet peeves - if a properly executed genuflection is a show of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, what is a half-genuflection and a cursory blessing of oneself? You see that more often than anything else.
I assume a person is in pain. I have to hold the pew, or I'd never be able to get down or back up... knee injuries are a bear... I'm not even 40 yet, so I imagine... judgement flying.

I had not heard the above explanation. It would be good to bring that information to the younger generation. So much is lost in the education... I suppose those at only "half" it, don't have the slightest comprehension... no meaning... no gesture.

Excellent time of year to share this thought!!!!!
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Well, I could really use some but instead I'll just the day away...
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  #7  
Old Apr 15, '11, 8:18 am
paperwight66 paperwight66 is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVA View Post
Very nice!

I would add one of my pet peeves - if a properly executed genuflection is a show of respect for the Blessed Sacrament, what is a half-genuflection and a cursory blessing of oneself? You see that more often than anything else.


Well, I don't bless myself when I genuflect as it doesn't seem to be customary here, or at least it's not in our parish,so I'm not guilty of that.

But my genuflection would appear to be half-hearted to an observer. Although I look very healthy and able, my knees don't flex more than to a certain point, and also I've had several painful stress fractures in my feet so avoid bending them if I can. I try to make up for it with a deep bow of the head at the same time, though.

i think more people have problems with their knees or backs than is obvious, to be honest.
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  #8  
Old Apr 15, '11, 8:42 am
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Both of the previous posts bring in good points and God bless them for it.
We should refrain from judging others in such matters.

That said though. We should all do everything we can to humbly and reverently pay our respects to our Lord God upon entering or leaving what is, essentially, his throne room on earth.

Peace
James
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.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
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Amen.
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  #9  
Old Apr 15, '11, 8:55 am
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Ruth Catherine Ruth Catherine is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

I very much like this post. I have thought about the genuflecting alot lately because I have not too long ago returned to the church and have noticed that alot of people come in stop and bow anymore instead of genuflecting. I know some have health issues and can't genuflect but I remember years ago when I went to Catholic school how a class of kids would pass through the church and everyone would wait their turn to genuflect as they passed the tabernacle. I haven't seen a class of kids for a while so I don't know if that happens anymore or not but I see old and young adults anymore just bowing when they cross in front of the altar or after they are finished reading the Word or serving the Eucharist. I don't ever remember seeing that before. So my thought has been lately what is the reason for the genuflecting.

This is very good post. It helps to let us know what we should be thinking when we genuflect..
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  #10  
Old Apr 15, '11, 9:05 am
nwa_amaka12 nwa_amaka12 is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Thanks a lot for this post. All my life, i have always thought that when we genuflect before the blessed sacrament, its a sign of reverence for our lord. I never knew its even an act of reparation. I am guilty of not even doing it properly on some occasion when i am late for mass or any other activity in church. I will take note now and do it properly from now on.
Once again thanks for enlightening me and us all.
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  #11  
Old Apr 15, '11, 10:02 am
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth Catherine View Post
I very much like this post. I have thought about the genuflecting alot lately because I have not too long ago returned to the church and have noticed that alot of people come in stop and bow anymore instead of genuflecting.

(Snip)
While I don't know what the newer guidelines re, I think that the reason ofr the bow toward teh altar has to do with the fact that the tabernacle is often elsewhere in the Church - or even in it's own room.

Peace
James
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.... if I have all faith so as to move mountians but have not love, I am nothing. - (1Cor 13:2)


The Best book on Spirituality that I ever Read: "The Fulfillment of All Desire"

Oh my God , I will continue
to perform, all my actions
for the love of Thee
Amen.
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  #12  
Old Apr 15, '11, 11:46 am
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NeedImprovement NeedImprovement is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Thanks for the comments guys... good to know André was able to share with so many of us. I'll be sure to tell him.

I hope no one minds if I draw attention to the posts of faithfully and paperwight66 again for a moment :

I also wasn't able to either genuflect or kneel for well over a year after a serious work accident roughly 15 years ago . That was the time I learned to kneel and genuflect in my heart - which brings us back to the beauty of André's "jewel" : The sentiment it conveys stays in the heart. All genuflections are supposed to originate in the heart ; if our knees aren't able to cooperate, all we have to do is remember 1 Samuel 16:7 [DRV]

"And the Lord said to Samuel: Look not on his countenance, nor on the height of his stature: because I have rejected him, nor do I judge according to the look of man: for man seeth those things that appear, but the Lord beholdeth the heart."
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  #13  
Old Apr 15, '11, 2:36 pm
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

What constitutes blessing oneself?
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...Make me a channel of your Peace... (This is the tune usually going through my head.)

Well, I could really use some but instead I'll just the day away...
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  #14  
Old Apr 15, '11, 2:55 pm
thomas jd thomas jd is offline
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Last saturday I passed the Tabernacle at a Adoration chapel. I genuflected, with difficulty, but I managed. The lone adorer said to me with a smile, "I am sure God would be just as pleased with a bow of your head." I replyed without thinking " Ah,but He deserves so much more!"
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Old Apr 15, '11, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: The Next Time You Genuflect

Quote:
Originally Posted by faithfully View Post
What constitutes blessing oneself?
Making the sign of the cross is what people usually mean when they say that.
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