To enter a Catholic church is to be present to the ‘jewel’ at its heart. That jewel is Jesus Christ, our Saviour, Really Present in the Blessed Sacrament. As a beautiful jewel reposes in a worthy jewel box, so the Blessed Sacrament should be placed in a worthy setting. Everything seen or experienced in our church should help us to recognise that this building is a holy place. It is God’s house: a house of prayer. We who enter it are on the threshold of Heaven, surrounded by Angels, and in communion with the Saints. Christ our God is here, and deserves the best we can offer: the best music, artwork, furnishings - and the best behaviour. Through all that is good and beautiful in church we show our gratitude to Jesus for His sacramental Presence. We show our love for Him by our reverent bows and genuflections, our modest clothing, our sincere prayers, our concern for our neighbour, and our respect for the prayerful silence, and by being in a state of grace each time we receive Jesus in Holy Communion (T:6349)
We learn in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: ‘Under the consecrated species of bread and wine Christ himself, living and glorious, is present in a true, real and substantial manner: his Body and his Blood, with his soul and divinity’ (para. 1413); ‘he is to be honoured with the worship of adoration’ (para. 1418).
We hear Jesus say in the Gospels: ‘Does not scripture say: “My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples” (Mk 11:17); and‘stop turning my Father’s house into a market’ (Jn 2:16).
We can pray for greater reverence in our own words, or by saying:
Jesus, my God and Saviour,
I praise and thank You for Your Presence amongst us
and for all Your gifts and graces.
Help me to show out my love for You, here and everywhere,
in each of my thoughts, words and actions.
Keep me close to You, and faithful to You,
now and for evermore.
This meditation is published as a four page laminated prayer card with 3 illustrations, called REVERENCE IN CHURCH.
Order Code RLCA06.
See Publications for further details