When I first read Aloysius Cheong’s letter, Of Flip Flops, Latin and Kneeling at Mass (CN, Dec 25), expressing disappointment at the church’s treatment of his wife, I must admit that my first reaction was to take the side of the warden and the church administration which set out the rules.
After all, restaurant diners do not complain if they are told of a dress code in a restaurant and would duly adhere to the code.
Be that as it may, it was pointed out to me subsequently that in Africa, parishioners go to church barefoot and I was forced to rethink this issue.
While it is tempting to take sides, either with Mr Cheong or the church, it is too simple a dichotomy to make. What we need to do is to go back to the fundamentals.
It might be useful to examine why we go to church. If Christ is the focus, then I would like to suggest that charity and love, above all, prevail, and should be the central focus. The rules are a guide and should remain so, meted out with the utmost love and charity in which Christ taught His disciples to do.
The perfect example is the one that Jesus gave when He showed His love and compassion towards the prostitutes and tax collectors who sought Jesus out.
In turn, as disciples and followers of Christ, the Lord urges us to look beyond ourselves, to step away from our pettiness and bruised egos and reflect more deeply about how Christ wants us to respond to His great sacrifice of love which we live daily at the celebration of the Holy Eucharist.
Would we, for the love of our Lord, not want to show our appreciation by doing all things well for Him, including paying attention to the way we dress and behave, adoring Him with complete reverence by kneeling during the consecration?