What do Catholics do after first kneeling?


#1

I am kind of puzzled by something. You know when you first come into church and you genuflect by the pew and then pull out the kneeler rail and you kneel. Well when I first kneel, I CLOSE my eyes and pray a few moments and then cross myself. But here is my question. I couldn’t help but observe what other people do when they enter and kneel.

                              They don't seem to be praying at all, for they kneel alright, but they just stare straight ahead with their eyes WIDE OPEN and then cross themselves, and are seated. I mean almost everyone does this, while I close my eyes and pray. Aren't you suppose to pray? Just what are all these people doing when they just stare straight ahead with their eyes open?

#2

[quote=gladtobe]Just what are all these people doing when they just stare straight ahead with their eyes open?
[/quote]

Praying :gopray:

Just because their eyes are not shut, does not mean they are not praying :slight_smile:

Yours in the Spirit

Pious


#3

Other’s might be adoring the Blessed Sacrament in the Tabernacle or simply quieting their minds before Mass starts. Prayer doesn’t require your eyes to be shut anyway. A lot of people find it easier to concentrate while gazing at a sacred object, like the tabernacle or crucifix, rather than kneeling with eyes closed.


#4

I pray with my eyes open. I like to look at the Crucifix and the Tabernacle beforehand. It helps me focus on why I am there. :slight_smile:


#5

I pray with my eyes open. I like to look at the Crucifix and the Tabernacle beforehand. It helps me focus on why I am there. :slight_smile:

Me too.


#6

This reminds me of a Mother Angelica live show.

In this show she describes a woman who squeezes her eyes tight and has a look of pain as she is praying. Mother Angelica asks this woman what is she doing, and she answers that she is praying very hard. Now that is a little extreme to me, I think you should just focus, unless that was the only way she could focus on her prayers.

I don’t think there are rigid rules on prayer as long as you do it with respect and do not disturb people around you. Then you are impeding their personal space ime and not allowing them to pray in peace.


#7

Yeah, I find it easier on my eyes to leave them open. I can concentrate better if I keep my eyes open instead of closing them and feel sleepiness set in (since it’s early morning).


#8

I like to do both. At first to alternate my gaze on the Crucifix and the Tabernacle while asking for help to clear my mind in preperation for prayer. This is followed by prayer with eyes closed contemplating as one might contemplate the mystries while praying the rosary.


#9

Well, you must not be praying that hard if you are busy assessing the amount of praying (or lack of praying) by your neighbors.

I sometimes look directly at the crucifix or the tabernacle while praying. If saying a “Hail Mary”, I might look at a statue of Our Lady. Sometimes my eyes are closed. Whatever…I do whatever helps prayer at that particular moment. Just because someone has their eyes open does not mean that they aren’t praying.


#10

[quote=gladtobe]I am kind of puzzled by something. You know when you first come into church and you genuflect by the pew and then pull out the kneeler rail and you kneel. Well when I first kneel, I CLOSE my eyes and pray a few moments and then cross myself. But here is my question. I couldn’t help but observe what other people do when they enter and kneel.

They don’t seem to be praying at all, for they kneel alright, but they just stare straight ahead with their eyes WIDE OPEN and then cross themselves, and are seated. I mean almost everyone does this, while I close my eyes and pray. Aren’t you suppose to pray? Just what are all these people doing when they just stare straight ahead with their eyes open?
[/quote]

First when you enter a pew you genuflect TO the tabernacle when the Blessed Sacrament is present. Myself I look at the tabernacle while saying a short prayer in preparation for Mass.


#11

sometimes I will bow my head and pray but most of the time i love to just look at the tabernacle(sp?) and just be there quietly with my Lord.


#12

[quote=gladtobe]I am kind of puzzled by something. You know when you first come into church and you genuflect by the pew and then pull out the kneeler rail and you kneel. Well when I first kneel, I CLOSE my eyes and pray a few moments and then cross myself. But here is my question. I couldn’t help but observe what other people do when they enter and kneel.

They don’t seem to be praying at all, for they kneel alright, but they just stare straight ahead with their eyes WIDE OPEN and then cross themselves, and are seated. I mean almost everyone does this, while I close my eyes and pray. Aren’t you suppose to pray? Just what are all these people doing when they just stare straight ahead with their eyes open?
[/quote]

how do you know they are not praying? do you have some way of looking into their hearts and souls and knowing what is going on? is the posture and disposition that is best for personal prayer for you necessarily the best for everybody? if so, why? are they staring straight ahead at nothing? are the looking at the crucifix, altar or tabernacle and talking to Jesus? in any case, what business is it of yours how anyone else prays? If I enter the church, kneel and pray, I wonder how sincere my prayer is if it allows me time to look at others and speculate about what they are doing.


#13

***Personally, (first of all, I’m in the choir, I’m the bass, so I’m in front of the Church with the rest of the choir) I try not to let it be obvious that I’m praying. Jesus said to pray in secret, where you won’t be seen by others and thus won’t recieve your reward from them rather than God. By the same token, it’s a good idea to set an example for others. I guess it’s in the intent. I think I just confused myself :confused: ***


#14

I focus on the five wounds of our Lord on the Crucifix.


#15

I suppose I can understand what you all posted. I always thought one closes their eyes in prayer? But to each his own I suppose. I guess prayer has changed in this generation. I remember when a comrade was shot in war, we would all bow our heads and close our eyes in prayer as the Chaplin said the right words. I suppose now in Iraq when a serviceman is killed, they just stare ahead with eyes wide open. My, how times have changed.


#16

. I suppose now in Iraq when a serviceman is killed, they just stare ahead with eyes wide open. My, how times have changed.

Let’s just think about this remark quietly, shall we?

Position of eyes is optional… .


#17

[quote=gladtobe]I suppose I can understand what you all posted. I always thought one closes their eyes in prayer? But to each his own I suppose. I guess prayer has changed in this generation. I remember when a comrade was shot in war, we would all bow our heads and close our eyes in prayer as the Chaplin said the right words. I suppose now in Iraq when a serviceman is killed, they just stare ahead with eyes wide open. My, how times have changed.
[/quote]

Well, I’m not sure times have changed. Churches have always been filled with pictures and statues to help us focus our prayers for well over a thousand years. Sure, there are times when it is probably more appropriate to close one’s eyes and bow one’s head, like the example you gave, over a fallen friend. I think it all just depends on the circumstances. But either way, there’s no Church teaching that I know of on eyes open or closed


#18

[quote=gladtobe]I suppose I can understand what you all posted. I always thought one closes their eyes in prayer? But to each his own I suppose. I guess prayer has changed in this generation. I remember when a comrade was shot in war, we would all bow our heads and close our eyes in prayer as the Chaplin said the right words. I suppose now in Iraq when a serviceman is killed, they just stare ahead with eyes wide open. My, how times have changed.
[/quote]

I am not sure what you are trying to say. Do you think that everyone must do the same thing. Like I always tell my seven year old God made each of us different so we do things differently does that mean that one is right while others are wrong. Only God knows what is going on our hearts and no one should try to interpet that on their own. Please try to open your heart and stop judging others unless you want to be judge in return.


#19

ah don’t be so harsh. Noticing something in church doesn’t mean you are not there for the right reason, or perhaps not praying hard enough, what ever that means!!! I remember the nuns telling us in school that God wouldn’t hear your prayers if you were lieing in bed, only if you were kneeling or standing upright. The way I pray is for me, and by the way I always begin with thanks to our Lord when I enter church on Sunday.


#20

It’s not that so much. I just wonder how many Catholics come to mass out of obligation, rather than because they really want to? Nobody talks to anyone in church and after mass is over, everyone hurriedly piles out to the parking lot and gets in their cars to go home. Nobody stops to chat. It’s like I came to mass and did my thing, now I’m going home. I’ve been in Protestant churches for years and they at least talked to one another. Catholics only say “peace be with you, with a forced smile.” And that’s the truth.


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