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Friday, February 01, 2008

What makes a parish church so special?

Ponder this thought and then we will explore an idea:
"God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the church. To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, He invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, His adopted children and thus heirs of His blessed life. "
(Taken from the first chapter of the Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Yes, God is much more than a mere physical thing, but we are physical and need tangeble objects in our lives.

As we gather together, we are a family that is gathering together
to share our lives with God and with each other.

As we begin to fill the church, it is a lot like an extended family who is returning home to share in our commonality. We have all become one family through our faith and through the Holy Spirit. These people are no longer strangers, but brothers and sisters in Christ who we are called to get to know, to love, to care for, and to share our lives with.

The sacred altar where the sacrafice and celebration of the Mass is held. This is the holy place where through the mystery of the Eucharist, Jesus is made physically present to us in his glorified state in the species of bread and wine.
St. Francis in the garden.
The holy ground of a parish church is a reminder of God in our lives. A place to help keep perspective who we are and who we are called to be. We live in a culture with a vast variety of beliefs and desires, but returning each week, each day for some, we can join with fellow believers, our family, with the universal calling to live our lives to the best of our ability, imitating in many ways the lessons and life taught to us by Christ, as well as listening to the Holy Spirit, and encouring and strengthening each other during our journey here on earth.

We were not meant to be alone.

God created man and woman. He created us to partake and share in his life. He created us to be social.

In times of trial, in times of joy, we are to share with each other. That is what family is all about, that is what community is all about.

So what makes a parish church so special?

Answer: All of the above, plus it is a spiritual home for anyone who wants to enter.

1 comment:

Shelly said...

How appropriate that as you are speaking about extended family, you would have a pic of my grandfather, Herb and my father, Richard! We do feel like extended family with the delightful Kearns Family!!! Love, Shelly