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As Catholics we seek to embrace a deep sense of mystery about life and we seek to embrace that mystery. Ideally for Catholics life is not a problem to be solved. Rather, life is a mystery to be lived. However, our western mindset is problem / solution oriented. Consequently, we often become products of our problem oriented construct seeking to solve / resolve the problem of self rather then embracing the mystery within and without. This is no solution for our existence because existence is not a problem --it is /Mystery.

Without a sense of mystery, Catholicism is useless. Without this deeper sense, Catholics become just any other Christian religion and / or philosophy where prayer, ritual, and sacraments become rote and routine through which the people get caught up in the trap of doing something rather than letting something be done to them. True Catholic prayer and worship is much more about making ones self vulnerable to the presence of God than it is about doing something.

One of the buzz phrases in Catholic liturgical circles is full active conscious participation. That is, all of the ministers, priests, and all in the congregation are called to engage in full active conscious participation of the liturgy. The liturgy (Mass), then becomes more "alive" through the work of the people. While this concept has much merit, it is also full of pitfalls for the pragmatist or liturgical utilitarian who will tend to get more caught up in making sure everyone is participating and doing things "right" than embracing the true mystery of the sacramental experience in which the invisible God is made visible. Rather than sing more, pray more, play music more, think more, preach more, we are shriveling up because we Catholics do not "wonder more." Hence the problem of full active conscious participation is just that. It becomes a problem that must be solved. Mystery is out the window.

Catholic priests often fall into the problem / solution paradigm. Working hard to measure up to the people's expectations and the Ecclesial expectations is a sure trap for a problem oriented lifestyle for which there is no solution. Most catholics in the pews have little concept of the details comprising a priest's daily life. Few Catholics bother to wonder what is involved in the daily routine of being a Catholic /Priest?

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Last edited April 12, 2007 9:41 pm PDT by Dough (diff)
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