Here in Maryland, we rarely have a problem with water. Perhaps every so often in the summer, our water supply may get low because of a lack of rain. Then we may have to limit the days we can water our lawns and gardens. But in the Holy Land where Jesus lived, it was a different story. It rained infrequently in the dry countryside, and people had to find a well for their basic human and physical needs. That’s why the Samaritan women went to the well (John 4:5-42). There she met Jesus who offered her a different kind of water—the water of God’s grace. We first received that water at baptism, and we continue to receive more of it every time we receive a sacrament. Let us rejoice at this gift of spiritual water (grace) which alone can satisfy our deepest thirst for which we were created—God.
“He that has received the Sacrament of Confirmation is always ready to give his life for God… His only fear is the fear of committing sin…”
~ Thoughts of the Cure D’Ars
“INSIDE OUR SACRED SPACE”Week 2: Sanctuary
“They shall make a sanctuary for me, that I may dwell in their midst.” (Ex 25:8).
The sanctuary is the area, often raised, in the front of the church where the altar, the ambo, the celebrant’s chair, and, in many churches, the tabernacle are located. Separated from the nave, this is the place reminiscent of the Holy of the Holies, that is, the inner sanctuary of the temple described in the Old Testament. Interestingly, the altar and tabernacle were centuries apart in the introduction into the Church.
The General Instruction of the Roman Missal defines the sanctuary as “the place where the altar stands, where the word of God is proclaimed, and where the priest, the deacon and other ministers exercise their offices.” (No. 295)
|The Sanctuary decorated at Christmas, St. Jane Frances de Chantal (Riviera Beach, MD)|
***This article “Inside Our Sacred Space” was originally published in the OSV Newsweekly, www. OSV.com, on January 8-14, 2017 and is used with permission of the author D.D. Emmons. ***