This morning our parish priest brought up a point well worthy of mention here. Because we are human, body and soul, what we do with our bodies DOES affect the dispositions of our souls. In the Jewish religion, and in monasteries today, traditions of prayer postures are well used. Some of these include: standing, genuflecting, kneeling erect, prostration, hands folded, and arms crossed on the breast. In most places, many of these positions are neglected, but we must never forget their importance.
Because our religion is such an intimate one, and our God so loving, we often overlook our duties to Him. Kneeling and prostration are very tangible expressions of Adoration. If we become accustomed to slouching during our prayer, our spirits too will also become prone to slouching; certainly we do not want to slouch when we approach Jesus in heaven! Crossing our arms on our breasts, or beating our breasts are beautiful expressions of love and repentance which should not be taken for granted. Likewise, folding our hands during prayer shows that we are doing with our hands what we are doing with our minds... praying. Jesus certainly appreciates our efforts to please Him, and by making an effort to maintain reverent positions during prayer we DO please Him.
Although it is important to assume correct and respectful postures at Church, it is, perhaps, more vital to do so at home. We do not do this to be seen doing it, we do this to show God the reverence and adoration He deserves for His sake alone. If we do this in the Church, let us also do it at home in our private oratories... during our morning and night prayers... and thus we can become closer to Jesus Christ. Likewise, let us always take care that our bodies and our actions reflect our Adoration of Christ by remaining pure and maintaining proper attitudes. By doing thus with our bodies, we are actively disciplining our souls to show God spiritual reverence at all times.