Vincent de Paul St. Why are Catholics all quiet before Mass? March 1 , Q: Why are Catholics all quiet before Mass? It seems so stuffy. Whenever I've been at non-Catholic services, everyone gets to talk and socialize before worship starts, which seems like a great way to build fellowship.
A: Several years ago, I decided to have a low-key weekend at the seminary and prepare for mid-term exams. I went to a Saturday evening Vigil Mass at one of the parishes in suburban Detroit.
Since then, I have realized that many non-Catholic worship services and even some Catholic parishes are accustomed to visiting and socializing in the pews before worship starts. Many may see this as a great opportunity to build community and friendships. It may be said stammeringly and falteringly. But if said your best with the desire to please the Master it will be God-blest. I have heard a man talk. And he stuttered and blushed and got his grammar badly tangled, but my heart burned as I listened. And I have heard a man talk with smooth speech, and it rolled off me as easily as it rolled out of him.
Do your best, and leave the rest.
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If we are in touch with God His fire burns whether the tongue stammer or has good control of its powers. Third: through our service, what we do. It may be done bunglingly and blunderingly. Your best may not be the best, but if it be your best it will bring a harvest.
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Fourth: through our money, what we do not keep, but loosen out for God. Money comes the nearest to omnipotence of anything we handle. And, fifth: through our prayer, what we claim in Jesus' name. And by all odds the greatest of these is the outlet through prayer. The power of a life touches just one spot, but the touch is tremendous. What is there we think to be compared with a pure, unselfish, gently strong life. Yet its power is limited to one spot where it is being lived.
Power through the lips depends wholly upon the life back of the lips. Words that come brokenly are often made burning and eloquent by the life behind them.
But to yield to His mastery, to cultivate His friendship, to give Him full swing--that will result in what is called power. One inlet of power--the Holy Spirit in control. There are five outlets of power: five avenues through which this One within shows Himself, and reveals His power. First: through the life, what we are.
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Just simply what we are. If we be right the power of God will be constantly flowing out, though we be not conscious of it. It throws the keenest kind of emphasis on a man being right in his life. There will be an eager desire to serve. Yet we may constantly do more in what we are than in what we do. We may serve better in the lives we live than in the best service we ever give. The memory of that should bring rest to your spirit when a bit tired, and may be disheartened because tired.
Second: through the lips, what we say.
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It may be said stammeringly and falteringly. But if said your best with the desire to please the Master it will be God-blest. I have heard a man talk. And he stuttered and blushed and got his grammar badly tangled, but my heart burned as I listened.
And I have heard a man talk with smooth speech, and it rolled off me as easily as it rolled out of him. Do your best, and leave the rest. If we are in touch with God His fire burns whether the tongue stammer or has good control of its powers.