Lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi

...the Evangelical version, maybe?
(Image credits: Marcus Lamb and Zig Ziglar, via Facebook)

There’s so much I want to say about the fact that this is my first official web log, but this post was supposed to be up over an hour two hours ago (though the prospect of running a blog didn’t exist even minutes beyond that).

So I will contain myself with the above meme – and please don’t tell me it’s not funny -, a composite of my design, the contents of which I stumbled across on Facebook in the space of weeks.

Now, neither will I go into how I use Facebook, at least beyond the fact that my Timeline should represent the real me – the Catholic part. (I can’t say “part” because it’s not something I can put in the fridge for a next day.) It’s who I am – a Catholic.

And a Roman Catholic at that.

The distinction is important to me (well, I can’t say that either because it’s important qua distinction). It says that I am not the same as this guy, or this guy, or even this guy (and not just because of their hats). How so?

Because of that blank we have to fill out on the form, just before the word “Catholic”, when we are identifying ourselves. The key word there is a root word – identity. There’s the reason. I’m not the same as my good friends because we each belong to a different rite.

We’re all Catholic, yes – we believe in the same things, God willing. But we express these things in different ways, according to the established culture of the place.

Now that I’ve said that (though honestly I didn’t think ahead for it), let me address the above image.

I came across the two memes on my Home Page in Facebook; it had to be that friends liked or shared them that I, in turn, could see them, since I did not like the respective pages whence they came. (Remember it’s Facebook – you don’t start off as friends with everyone or liking everything.)

Yet when I saw these memes – at least the first one (the upper half) – I was struck, if not at a loss for words. (It was internal, yeah, and for – like – two seconds, but still…)

An Evangelical…worried about the LITURGY?!

Well, in hindsight, if it weren’t (or isn’t) incorrect to identify Marcus Lamb as an Evangelical – that ID based on presumption, mind you – it’s definitely an over-reaction to the message, though it goes back to whether I’m right about the guy. Of course Evangelicals’ “worship” is not the same as Catholic worship.

Still the message works, even if – now that I saw the one from the Zigler page (apparently he died in 2012) – I should be kicking myself somewhat for overlooking its wording (and by “overlooking” I mean being the pedantic I usually am).

No, even after thinking about it now – well, two hours ago by now – the wording works. So I shared the meme…and made it my profile picture.

So that, now that I see two hours ago when I saw the other one and was just as struck (and perhaps just as stupid, that I made the same presumptions), I decided for certain reasons that the two should become one. And thus, my new profile picture.

And still I haven’t got to the relevant part.

You see, I doubt now (yes, now) that seeing “worship” and thinking one thing is so much a matter of misinterpretation. I think…well, it’s just that – I think it’s more about thinking: that is, what I think of.

Notice: I say “what I think of”, not “what I was thinking of”. I hope you’re getting the picture now, because when I crossed out “to me” earlier, while I was speaking of the distinction of being a Roman Catholic, I was mindful enough of how automatic it is for people to relativise what is general.

I didn’t want to say being Roman Catholic was important to me, full stop, because it wouldn’t be important if it didn’t exist in the first place. (Call me functionalist in this regard.) As such, everyone should concern themselves with doing what makes them Roman Catholic; otherwise they won’t be true to themselves. That was the point I saw in those two messages.

Hence my headine, the well-known principle held by Catholics: lex orandi, lex credendi, lex vivendi. Rendered one way, in English it means that how we worship reflects what we believe and determines how we live.

I think of this all the time, including – and especially – when I came across these two messages, because I am currently faced with the abuses difficulties ??? of this situation on all many sides. So these messages I shared/took for my profile picture to see if people really believe that worship reflects belief and determines living.

If I must draw a parallel between the two (and nicely rephrase the messages into one):

Lex orandi = “When you turn your worry into worship”,
lex credendi = “fear turns into faith. When your faith becomes stronger than your fears”,
lex vivendi = “then your dreams can become a reality.”

Now, the thought of blogging this only came to mind after I added a description to the new profile picture (the one at the top, for those too tired to follow me by now – about that I’m sorry; I really only intended to use said description).

But God works in different ways, so I’d like to think I know what He meant to do this time. You see, at the end of that description I deplored that the message was “really quite simple”, but that “I must be the only fool to notice it here” (in my country).

Now I believe I know am reminded once more – it always ends up being a reminder, eh? – that I could be of good humeur about it. And when I slip up, I recover and I move on. VoilĂ  !

Now, before I cross a thousand words, I’m done.


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