Saturday, August 10, 2013

Worship in the ruins

A friend emailed this amazing picture to me a few years ago. It shows High Mass being celebrated (apparently) in Germany during World War II. (Is there a reader out there who knows precisely where this is?) The church building had been bombed, but Jesus was still able to offer his sacrifice of love to the Father in that place because of the faithfulness of the people. 

At a different level, the picture never ceases to move my heart, because it more or less expresses how we experience Church today, and what it feels like to be a priest. Through our shortcomings and sinfulness, and as a result of the the liberal revisionists' calculated policies, the Church is a ruin as real as the one in the picture.  

The determination that, in spite of our pain and tears, the Gospel should be preached and lived, the people lovingly cared for, and the Lord worshipped in the beauty of holiness (and the holiness of beauty, if it can be managed!) are signs of the working of the Holy Spirit and manifestations of real faithfulness. 

Worship goes on today, not because we always feel like it, but because the Lord is worthy of glory and honour (Rev. 4:11), even in the midst of squalor and defeat. It is from where we are and not from where we would like to be that Jesus lovingly continues to sweep us up into his self-offering to the Father, sanctifying and blessing our little corner of the mess.

And HE has the last word!


Scott said...

I used a Google search-by-image and found this:

(Holy Mass in bombed St. Paul Cathedral in M√ľnster, 1946 r.(c) Aschendorff Verlag )

David Chislett said...

Thank you so much, Scott. Mystery solved!

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