We just got back from our regular Friday night mass and charismatic asamblea, and I'm so blown away I have to do a quick post on it. We have a charismatic asamblea (in the U.S. we used to call them "prayer and praise") every Friday after mass, but since it was the "dia de amor" today, the lay leaders had decided to have a special time of eucharistic adoration instead of the regular asamblea, to show Jesus our love for Him.
Well, in all my years as a charismatic christian - more than 40, and most of those in communities who understood how to do things decently and in order, with reverence and joy - I have NEVER experienced anything like this! At the end of the mass, Padre brought out Jesus in the monstrance, and then the lay leaders of the group led us in about 1/2 hour of prayer interspersed with songs of praise to Him, with much reverence. And of course, they were facing Jesus, not the congregation. Then Padre came back and gave a short message before the monstrance. He asked us, seriously, if our community were in great danger, would any of us be willing to sacrifice our child to save the community. You could have heard a pin drop as he let us think about that for awhile before going on to underscore the unfathomable love of God. What tenderness was manifested, what gratitude for each other!
Then two of the lay teachers read scriptures on love to us (from Isaiah and 1 John) - while facing Jesus, of course - and addressed prayers to Jesus rather than doing teachings on the scriptures they read. At the end we sang a number of joyful songs about the love of God, and it was marvellous to see the whole congregation standing before the monstrance with their hands raised in praise. I wish you could have seen it.
After tonight, I can't imagine any more perfect way of observing St. Valentine's Day that this. It was a taste of heaven, for sure!