There’s a latin phrase you’ll sometimes hear in the Church: “Lex orandi, lex credendi.” Roughly translated to “the way we pray is the way we believe.” According to the USCCB, the phrase goes back to a fifth century Christian writer. And, this is very much a timeless truth of our faith.
Let’s paint a picture with an example. Surely, one of the more challenging beliefs of the Catholic faith is the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. This is what separates us from other Christians. Now, take a typical, Mass going Catholic. What would happen to their belief in the real presence if:
Everyone wears flip flops and tank tops to Mass.
Everyone stops genuflecting in front of the tabernacle.
Everyone stops reverently bowing before receiving the Eucharist.
Everyone smiles, jokes, and waves as their chomping on the host walking back to their pew.
Everyone talks during and after Mass in the sanctuary.
I think it goes without saying that they would start to see the Eucharist as only bread and wine. Nothing more. The way we pray, the way we pray the Mass especially, affects the way we believe.
Now, it’s also worth saying – this isn’t a mind over matter thing or a way to trick your brain. It’s true outside of the Church too. If you watch porn, what will you think about women? How will you treat them? How will you see them?
If we degrade women, or Christ in the Eucharist, with our actions, won’t it follow that we will degrade them in our minds, in our hearts?