Showing 1 - 20 of 31
Angels and Archangels are present at Christ's sacrifice - in little rooms as much as in great cathedrals.
So many Angels are present in our sanctuary, in festivity, preparing it with garlands for our Blessed Lady's feast.
Before Holy Mass began, I saw the church invisibly decorated with garlands for our Blessed Lady's feast.
How glorious is the sacred space of our churches, where Holy Mass is offered. How fervently ought we to prepare for our work of praise.
The Holy Angels were present: and were decorating the Church with garlands, showing Heaven's delight at an ordination.
The Holy Angels guard the Church, always; they are all reverent, amidst those who carelessly disturb them with loud chatter.
By representations, in our sanctuaries, of Heavenly realities, people find it easier to pray: hearts and minds are raised to God.
People who use a Catholic church as merely a concert hall for secular music, or a meeting place for secular gatherings (sometimes even removing the Blessed Sacrament from the tabernacle) are like people taking a beautiful and sacred Reliquary box, to use it as a sandwich tin for a parish picnic.
Just as, in an art gallery, it is tragic if pictures have been cut from their frames, and visitors can only gaze at empty spaces, so it is also tragic, the Lord showed me, when the Catholic faithful must look at empty spaces in their churches where once they found beautiful and expressive imagery, to inspire them.
Some Catholic churches have neither a crucifix in them, nor a statue of Our Lady. Just as an art-lover would see it as a tragedy if all the pictures in a gallery were to have been cut out of their frames, so faithful Catholics are not wrong to call it a 'tragedy' when a new church is built - or an old one stripped - and those who pray there must face bare walls, without reminders of Gospel scenes, or Heavenly realities.
If we enter a little door labelled 'The Past' we enter a world where Catholic churches were adorned with glorious images, to the glory of God and to inspire and educate the faithful. There is no reason why good Catholics today cannot commission and install powerful reminders of the Creation, of Christ and His Mother Mary, of the Last Judgement, and Heaven and Hell, and other subjects.
As the Lord gazes upon our world, it is His wish that the faithful can find, in their churches, visual reminders of what has really happened in history: for example, the infancy of Jesus Christ, and His Crucifixion. Why should Catholics look at bare walls, in Church, when they could have reminders of the foundation of the Faith?
The Lord pictured the contents of a sacristy, and asked: How would a priest feel, were treasured possessions to be ripped from the sacristy: photos of his silver jubilee Mass, his mother's crucifix, his favourite statue of Our Lady, his ordination photos, and special gifts? Why should his parishioners be expected to look on, calmly, as their favourite 'mementos', of statues and pictures, are condemned as so much rubbish?
If we look at those churches of past times which were decorated with colourful imagery and biblical scenes, we can see the importance of the altar, where Jesus Christ is made Present in the Mass. All that is beautiful here has been made so, in His honour. He deserves our adoration. He deserves to come to a place more like a throne-room than a garage.
Christ is our Divine Saviour, Who becomes Present with us, in the Blessed Sacrament. He deserves our adoration; and people in the Church who make decisions about the design and re-ordering of our church buildings would be wise to realise that the place to which Christ comes should look more like a throne-room than a garage.
It is part of Christ's plan that this 'Last Judgement' picture serve as an image in a sanctuary, and as a restatement of truth, an illustration of the Catechism, a teaching aid, and a proof of my own understanding of the Gospel: that each of us is making our way to Heaven or Hell, through our freely made choices as we accept or reject the graces Christ won for us on the Cross.
From the beginning, Christian life has been lived out using symbols and signs. What signs are there, in some modern churches, which have filthy entrances, and modernistic crucifixes, a hidden Blessed Sacrament, and no statue of Our Lady - in an area where people chat and cheer as if at a football rally. St. Pius X would be horrified by one church dedicated to his memory.
Plain churches, without images, encourage ordinary behaviour. Some of the Saints, to whom our churches are dedicated, would weep, if they could hear that noisiness, and see the disrespect shown by many Catholics in church. A wise priest in such circumstances puts out a notice, as a reminder.
When people are poorly-instructed about reverence, and when a church has few signs and images that indicate it is a sacred place, the faithful sometimes act, for a Mass, as if at a rally or a pop-concert. Even if a few pictures of the Saints are then put up around the walls, this is as effective as sticking a small plaster in a big wound. Change comes from clear instruction; and from effective signs of decoration at the entrance.
Christ wanted to make His Catholic church buildings into 'little Heavens' on earth, where people could offer prayer, in peace, in His Presence, before the Holy Eucharist, with the Angels. When there is constant chatter, this defeats His purpose. The Clergy, above all, should encourage people in church to behave with a reverent silence.
Showing 1 - 20 of 31