Today I attended another mass & participated minimally, singing songs & antiphons. I stood when they stood, sat when they sat, but did not kneel or cross myself. I'm not quite ready for that level of interaction. I love that the Word is preached, Old Testament & New. The gospel is read, a Psalm is sung, the Nicene creed & the Lord's prayer are recited- the latter, with hands upraised or clasped with your neighbor. Then there's something called the “Sign of Peace”, which is not just a “hi” or a handshake, but a full on smile, a hug & maybe even a kiss with the words “Peace be with you” attached. The atmosphere appears lively & warm during these few seconds of interaction. Some more words are said & then row by row, folks trickle down to the altar to receive the Eucharist. I quietly excused myself & launched back into the world with my bulletin & a heavy heart.
I have a heavy heart because it seems Laodicea knows no bounds. It seems there is no denomination, no culture, no country where it does not exert it's power over men (and women alike). One could tell there were a few truly devout Catholics in the crowd, but the rest seemed like they were just there... looking over the congregation, spacing out, reciting the words while contemplating their manicures, etc. I'm not attempting to make a blanket statement, but one could clearly see the disinterest on many faces. It was not real to some... it “just was”.
I considered moving on. Maybe I should try & find a more vibrant church to be a part of. But if everyone who felt that way left, Laodicea would remain. If those who recognized it stayed & let their own flame burn & shine, the church would have no choice but to notice... eventually. I'm not saying I'm going to mount a rally against Laodicea in the church, whether Protestant or Catholic. It has to happen within me first. And just because I recognize it doesn't mean I have the flame burning bright in me either. In fact, I see Laodicea in me when I'd rather see Christ.