Sister Ursula Horan OP

Churches can look so different, St Peter’s in Rome, St Paul’s in London, St Patrick’s in Soho Square, London or St Dominic’s in Haverstock Hill, London: but they give the same message: namely the message that God is there in a special way.  

Entering a quiet church with its rising columns and pillars, the smell of clouds of incense, smoke and wax, light enhanced stained glass windows and enveloping silence create a sense of mystery and peace.

This sense of awe is the product of the prayers of those who have been here before us pouring out their joys, sorrows, love and thanksgiving.

Many churches were built with the hard earned pennies of the poor, those who knew the power of prayer in their deprived lives. Could we ever even begin to number the prayers that have been said down the years by so many, how often God’s mercy was preached and friends and strangers welcomed in these places?

We too can add to these prayers which stretch across time and space when we visit churches, oases of peace, as we hurry through our busy lives. As the Poet Lawrence Dugan says “The Peace inside was doubly rare”.

Prayer: O God help us to slow down a bit and visit churches as we pass along the highways of life. Speak to us and show us your way. We ask all this through Jesus Christ your son. Amen

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