Posted by: Joe of St. Thérèse | September 25, 2007

Adoration vs. Reverence

Today’s topic of reflection is adoration vs. reverance. I was having a talk with a friend today, and she said that my spirituality is very deep. Which I happen to agree with, sometimes I tend to think on a level that’s a bit different than most people, so this blog should come as no surprize to those who know me.
The word reverence has several defintions which are stated as follows;
1. a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe; veneration
2. the outward manifestation of this feeling: to pay reverence.
3. a gesture indicative of deep respect; an obeisance, bow, or curtsy
4. to regard or treat with reverence; venerate
Now let us think about each of these defintions, the first one, a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe, veneration. (veneration means to honor by the way). What kinds of things do we do this towards, we honor our parents by listening to them. We honor our friends for sticking with us. We honor people who do good in society with rewards. In Catholic Theolorgy, we venerate the Saints, for being example’s of people that do God’s will (despite their screw ups), we venerate the cross for without it, our sins are not forgiven, we vernerate the altar because this is the altar of God, where the most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass takes place. Looking at the 3rd defintion a gesture of deep respect, we notice bowing, or a curtsy (another form of a bow). We bow in front of the altar, we bow in front of a crucifix (for the reasons mentioned above), we bow in front of the statues of the Saints, Jesus, and Mary. Again the thing that I want to stress is that reverence is a low thing. Another way of showing revernece is to stand during Mass, in particular during the Our Father (The Lord’s Prayer). We stand here, because at this point during the mass, it’s not worship, (i’ll explain the difference shortly). We honor the prayer that Jesus taught us, (we don’t worship a prayer, make sense?). Now in some dioceses it is the norm to stand after the Agnus Dei is sung. (Lamb of God, for you non-Latin speaking people). Why is this wrong? At this point we get into the difference, it’s adoration, worship, because we adore Jesus.
I know, that I didn’t define the term adoration, so let me do that: the act of honor to a divine being (worship), a fervant and devoted love. are the defintions of adoration. We worship God alone (Father, Son, Holy Spirit). And because we as Catholics believe that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, we do MORE than reverence Him, we ADORE him. When we adore, we kneel ALWAYS! The reason why Catholics kneel 99% of the time is because of ADORATION, which is much deeper than verneration. People say standing is reverent, I say kneeling is ADORATION, and this is something that we’re all called to do of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. This is why I kneel for communion, and also after the Agnus Dei, because I am in adoration of Jesus. Now, don’t confuse kneeling in front of a statue for adoration, this kneeling is for posture of prayer, and not used for adoration in this context. I beleive deeply that we have lost adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament in the Church. We trap Jesus inside two prisons. (Tabernacle, and Blessed Sacrament Chapel) and have taken him out of many of the modern Churches that are now biult. He belongs in the Church to be ADORED, that is WORSHIPPED by all of us. So the question today is a manner of are you Reverant towards Jesus, or do you adore Him? Amen!

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