There is an assumption the super-hip-liberated man makes upon exposure to Catholic prayer, an assumption I am altogether too familiar with. He sees the kneeling, the folded hands, the bowing, and the posture and thinks — if he is a super-liberated-heathen — “Rebel! Stop cowering and sniveling before your deity! Have you no pride?” and if he is a super-liberated-Christian — “God is love! Stop cowering! He doesn’t care about your posture, or your clothes, he wants a personal relationship with you and that’s it! Loosen up!” This, of course, is a similar reaction to the one made by sullen Catholic teenagers pretending to think for themselves for the first time.
Needless to say, both assumptions have the entirely wrong view of reverence. Reverence is not a submission, it is a rebellion. There exists a god to rival the Christian God, a dictator we fight each and every day. His name is Entropy. He declares that all things shall break down, all buildings crumble, animals rot, and lives, no matter how lively, end.
This is the god Christ destroys. He destroys Entropy — that great Universal Law of Sloth — and claims that we shall not die at the end, but live. That the Earth will not crumble to dust but will be remade for eternity. That some things will grow until their perfection, not fade into nothingness. We are called to join in this rebellion against Entropy, to look forward to a life after death, and never to resign ourselves to merely crumble and fade. We are Christians — Death is dead.Reverence then, is a joining in with this rebellion. If you were to stand a human being in a room and leave him there for an hour with no instruction, he would succumb to entropy. He would begin by standing, then by sitting, and then by laying down. He would crumble.
Real rebellion cannot be slouching in Mass, because slouching is what we naturally succumb to, given enough time. Real rebellion is kneeling down, straightening our bodies and folding our hands. We actively defy the law of Entropy at each Mass, and we should in all our prayer. Thus the constant atheistic cry that Christians are taught to cower before their God as an authoritarian dictator is false. We honor and adore him in our reverence, sure, but we also join with him in the battle against the crumbling of all things. And it must be note that if this is a cowardly submission to God, to slouch is merely a cowardly submission to Nature. Choose now who you will obey. As for me and my house…