“We are the religion of the Incarnation. God became man, the invisible God became visible, he sanctified the material world and elevated these visible, tangible signs to communicate invisible graces and to convey eternal truths.”
— Canon Michael Stein, ICRSS, rector of St. Joseph’s Oratory (Roman Catholic) in Detroit
Photos of the traditional religious procession in Detroit were widely shared on social media
Source: Vintage-style photo of St Joseph’s Day procession goes viral | Catholic Herald
Canon Stein noted, in reference to the St. Joseph’s Procession (pictured above) in particular,
“It only takes a quick glance around the world to see a fatherless society, and to see either a slothful or workaholic society, or a lack of an appropriate understanding of manliness. It’s neither brute nor effeminate, it’s faithful, it’s steadfast, it’s courageous and gentle. And we find all those things in St. Joseph, so I think that’s another part of the power of that picture.”
All very true. But, he goes on to add,
“We are body and soul, all these spiritual truths are meant to be communicated through our senses. We get to see our faith, hear our faith, taste our faith, etc., and that just appeals to us so much,” he said.
“Truth needs to shine in beauty…we’re not angels, we’re not just pure intelligences, we need to see, touch, hear; and that’s something the traditional liturgy has always done. That’s something that a reverent Mass or procession can do, these visible signs that the Church has used throughout her history to excite devotion and promote devotion.”
Again, amen. Amen, and amen!
One of my reasons for concern when we as Anglicans veer too far to the Protestant / Reformed side of the Christian spectrum is the accompanying tendency to get uncomfortably close to a quasi-gnostic devaluation of the physical, the material, the sensory – Creation itself – in favor of the cerebral, the theoretical, the (narrowly-defined) spiritual. “Spirit good, matter bad” is a common view in Christian circles. But, it’s a heretical one! Continue reading “QOTD (with reflections): “We are the religion of the Incarnation…””