just in spending time in a church. I feel it when I step in, a sense of sanctuary from the craziness of the world, a physical reminder there are higher and more enduring realities in the world.
At times it makes no difference what is actually going on, what Liturgy is being served, or how I am part of things. Just to be there, to have my eyes completely captured only by holy things, a whole world around me where nothing profane can find root. This is a deep kind of joy.
Now there is precious little refuge to be found. The whole world is about signs and commerce and work and the endless pursuit of the next “thing”. Some who are called flee to the deserts and forests to find a place of rest but I am called to be in this world and so I need a place in the world, a place that calls me to what is higher, better, and more enduring.
It does not need to be a fancy, covered with gold and finery. Wherever people of true Faith come in humility to encounter God is already covered in the best of decoration. I have been to beautiful churches and I have been to humble ones and I can say that God is no respecter of persons as much as He is a respecter of hearts. The holiness of hearts is what makes a church a temple and such hearts transform a building into a refuge from a confusing and aggressive world.
If nothing else is to be gained the Faithful should be in their temple as often as possible simply because it is “other” than any place in the world and may be the one place, the only place in the world, where holiness and the deep peace it brings is welcome. To rest in such a place refreshes the soul and brings healing to lives numbed by the restlessness of this world.