I’m sure that each of us has a particular place, if asked, that we would say we might be able to better appreciate the presence of God in our lives. For some this might be a favourite spot with a spectacular view, for others in might be a memory from a past event, and for others it might just be the place where they can get that peace and stillness that nowhere else offers. Or you might say, just being in a church. Wherever it might be for you, we might describe this as being a ‘sacred space’. Or, your sacred space may not be a physical place at all, rather your space in the day when God is able to be at the centre of your life. It may not last long, it may not have a structure, but it is when God is consciously present.
For many these two versions of sacred space combine when we are able to come to Mass on a Sunday. And it is further enhanced by being part of the church community, and together celebrating the Eucharist as a parish family. But at the moment this isn’t possible in the way in which we are used to. Like so many other parts of our routine, we are having to adapt to a different way of living, and this includes living our faith. However, just because we can’t physically visit the church, it doesn’t mean that we can’t have our period of sacred space that we are used to.
At times the physical reality of the church building might help us to focus on centring our thoughts and attention on the Lord. The lack of Adoration, various Statues, the Stations of the Cross or simply being in front of the Crucifix, doesn’t mean that our relationship with the Lord is in any way diminished. Just because the Blessed Sacrament is locked away in the the tabernacle, behind the locked doors of the church, it doesn’t mean He is inaccessible to us. He is still very much with us wherever we are, and wherever we choose to seek Him, He will be there to meet us.
This may be a new experience for me, and as such it might take a bit of getting used to, but we know that there are no boundaries for God. A simple locked door is solved by a change in mindset. Spending time focused on our faith will sustain us until we can come back together as a parish family.
So perhaps we might ask ourselves if instead of a sacred space, we could develop a sense of sacred time. Given to the Lord whenever, wherever it is possible – the perfect response to His ever open invitation to us.
Deacon Ian Black