We may sometimes wonder, “Why church?” Church can sometimes be so complex or repetitive or disappointing or, dare we say, seemingly unspiritual. For me, the only veritable reason to go to church is if, in church, we experience something that we do not experience elsewhere. The truth is that we do. But we must look with eyes of faith to see it. In church, and only in church, we experience Jesus in the Eucharist. You may have noticed that you cannot give yourself the Eucharist at home! Hence, the words of Padre Pio of Pietrelcina, 20th century Italian mystic (canonized in the Roman part of the Church in 2002):
Keep close to the Church at all times, for in the Church you find true peace, since she alone possesses Jesus, the true Prince of Peace, in the Blessed Sacrament.
As we continue our Lenten pilgrimage, here is a prayer that may help when we come together in Church:
O Crucified and Risen Lord,
we gather here in this place rendered holy by You,
in particular, by the mysterious presence
of your glorified body, of your Person in the Eucharist.
We rejoice to be with You.
We rejoice to be together in You, sisters and brothers.
We come to sing Your praises, to hear Your word, to enjoy You.
We come with dreams,
and also with burdens, which we secretly hope will be transformed by You.
Although we may sometimes wonder how close you are,
may Your presence here relieve any doubt.
As You often said to Your disciples, You say to us “Peace be with you.
With a whisper of our hearts, we entrust ourselves to You, O Lord.
Deign fill us with the overflow of divine love,
so movingly revealed at the Cross and in the Resurrection.
Thus shall goodness and mercy follow us in the coming week, and all the days of our life.
From the desk of the Rector