Friday, October 9, 2015

Prayer on a Friday morning

This morning after serving at Mass and doing my diaconal duty, which I love, of purifying and carefully putting away the sacred vessels and straightening up the sanctuary, I found myself alone in church with the Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament. Not knowing when else over the course of the day I would have the opportunity to pray the Rosary, I stayed and prayed.

After praying up to the first Sorrowful mystery, instead remaining in place sitting or kneeling, I decided to pray while walking in a circle around the church looking at the stained glass windows, which I love, and, more particularly, the Stations of the Cross. The parish church where I now serve is a contemporary church building. It was built in the late 1960s. I have no doubt many of my fellow Catholics would find it either ugly or nondescript and unappealing. I do not think that at all. In fact, I quite like it. 

Confessional St Olaf's Catholic Church Bountiful, Utah

As I was making my way around the Church for the first time I stopped and stood looking at the Station that shows Jesus falling for the second time. As I did so it occurred to me that the Stations of the Cross are like a long meditation on the fourth and fifth of the Sorrowful mysteries (i.e., Jesus carrying the Cross and His Crucifixion). Then I was struck by the thought that perhaps, like integers, the "space" between each mystery of the Rosary is infinite. There can be no end of meditating on and contemplating the mysteries of our Lord's birth, life, passion and death, and resurrection, on the great Paschal mystery we celebrate all the time, the very mystery that God in His goodness is always at work drawing us more deeply into.

As I continued my walking and praying I ventured into one confessional and then into the other before winding up kneeling before the altar to finish my prayer. Apart from what I shared above, my experience this morning was indescribable. As I was praying in our parish church, which is located in the heart of our city, I think I experienced something very much like what Henri Nouwen must've had in mind when he wrote: "The spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it."

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