Monday, March 22, 2010

"The Church always looks better from the inside."

About exactly a year ago, after Stations of the Cross, on Friday, a couple friends and I went out for drinks. We ended up going to Dulce Vita, a little place that serves gelato. Ok.. nevermind the details, I just wanted to orient you to setting.

Michael and I were both candidates at the time, ready to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church. We were with Janice and Janet, both already in full communion with the Church. Janice said something very profound that night, something I won't ever forget.

She mentioned a saint, some person's name I don't recall, said that if you look at the Cathedral, it looks quite ugly and horrific on the outside, with dark and foreboding windows, (at least to that effect). But when you come inside, you see the light shining through the stained glass windows, the beauty of the architecture, the reverence of the lay faithful. It's the same way with the Mystical Body of Christ. On the outside, the Catholic Church looks quite strange and foreboding, but there's a difference in perspective when you're in the inside.

Coincidentally, or not, a good friend of mine and I went out for burgers yesterday. He mentioned visiting a historic Catholic church in New Orleans. "It didn't live up to its expectations. You could see the rust coming down from the windows and it's unfortunate that we were unable to come inside to take a look."

To that I remarked, "The Church always looks better from the inside." I wasn't joking and I wasn't speaking just literally either.

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in his Eucharistic Hymn, Pange Lingua, usually sung on Holy Thursday,

Very bread his Flesh to be;
Man in wine Christ's Blood partaketh:
And if senses fail to see,
Faith alone the true heart waketh
To behold the mystery.

Yes, precisely that. Only the eyes of faith show the gates of the Church. In order to understand the simple truths the Church teaches, in order to see Light, there are some things you just gotta take as an assumption for it to work. Faith alone, sola fide, opens the Door. Come on in, "come and see," "taste and see," the Church always looks better from the inside.