Tonight was the ecumenical service, held at one of the local Ch’town catholic churches. Its a new building, oddly arranged but thats another story. What I thought as I stood there in service tonight looking at the statues of Mary and Christ and the burning prayer candles is that the more liturgical denominations create better ‘sacred spaces’. The ones where you can walk in mid-week, find a place to yourself in front of Mary or Jesus (not that i believe we should pray in front of Mary or that she has any significance outside of being the mother of Christ…) and pray, or ponder your life and your spirituality quietly. To their credit, they seem to create more of an experience for solitude and being alone with God. Maybe its the statues that help me visualize or focus more. And that sounds like an idol kinda but the vague picture of God in my head that I try to imagine as I try to stay focused in prayer doesn’t always work. Sometimes I do wish I had an icon, a representation of Christ to look at, to focus on, a face to talk to. We are human and we definitely are more natural communicating with a person to whom we can look, to see facial expressions, to express concern and to see concern or tone. Not that an icon can provide any feedback but I totally get the human need for something physical to look at, to peer into the face of to, in some way, create a more physical relationship, something tangible to relate to or to help us to relate.
There is probably heresy or idolatry in there somewhere. Like liturgy though, there is something to be said for many different aspects of the different denominations good and bad, and like all the differences they can be used or skewed for good or bad as well.
That is all…
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