Placed at the end of a road in a subdivision, partially showing behind the fullest maple leaves it’s roof peaks out above the trees, stained glass windows reflecting deep, rich colors, the concrete cross simple and bare standing alone yet accompanying the front of the church, there it stands, a church. Others are simple buildings built in the 1960’s with a small altar and wooden pews. Some are awe inspiring bell towers built into the sky, bells chiming on the hour, a corner stone set in the 1800’s. One has clear glass windows all the way around in an octagon shape in the middle of the woods feeling the heat of the sun and the shade of the sycamore trees, it sits waiting. They are all our churches.
Quietly we enter, reflective and ready to be filled with the spirit of God. We find our seats among the folding chairs, or the cracked, worn down and aged old pews with the creaky kneelers. The musty smell, incense floating in the air, the wax dripping from the candles, perfumes mixed among the people. We kneel in reverence, bow with grace, sit, stand, listen, answer, pray alone, and pray together in community.
Our Catholic Churches are as varied as our people. Some stand from centuries past as a pillar of strength, some are new creations of the people of today. All are created and erected for the same purpose to give a place of refuge, prayer, enlightenment and community to all who walk through their doors. Our amazing buildings built with architectural style, light and depth are nothing without the body of Christ within their walls. We the people are the body of Christ. We the people are the Church. We are the body of Christ the people who share their lives, hopes, prayers, love, and gifts from God with each other.
The people, the Church, the Body of Christ are carrying out the mission of Jesus Christ here in this time, in this year, in this moment, in the place where you live and I live. Catholic – universal, we are everywhere in all corners of this vast creation made by the very hands of God. We are here to fulfill His will not by raising buildings of bricks and mortar but by raising each other up in His name. We build the Church; with our acts of love, our willingness to sacrifice for the good of others, our commitment to mature in our faith life and become closer to God through our relationships on earth. We the people of God are His Church.
Copyright 2010 Lori Hadorn-Disselkamp