Is There A Message In Strike Of Lightning At August Church After Praise Dancing?
We're not supposed to be too closed, in our walk toward God; we are certainly not to be overly judgmental. The other day we heard a good old-fashioned priest from Poland start his homily warning that the center of our lives is not the Church, is not even religion -- but is God.
If religion does not lead to God, which means to love, it leads nowhere but to self-righteousness and sometimes even deception. Many are those who have been turned away from Christianity because Christians can be a bit humorless and judgmental.
Kneel on the correct knee or you're not going to Heaven!
But there are also moments when open-mindedness may reach a limit. It goes to the other extreme -- at which point the Holy Eucharist is not properly respected.
We were a bit taken aback last week with two links we carried.
The first was on September 27. It was a YouTube snippet [you can view it at the end of this article or here] of folks "praise-dancing" at St. Alphonsus Church in St. Louis late last July.
Nothing wrong with praise. But how far should dance go? Was it a respectful, devout Mass? Or entertainment? And what about churches that allow clowns to do the Stations of the Cross during Lent?
We know only that before the great plague in the Middle Ages entertainment found its way into the liturgy -- it became a show -- and we know only that the very day after we posted the praise-- dance video, we linked to another article -- this one about lightning striking "a storied 135-year-old church Thursday evening on Grand Boulevard [in St. Louis], sparking a fire that caused major damage to the midtown monument."
"The five-alarm blaze gutted what many know as 'The Rock' Catholic Church, dedicated in 1872 and widely known for its trademark limestone exterior walls.
"The building is a Gothic
structure, with a towering steeple and flanking spires," said the St. Louis
Post-Dispatch. "The church features an array of stained glass, which was
largely spared by the fire," said news account -- and God must be thanked for
"Neighbors said the blaze started on the east side, or back, of the church, high above the altar.
"Hundreds of people came to the scene to watch the fire and the battle to contain it.
"Archbishop Raymond Burke stood with others about two blocks from the church."
The official name of this church, by the way, is St. Alphonsus -- yes, the same St. Alphonsus as where they praise-danced. You can see the lightning story here.
A coincidence? A connection? Was something else going on here, or just a church in the way of a storm?
We do not own an omnipresent perspective. But the "coincidence" was not lost here.
Be open-minded. Don't close others out. See everything from the perspective of others, before making a judgment -- if you must judge.
But don't go too far -- no -- not with the Eucharist.
David danced before the Lord, but that was after the sacrifice.
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