We had a very special weekend. On Friday, we pulled the kids out of school to celebrate a Solemn High Mass at St. Mary, Help of Christians in Aiken. Their parish is growing so they have a beautiful new church. The old one is gorgeous as well, including the little mission church, which is now a perpetual Adoration chapel. You could sense that sacredness as you walked by it and we all enjoyed a visit with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. But Mass ... oh, how lovely. Everything, from the art to the music to the liturgy just lifts you out of your world and heavenward. I wept tears of joy. There were 5 or 6 priests and at least 20 altar boys from various parishes. What a joyful time to share these memories. Later there was a reception by candlelight in the courtyard. We returned home tired and happy. My attention was mostly focused on the crucifix, right above the tabernacle. I noticed the inside of the doors have angels. Love that detail.
|Bronze Virgin & Child by Gustave Dore|
at the church in Aiken
The Romans crucified Jesus, but He gave us His mother from the Cross! He rose from the dead! He breathed upon the Apostles and gave them the Holy Spirit and the power to forgive or retain sins. Saul persecuted the Christians but became the greatest evangelizer as St. Paul. The Christian persecution continued for over 300 years. There have been schisms and heresies but the Church remains. Napoleon, Stalin and others all tried to destroy the Catholic Church. They are gone but the Church remains. Over and over we see that the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church. We are the largest family on earth -- 1.2 billion big -- with the greatest diversity too! We are white, black, yellow, rich, poor, disabled, strong, weak, all of us sinners, trying to be saints.
Somehow all these things are tied up for me this weekend. The Church has given dignity to children, to women, to the disabled, to the marginalized, and in Jesus men have discovered their strength. They use it to defend the weak. I shall never forget our Memorial Day in Belgium, where so many young men gave up their lives so that we may walk free today. God bless them.
The Easter season ends Pentecost. Let the fire of God burn in you. Here is a video for your enjoyment with the music of Palestrina. Alleluia!