Holy Thursday. The high liturgical weekend begins. When the kids were little, we spent most of the weekend attending the various services at our Catholic Church and school. We participated in Seders and the Stations of the Cross. We recited the Rosary and washed and kissed the feet of our fellow parishioners. We spent Good Friday afternoons in prayerful silence with holy music and incense. All ceremonies leading up to the ultimate sacrifice and rebirth of Holy Easter and the Resurrection of The Christ.
The Catholic Church has always known the intense power of sacred music, imagery and scents to open the heart and soul of it's followers. The words of our holy books can sound dry and full of dust. They tell the same story, year after year, century after century. Since early in the Church's history, our fore bearers have enlisted the help and genius of the finest and most celebrated artists to enliven their written words with images and music. Images and song that reach deep into the innermost crevices of our beings to ignite the sacred spark of recognition and transformation. Ancient rituals born of pagan practices. The shared breaking of bread. The drinking of Divine blood. The chants and incense fill the very heart and soul of each participant with awe and wonder. Grace and healing for all, no words or reading skills involved.
This is the part of the Church I long for. That profound and mystical connection with each and every fellow traveler, human and Divine. No dogma or doctrine necessary. Just pure and soul filled communion with the All and the One. This communion is still possible each and everyday if I choose to see past the surface. To look deeper into the Church to Her ancient roots and mystical beginnings. To forgive Her human frailties and numerous (often tragic) mistakes. Some days I choose this path and other days I don't. As I contemplate my weekend, I pray I can move into this sacred space for my own healing and well being. The Sacraments of the Church may be an ancient passageway into my deepest heart, my most needed and profound healing. The choice is, and always has been, mine.