We are beginning our first part of the series of Embrace the Mystery and I’m stoked! I will begin with “It’s all in the Prep.”
Have you guys ever been to a soccer game? Usually, we just show up for the actual event, but the time to prepare the event took lots of detailed preparation and thought out strategies to make the game run smoothly. For example, in a soccer game, I know the cut of the grass needs to be at a perfect length for the game to run smoothly. In stadiums, the benches are placed in a way that the spectator gets the best experience, the big screens are placed in strategic places for all to see the close-ups, and even the food stations are conveniently set up for easy access.
All of this goes into play for the utmost experience and well, if a soccer game prepares their spectators for a good experience, imagine what the Mother Church will do to prepare the environment for the most sublime moment: the Mass.
For centuries, the Church has been so careful to prepare our bodies to connect with the divine. Paul will say in his letters that our body, soul, and mind need to be aligned and working in symphony for a healthy spirituality. The Mother Church takes this very seriously. Think about it. What’s the first thing you see when you walk into the church? Holy water by all entrances! We dip our fingers and make the sign of the cross. But guys, this isn’t to heal your body or create a miracle or for like “something” to happen… the act of blessing ourselves in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit takes us back to remembering our identity as baptized souls. It’s an empowering experience when you walk into a church and you remind yourself that you are the daughter and son of the One and Only, and He has called you by name.
We will also see visible signs of love of Christ and for Christ. If you are visualizing yourself in a church you will most likely see images of saints. Saints are a reminder that we do not journey alone. We look up to these images with love and we get inspired. They are a reminder that no matter what our limitations may be, we CAN fulfill God’s plan and take others to Him just as those saints did in their lives. So, pick a Saint and get inspired!!
The tabernacle coming from the Latin word for “tent” is where Christ in His body, soul and divinity is kept. This is a beautifully decorated box usually placed in the center of a chapel, church, or space of prayer. You will always find a candle that is lit to indicate that Christ is present. The tabernacle is a visible sign of how we are called to be as beautiful as that tabernacle. We will soon be receiving Christ, so how does our soul look? Is it as beautiful as the image of the tabernacle; cleaned up, kept up? Is there space for Him to even fit?! The tabernacle is a constant reminder of how every day I need to challenge myself to be the best living tabernacle God desires me to be.
There are many things that I wish I could talk about, but I hope you get the idea. The preparation for the Mass goes way beyond simple traditions it takes us truly to a state of preparation. So, next time you walk into a church look around you and see how it can bring you closer to Christ because that is the goal.
Joandra – Writer, unparalleled love