Archive for January 17, 2012

Celebrating Sunday

Posted: January 17, 2012 by CatholicJules in Meditations, Memory Book

Christians are Sunday people.  What does that mean?  Before we ask ourselves how we “observe Sunday,” we have to consider what we Christians actually celebrate on Sunday.  The real and first reason for celebrating Sunday lies in the fact that on this day Christ rose from the dead.  In doing so, he inaugurated a new age.  For the first time someone returns  from the dead and will not die again.  For the first time someone has broken the bonds of time that holds us all in captivity.  But Jesus did not pass quickly into heaven.  He did not simply shed time as one might shed  a worn-out garment; on the contrary, he remains with us.  He has returned and will never leave us again.  The feast of Sunday is, therefore, above all a profession of faith in the Resurrection.  It is a profession of faith that life is good.  Very early in the history of the Church Christians asked themselves: “Why did the Lord choose this day? What meaning did he intend to convey thereby?”  According to Jewish reckoning, Sunday was the first day of the week.  It was therefore the day on which God created the world.  It was the day on which God ended his rest and spoke: “Let there be light” (GN 1:3).  Sunday is the first day of the week, the day of thanks and creation….. Creation has been given us by God as our living space, as the scene of our labour and our leisure, in which we find both the necessities and the superfluities of life, the beauty of images and sounds, which we need precisely as much as we need food and clothing.

Pope Benedict XVI

     The Eucharistic Celebration which is the source and summit of our Faith is in essence a thanksgiving Mass.  In order to fully embrace the celebration, we need to bear in mind the following reasons for our attendance. The acronym ACTS commonly used to remember the four dimensions of prayer,  helps us to remember the very same thing….

Adoration – To adore our one Triune God
Contrition – To ask pardon for our sins
Thanksgiving – To thank Him for His many gifts and to praise Him
Supplication – To plead for what we need.

With this understanding and preparation we can be led into an interior union with Christ enabling us to actively participate in the Liturgical Celebration.

More on ACTS..

Adoration is the first act of the virtue of religion. To acknowledge the creator and the immeasurable gifts of creation.  It is our destiny and highest joy, to worship, and to kneel before Him. Adoration is at the very heart of the spiritual life. In the Book of Revelation, Chapter 4, the 24 elders prostrate themselves before the throne of God, cast the honor of their golden crowns before him, and sing, “Holy, holy, holy. You are worthy, O Lord.” No one else is truly holy; no one else is worthy, worth it, worth all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. All sin and misery come of forgetting this truth, and going after the worship of false gods, whether these are corruptions of real religion, or mere creatures like sex, money, and power.

Contrition is the awareness and expression that we are weak and flawed in the presence of the Holy One. We make mistakes; we fail; we fall. God loved us before we existed and knows all our faults. God is merciful. God forgives no matter how many times we fail. Once we recognise this fact then we should look forward often, to receive absolution through the loving Sacrament of reconciliation for our mortal sins as well as accumulated venial ones.

Thanksgiving – we thank God by always remembering Him. Remembering Him means that He is a part of our thoughts, words, and deeds. To give thanksgiving unto God we must recognize His hand in our lives. The many blessings, gifts and talents we receive from Him.  Thanksgiving is joyous praise of God. When we can thank God for everything, good or bad, we become truly happy people.  Through expression of prayerful gratitude and thanksgiving, we show our dependence upon a higher source of wisdom and knowledge.

Supplication  simply means — petition. We ask God for what we need.  Most prayers are for asking while others are for listening to do His Will. The Our Father is a list of petitions, from “hallowed be thy name” to “deliver us from evil.”  Jesus has encouraged us, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Mt 7:7).