As soon as I walk through the tall, dark-stained wooden doors, and step into a ray of colored sunlight streaming in through a section of stained glass, I know I am home. The familiar smell of sweet incense fills my nose as I walk down the center aisle, and I am in paradise. Specks of color appear as the sun surpasses a cloud, and its warm rays are held captive by the colored glass. This is my haven. The white walls bear the sufferings of the Son of God, and I bow my head in reverent sorrow. Raising my head, my eyes are drawn to the magnificent painting of the Blessed Mother with the infant Jesus; Mother and Son amidst golden clouds with golden halos encircling their heads. As I look to my right, I see my favorite statue, the crucified Christ. Just like all of the statues and angelic figures around the church, who make the words we read in the Bible more tangible through sight, this one just brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.
Walking into a Church is not like walking into an ordinary building. As soon as I cross the threshold, I feel relieved of the stresses, problems, and issues of my life. It is a freeing of the spirit for me. Now that my mind is clear of distractions, I sit in the pew closest to the tabernacle; the sanctuary of my Lord, and focus on my breathing. As I breathe, a deep inner peace fills my scarred soul, and begins to mend the burned edges. It is a peace that comes from trusting in God’s will, and when I am sitting in His house, trusting in His will seems a lot easier. Trusting God comes from knowing God, and while I am sitting there, I feel the closeness that a creature feels when he comes face-to-face with his Creator. I can feel God’s love turning the key in the lock on my heart, and I silently surrender my heart to Him. My mind becomes less crowded, and I can feel myself starting to let go of the temporary, and focus on the permanent. Some say that love is fleeting, but God’s love bears strength, courage, inspiration, and spiritual peace. As I look at the painted canvases of the Stations of the Cross, I feel my weak human body standing up more straight, newly fueled with the strength of Christ’s Passion. He suffered, He died, and He was human just like I am. So through His sufferings, I find strength to keep holding on to life, which at times, seems impossible to get through. While I sit, I can feel God guiding me to a life of faith and love, and patching up my doubts with faith. Accepting His will seems easier when I know that He will be by my side through it all, and knowing that nothing is ever impossible.
Being close to God has always been very important to me, and it has a very significant meaning in my life. Church is more than a building to me, and it has always been a place where I can detach myself from the feverish world, and focus more on enriching my faith. Without a doubt, God is the most important part of my life, and being close to God helps me accept the bad things that happen. Faith has taken away the need to blame someone for a mistake, but has shown me to help the person learn from their mistake, and to avoid it in the future. This has a definitive meaning for me, as I have discovered that the Catholic faith is, “More like falling in love than something to believe in, more like losing my heart, than giving my allegiance…” (Jason Gray More Like Falling in Love verses 9-12).
Cecelia is a guest blogger on this site. She is a high school student in New York. This post is placed with proper permission. Her last name is intentionally omitted.