The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

On kneeling: “On our knees, we’re the same height as our children…

A gorgeous and thought-provoking meditation on something that seems to have fallen out of fashion: kneeling.

From Heather King:

The first time I went to Mass, in trembling and fear, I was shocked to see people kneeling. In the middle of Los Angeles, in the middle of the day. I felt like I’d stumbled upon a group of folks sitting on the toilet, or having sex. Right out there in the open, for anyone who wandered in to see, they were asking for help. They were admitting that they didn’t know. They were saying “I adore you.”


I have a theory that prayer is the answer to itself. The very fact that we’re praying means we’re already receiving what our hearts long for. To open ourselves to reality. To move away from isolation and toward communion. To die to self-reliance and come alive in wonder and mystery. Acknowledging our vulnerability, we’re in solidarity with every other sick, suffering, broken person in the world. With our heads bowed, our ears are closer to our hearts. On our knees, we’re the same height as children.

Read the rest. And hit your knees.

Comments read comments(5)
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Grumpy Old Person

posted October 27, 2010 at 1:47 pm

When you’re on your knees, the whole WORLD is taller than you.
A little substance, please.

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Heather King

posted October 27, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Deacon Greg! Thank you so much…I WONDERED why I was getting so much traffic today…glad the post struck a chord and all blessings from L.A. to Brooklyn and all at Net NY…

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posted October 27, 2010 at 3:44 pm

Regardless of the tradition or the theology…kneeling just FEELS right to me!
Heather is a gift to the church!!

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posted October 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Deacon K: I visit you on “BeliefNet” via “New Advent” and find what you offer to be very worthwhile; however, the BeliefNet blog is a bear to deal with–pop-up ads, false starts, delays and even close-outs. It’s getting to the point that If I know I’ll be linked to “BeliefNet” I will shy away, or immediately hit the “back” button. Please do what you can to correct the situation as your offerings are always so good. Thanks.

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posted October 27, 2010 at 9:25 pm

In addition to making us appear as children, there’s another aspect to kneeling that came to me one day. Since it is such a physically vulnerable position, kneeling before someone requires an amount of trust in them. When I’m kneeling, my reach is restricted, and it becomes much more difficult to leave in a hurry. In this respect, kneeling is a physical representation of my spiritual vulnerability and weakness. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this, but just interesting to me.

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