Back of Church Graces

faith / Sunday, November 22nd, 2009

I love Mass. It’s the most unfathomably beautiful mystery and no words could ever justly describe the beauty of the prayer of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and Eucharist.

Although, when I am power-walking from the parking lot to the Church, usually in a rather frenzied state, I ask myself, “Why? Why am I coming here?” My usual response has something to do with worshiping and giving thanks and celebrating. And it is true; we do come to offer Mass as a prayer of thanksgiving and praise for our Lord. Yet, there lies something deeper even more beautiful. When we come to the Lord’s House, it is His chance to give to us all the Grace and Love that He earned for us on the Cross.

Through the Mass, Christ asks us to pray with Him, to walk with Him in His suffering. He invites us to join with Him in His offering. In His Word, He whispers to us promises and songs of His Love for us. His precious pledge of steadfast and enduring love is alive through the Word we hear and receive.

In this most beautiful prayer, we are joined as a Church, the Bride of Christ, in celebration and gratitude. Through His life-offering and resurrection, He has redeemed us. He bought our places in Heaven back for use by trading His innocent life for our sinful ones. Therefore we are grateful. Through the Mass, we show our thanks and praise.

However, when the children take my attention away in the pews or especially when things get really hairy and I am confined to the back of church or worse yet, the crier room, this is usually where I lose it. The anger and frustration in me boils up and an inward screams turns into a desperate plea of help to anyone up there who is listening!

In my exile to the back of the Church, I am like a castaway struggling frantically to get back to land and be saved from drowning in my aggravation and torment. And just when I am about to drown, a hand reaches out to me. “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Gently, Christ calms me, points to His Cross, and offers His hand for me to accompany Him as He carries it.

The sanctuary of the Lord’s temple is only the mouth of the river of His grace. The river flows deeply and rapidly from there. Perhaps, if I open myself up enough, even out of the sanctuary in the dungeon at the back of church, my soul can still be filled with the graces of Mass.

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