'Fill Us With Compassion'
Transfiguration of the Lord
Saturday, August 6, 2011
(Material for this PowerPoint was taken from
"I Like Being In Parish Ministry by Alice Camille," Twenty-Third Publications.)
Chris Haselhorst's presentation
Liturgy Conference encourages
Full, active, conscious participation at Mass
By DAVID MYERS
Southwest Kansas Register
When you open the church door and step inside for Mass, it may just be one small step. But, if you offer “full, conscious, active participation,” it’s one giant leap – not only for you, but for all those who benefit from your witness.
This was the main theme of the “Fill Us With Compassion Liturgy Conference”, Aug. 6 and 7 at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Dodge City.
It’s only by offering “full, conscious, active participation,” said keynote speaker Louis Canter, that Catholic Christians may benefit fully from the gift of the liturgy, and that others may benefit fully from their witness, both “brothers and sisters of faith, and those who are not. Both enemies and loved ones alike.”
Among the other speakers at the Aug. 6 English event (the Aug. 7 event was in Spanish) were Bishop John Brungardt, Father Robert Schremmer, Coleen Stein, Chris Haselhorst, Father Frank Coady, Rodolfo Lopez and others.
While there were references to the upcoming changes to the English translation of the liturgy, the day-long program focused mostly on understanding the Mass so that Catholics can experience it more fully.
“We are sent to set the example in such a way as we have heard about in the Acts of the Apostles,” Canter said. “They gathered together; they shared a meal; they sang the praises of God; they gave what they had to the poor and the widowed and they were full of joy.
“The people around them marveled at their faith, and God added daily to their numbers -- sometimes, as Scripture reminds us, as many as 3,000 at a time. Can you imagine that, just for a moment? What would happen here at Our Lady of Guadalupe if people were banging on the door to get in to become what it is we are, the source and summit of who we are as Catholic Christians, because they saw that what we did here on Sunday meant something the other six days?”
In his opening address, Bishop Brungardt offered a moving commentary on the power of the sign of the cross.
Quoting Pope Benedict, he said, “’The most basic gesture in prayer is, and always will be, the sign of the cross. It is a way of confessing Christ crucified with one’s very body ….’
“How much does Jesus love you?” Bishop Brungardt asked those gathered.
“This much?” he asked, spreading out his arms. “… Jesus loves us this much, as he put his arms on the cross. In this extraordinary crucifix, we realize Jesus’ love for us. We represent that cross every time we make the sign of the cross. It’s a beautiful way to get our body involved -- our incarnate bodies, because Jesus was incarnate – in the liturgy.
“Pope Benedict writes, ‘To seal oneself with the Sign of the Cross is a visible and public yes to him who suffered for us.’
“Sometimes we’re kind of shy about expressing ourselves in public. How many of us have been a little embarrassed about saying grace in a public restaurant?” he asked, bowing his head low and making a speedy sign of the Cross. “… It’s a little way to evangelize, isn’t it? It’s a way of evangelizing Jesus crucified. He loved us so much.
“Our liturgy, as we participate in it, … touches us, moves us and changes us. Let us ask the Lord that we may grow in compassion at our sacred liturgies, that we participate in the action of God in our liturgies. Let us worship our loving Jesus who is a real presence in the chapels, tabernacles, monsterances and churches around the world. Let us bend at our knee, adoringly worshiping Jesus in the holy Eucharist.”