“Then he took the bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which will be given for you; do this in memory of me.’ And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which will be shed for you’” (Luke 22: 19-20).
Standing at the door to a church, when you have not gone in a while can be daunting. I want to invite you in though. My Catholic faith prompts me to want to invite you to the Catholic Church because it is what has kept me grounded my entire life, but God is going to welcome you in with arms wide open no matter where you go! So, be bold and courageous and open the door to any church and step in.
In the Catholic Mass we celebrate the Eucharist each time we gather, no matter where we are. In our family, that even includes our once a year Mass at deer camp.
During the Mass the Eucharist is consecrated and we believe that it is during that time that the Holy Spirit transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Jesus. It is a sacred, incredibly cherished moment in the lives of Catholic people. It is a moment when many feel the closest to our Lord. Not always, but most times this is when you will find the church in complete silence, it seems even our smallest children understand the sanctity of this moment.
For me this is one of the most beautiful parts about being Catholic because I literally can attend Mass every day and have the honor of receiving Jesus into my home --- my heart each time I participate in this sacred sacrament. Communion with our Lord. Some moments, it’s as if He is standing there right in front of me, SMILING, saying “Thank you for coming, Jen! I am so glad you are here. Take this and eat. Take this and drink.” It’s like He gives me a hug and sends me on my way.
As, I think more about this communion with our Lord, I think about the intimacy of receiving Him into my heart. I think about the thoughts and feelings that I share with Him and am reminded that no matter how I feel or what I think, He still shows up for me. Every.single.day. Every.single.minute. He is there guiding and lighting my way, preparing me to be a sanctuary. Even on, especially on days when I don’t feel like being a light.
Randy Rothwell's song “Sanctuary” has become more popular in our church over the last ten years. I have heard it played several times at Communion and it was part of the inspiration for my Jump Into the Day Preparing to be a Sanctuary piece. It’s a vibrant, life-giving song that asks God to “prepare me to be a sanctuary” and one that reminds me that my relationship with Him is my relationship. When I walk into church it is not because I am there to be with other people. Certainly, that is a nice perk and my relationships with the people in church are important, but the person that I am there to see is God. I am coming to spend intimate time with him, in fellowship with the people that He so graciously gave me in my life, but my job is not to impress or even agree with the people sitting next to me or the people leading the church. My priority is to focus on building my relationship with Him and so, it is through communion with Him, through this sacred, holy, and intimate time in the Mass that I can talk with Him and receive Him into my heart, into my sanctuary. And ya’ll that makes me SMILE!
If you have not been to church in a while, I encourage you to go. I know walking into a Sunday service when you have been away for a while or if you have never gone can be intimidating. So, start small. Many churches are open during the day – you might have to find the secret entrance 😉. I encourage you, if nothing else, to go sit in an empty church and just feel God’s loving arms around you. It doesn’t have to be a Catholic Church; however, sometimes, it takes teeny, tiny baby steps to make a life altering change and you may be fearful someone might talk to you and ask questions, so my recommendation is that you start with one of the benefits that most Catholic Churches can provide and visit the chapel. The monstrance, the consecrated host, is typically present there and can afford you a similar effect as communion with Him. The chances of you having to engage with anyone are slim because there will be a few others gathered there in quiet reflection, so you won't stand out. Your time in His presence in this smaller, more intimate environment might be just what you need until you are ready to take a much larger step and participate in a church service where you can completely receive Our Lord heart, mind, body, and soul.
Have a beautiful day ya'll!!
All My Love,
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