Posture Matters

There is a painting which hangs in the offices of Good Shepherd’s. The year is 1955. Painted is the celebrating priest during the Eucharistic Prayer as he elevates the consecrated host. It’s interesting to note that women are on one side of the church and men on the other. More interesting, however, is that there are some people in the middle aisle. They are on their knees and prostrate themselves to the point that they appear to be laying. Is it a sign of reverence or humility?

Jesus Prayed

As a sign of humili­ty, Jesus went down on his knees and prayed. St. Paul wrote (1 Tim 2:8) that, “it is my wish, then, that in every place the men should pray, lifting up holy hands, without anger or argument.” We de­monstrate our reverence for God by the way we live our lives.

Several weeks ago I wrote an article entitled, “Meeting Jesus in the Eucharist”. During my re­search I read a testimony from a Muslim who said that if he believed the Eucharist was the Body of Christ he would crawl on his belly to receive it. This made me think about our body language in the church and during Mass. Traditions vary from country and cultures even from parishes, but what is the correct way to pray and worship? Studies have shown that 70-95% of communication is non-verbal. What does our posture and body lan­guage say about our spiritual communication?


I decided to answer my own question by going into the church. The simplicity of Good Shepherd’s is the perfect setting to house our rather large Je­sus. I have sat, knelt and even prostrated myself in front of it but on this day I stood in front of the Risen Christ with his outstretched arms. As the sun shined through the stained glass windows I felt the warmth of Jesus’ healing hands. He wel­comed me and I was enveloped in his love. Whe­ther we sit, kneel or prostrate ourselves, Jesus takes the broken and lonely by the hand as says, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.”