The Sanctity of Worship

Yesterday I was still feeling a little crummy and just couldn’t pull it all together for Sunday morning Mass. The next parish over has a 5:00 p.m. Mass, so that was my plan. I must confess that as that hour approached, I was still less than enthusiastic, but I am a firm believer that when all else fails, duty prevails, so I managed to slip into a pew a few minutes late.

It’s an interesting parish, mostly Filipino, and they really like to sing a lot. They don’t get that unwritten rule that a dinner-hour Mass ought to be kind of basic and get everyone out in, say, fifty minutes. Yeah, I guess I was a little grumpy. But the truth is, once I settled in, I was home. The Catholic Church is my home and every parish is part of my family.

Jesus is there. I tried to let go of all that was on my mind, to focus on prayer, to thank Him for my many blessings, and to offer my concerns, which are plenty these days. As always, I was glad that I had gone and spent a little time with God.

Later that evening, in Quebec City, gunmen entered a mosque and opened fire on people at prayer. Like me, they had left behind whatever was going on with their day to spend a little time in worship and prayer. Six people were killed, several apparently courageously attempting to defend the others, and eight injured.

To desecrate a house of worship with violence is a terrible abuse. It is an extension of our home, a sacred place where the expectation of peace should be inviolable. It saddens me so much to see that sacredness was not respected. It is shameful that this occurred in my home province.

Please join me in praying for the victims of this reprehensible attack. Let us pray also that our parishes remain sacred spaces, free of all violence, including the violence of gossip and innuendo, unjust anger, selfishness, jealousy and so forth. Perhaps further reflection on yesterday’s Gospel on the Sermon on the Mount is in order. Let us pray for the grace to follow the Beatitudes and that we may be blessed to be peacemakers.

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