As I knelt there in the Church alone I prayed for all those I loved. I prayed for all the people I know are ill, for those who are lost and searching and for the children of our world. I prayed special intentions and gratitude to God for my life and family. I sat down after my prayer and just took in the empty Church in its silence. Taking in the view of the beautiful stained glass windows, the hundreds of pews, the altar and the Baptismal Font and my eyes had to stop when they fell upon the only lit candle in the red glass. The candle that flickers without fail until Good Friday to represent the presence of Christ at all times within the Church. All I could think of was the hymn we sang the day before as a community at Mass “All are welcome in this place.”
My eyes wondered to the back of the Church and flashbacks from childhood took hold of my thoughts. My first communion, my confirmation, my graduation, school manager scenes at Christmas time and thoughts of how this place is my home. It is not a Church of cold stones, intimidating homilies and frightening rules of damnation. My Church is soothing, peaceful, and loving like a real home. My Church is not made up of what you see in the picture, that is only a piece of it, but of the people, the community the love shared when two or more gather in his name.
In the silence I found peace and serenity I seldom feel on the outside of these walls. As I left the Church and turned off the light I thanked God for His time and for starting my day out with peace in my heart. You see all are welcome in this place.