At the proclamation of the Holy Gospel (see below) during a Catholic Mass, the priest will incense the book from which the Gospel is being read, kiss the first word of the Gospel and proclaim aloud to the congregation after a great Alleluia chorus “A Reading from the Holy Gospel According to St. Matthew/Mark/Luke or John” to which the people respond “Glory to You, O Lord” (referring to Jesus Christ!)
When the people respond to the proclamation, with these words, many if not all, will cross themselves as they say the words with their right thumb on their forehead, lips and heart.
This act of reference imitates the words of the priest when he says as he prepares to read the Gospel “May the Lord, be in my mind, on my lips and in my heart”
I have been pondering over this act and what they symbolise to me as a man of faith and perhaps what relevance they might have to non-Christians and people of no faith.
For me, I think that the action signifies a willingness to think about my faith, reflect on the teachings of Christ and to pray and to try to ensure that what I actually say is not in conflict with the values that I believe in and in doing so to nurture my understanding in my heart.
This formula may lead me to be a man of peace, a man of prayer, a man of conscience who is prepared to reach out to those who are suffering around me by charitable deeds, or reaching out to those who are different to me or those who disagree with me or those who are in need of my protection/assistance/kindness/love/forgiveness.
So, I can couch all this stuff in a religious context, but as someone who has been actively trying to be less dogmatic in my faith and more open to being able to love myself and be compassionate to myself, I have tried to reconcile my faith to my sexuality and my marriage.
I have also reflected that I need to apply those virtues to myself first (not selfishly) if I am going to have a realistic chance of proclaiming my whole truth from my head, my lips and my heart.
My next blog will be: Mood Swing
** The Gospel is a collection of the writings that are contained in The New Testament which refer to the Birth, Ministry, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ written in four Gospels written by St Matthew, St. Mark, St Luke and St. John.