Monday, March 23, 2009

Be Quiet Enough To Hear God's Whisper


This post is not intended to inspire a religious debate about theory or beliefs, rather than one woman's observations about a ritual that was once a big part of her life.



I decided to go to church yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised when the entire building did NOT disintegrate and fall to the ground. That a large, dark, black, rain cloud did not suddenly appear above the church and that lightning did not strike me down, as I feared it would.

Let's just say that I haven't been to Sunday Mass in a few years, so the fact that I decided to go at all came as a complete surprise to me. I casually threw out an open invitation to come along to the family at breakfast, but was looked upon with horror. Somehow I knew this was going to be a solo mission.

Inspired by my Jewish girlfriend, who (she is dating a "Christian") called me Saturday to tell me that she had gone to Mass and "liked"it, it led me to think about what there was to like at church. Armed with this piqued curiosity, I went to Mass like the "masses" in my town who attend regularly. Upon entering there was music-beautiful, joyous music and singing. Parishioners are invited to join in the singing, as the page number for the hymn is posted for all to see and the hymnal books are at arms reach to your seat. Immediately I was struck by the calm and the quiet. Despite the fact that people were singing and little kids were crying and screaming, I felt a peaceful calm wash over me.

After much sitting and standing and the reciting of prayers that I once had commited to memory, the daily sermon began. It was quiet and I was calm, and had a relaxed feeling I had not experienced in a while. I was at ease and it felt good. I prayed to myself, I sang, if I wanted to, I listened to the sermon, if I wanted to, and took from it what I felt was important and I kneeled before God.

Seated behind me were an elderly couple who hardly registered on my radar until the time came for the ritual offering of peace. As I turned to offer my hand, I witnessed them turn to each other and say, "I love you" they then sealed it with a small kiss. I offered my peace, and turned back, my heart filled with the love I had just witnessed, my smile impenetrable.

I left Mass feeling calm and at peace, resolved to TRY to come back once a week. I decided that church will be that one thing I do for myself. A time for me to collect my thoughts and reflect upon what's next. A time free from cell phones, text messages, computers, email and TV. A time free from screams of "MOM" and barking dogs.

A time for me alone, to experience peace. A time of quiet reflection in my head, where only I can judge and seek answers.

18 comments:

SkylersDad said...

Glad you had a good experience, me, not so much.

B.E. Earl said...

I live right next door to a church. Only a few hundred feed out of my front door.

And I still don't go. My mother is so disappointed that none of her kids have her faith.

Candi said...

There must be something in the air.

Back home in Texas we were very active in our church, but since moving here we have not been able to find a church that feels like home, and over the winter we went less and less. We even skipped Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve for the first time ever. But yesterday I woke up feeling the need for quiet reflection and prayer. So we all went to church. And it was good and peaceful and everything I needed.

Glad it was a good experience for you too.

Furtheron said...

I like the quote in the photo.

I don't do church personally - I have my own brand of sprituality that keeps me going. Whatever workds for people I think is good though.

Sassy Britches said...

I think this is an excellent idea. I think church is definitely what people make of it, and I've been striving to find more from it myself for awhile. I am so glad you had peace and time to reflect, and hope that this little "resolution" works out like you want it to!

LegalMist said...

Love the photo. You've got to appreciate a church with a sense of humor.

And I'm glad you found what you were looking for. :)

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

You have to follow your heart...even if it takes you to church!! I have been giving it some serious concideration....but I don't really like the churchs I've been too so far...MY church will come..I'm sure.

BeckEye said...

I believe in God, but I'm not a churchgoer. I don't think churches are now what they were once intended to be.

Jennifer and Sandi said...

I love attending church. Try to get there every Sunday!

I'm glad you had a wonder experience!

- Jennifer

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

My wife wants me to do that kiss thing. I go along with it, but I don't like it. A hug, I'm fine with; a kiss...in church???...no.

It's probably my protestant roots showing up. Or perhaps I need to stretch the velvet a bit more.

The Dental Maven said...

Quiet introspection always feeds the soul.

Fancy Schmancy said...

I envy you, church just have never done it for me. I always feel like I'm an imposter who's about to get outed!

Lisa said...

Peace is good. Doing something each for yourself also good.

Soda and Candy said...

Good for you, I'm glad you had a good experience. Faith can be very comforting.

Sass said...

Well written, Candy.

It's nice to have an experience like that...

Cora said...

Good for you, Candy! I know exactly what you mean too. I found my quiet cell phone free happy place in a nursing home instead of a church. I used to visit my step-mom's 93 year old mother there. We would sit and hold hands, eat chocolate, talk or just look at the lake out the window. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT. It was like getting away from the whole world. It was lovely. A few hours a week of just simply being. I miss that. My chocoholic nursing home buddy died about a year ago. :-(

Chaka said...

Good for you. I'm glad you had such a good experience. Many times I don't feel like going to church but I'm always glad when I do. People have their own beliefs and different ways of worshipping but I'm sure God is always pleased when people make an effort to come to him.

TishTash said...

I wish I had a choice about going to church when I was a kid because it might have changed the feelings I have about it as an adult(ish). The little kid in me still refuses to do something that she's supposed to do.