I have to commend everyone on the wonderful way we are all adjusting to “ad orientem”. The Mass feels so much more powerful as we all offer our sacrifices together looking to the East—to the Risen Lord who will come again. Another advantage that I am sure you have noticed is that you don’t have to look at me, and be distracted by my faults or idiosyncrasies. In the Mass and really all of the Sacraments; I am doing them “in persona Christi” and as “alter Christus”. That means I am doing them in the person of Christ and as another Christ. If the peculiarities of Fr. John are what most stand out in my sacramental action and those receiving the sacraments cannot see Christ through my action, then I am failing. That is why in the wisdom of the Church, she tries to make me anonymous. When I give the Benediction the humeral veil covers my face; we have the screen in the confessional which hides me, and when I celebrate “ad orientem” you see the beautiful back of the vestments which always have a Christological theme. This should draw your attention and make you think of Jesus, as I lift up the consecrated host and wine, and of course forget about me.
All of this helps my humility, and it also keeps you from getting too attached to my peculiarities and thus no matter what priest is celebrating the Mass or the other sacraments—it doesn’t matter who he is as a man, but that he can anonymously stand in for Christ and confer the sanctifying graces of the sacraments on all in the same way. We have some great Solemnities coming up at the end of the Easter Season that we will start talking about in future articles. God Bless.