Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On bending the knee

from Servant and Steward

On bending the knee: In the ancient world the knee symbolized the strength of a man. Why? Take a stick and whack a man on the knee and see what happens.

To genuflect, then, - to literally "bend the knee" - is bend one's strength to God. To genuflect before God serves both to place oneself at his service and to honor his authority.

Too many Catholics genuflect far too lightly, both exteriorly and interiorly. Sometimes I wonder - without judging individuals - if too many of the elderly too lightly opt to bow instead of genuflecting.

This morning at the altar of God the importance of genuflecting hit me, as it were, in a particular way.

After the consecration of the host and then of the chalice the priest is instructed to make a genuflection. With my arthritis, genuflecting in the morning is not always a simple effort and this morning I had to muster additional strength to place myself back at a standing position (the weather forecast, by the way, seems to be missing something).

As I worked my way back up, I said offered a little prayer: "What strength I have, Lord, little as it is, I give to you."

It seems to me this is not a bad way to start a day, if the reminder of weakness is not always welcome.