Tuesday, January 01, 2008

House of God...Catholic style

This is what the inside of the Mother of God Church looks like! I don't know where it is. I found this in my bookmarked pages. Does this draw one's soul and heart and mind toward heaven or what!?! To think that I used to believe this kind of "gawdy stuff" was irrelevant and not necessary for worship makes me sad now, as I know what a blessed gift Christian art is, and how so many poured their blood, sweat and tears into this kind of elaborate "house of God" for HIS GLORY, not their own. Many a early immigrant and pioneer to this country gave of their time and talents to ADORE the Lord. It wasn't 'superficial' or considered a waste to honor God with their best in skill and artistry. They didn't spend their lot in life on themselves, but for the Church, and for posterity, and here we are, so many years later, enjoying the wonder and majesty of creation, and the way our spirits soar to heaven just gazing upon these masterpieces.

Rich and I have taken hundreds of pictures of Catholic Churches in and around the Omaha area. There are some very simple, yet still holy and reverent small country churches, and then the larger Cathedrals and basilicas which are more elaborate, but both are so beautiful with statues and altars and usually a choir loft with an ornate organ and the gorgeous stained glass windows that are utterly refulgent when the sun shines through them, depicting the life, death and resurrection of Jesus and or mysteries of the rosary, etc. To drive by some fundamentalist or Evangelical buildings these days, you'd think it was just an office, or strip mall or sadly a dumpy shack on the side of the road. I'm not putting the people down or making a personal attack on their 'houses of worship' but it's mind boggling to me, how one could ever join their hearts to a greater and higher power, a heavenly host, when you're entering a building devoid of beauty. God love 'em and I pray they will all come Home to Rome and find the WHOLE body, the whole human person, with all that we desire for the senses (how we were created in the first place) to be united with that communion of saints in the heavens, beholding the glorious face of God. I crave this as one who appreciates where I worship. I need to see the "other" on a Sunday, rather than just another plain wall, and windowless sanctuary/gym/theater.

To think that so many beautiful churches were destroyed all over the globe is so very sad. Now the money isn't put into the church buildings that it once was. Or if it is, and maybe it is, the 'art' and 'beauty' certainly is less appealing, at least to me. There are some nice modern, and contemporary churches, but NOTHING can compare to the beauty of these cathedrals. My spirit longs for this and though our parish is very nice...this is what gives my heart and spirit wings. I know JESUS is in our tabernacle and He is the goal, but being one who admires the surroundings of where I worship, I do at times wish we were in an older, more GLORIOUS church building. Thank you to all our forefathers and mothers for the gift of such beauty and for thinking of the Church more than your own property and possessions. For you truly knew what was important and it still 'shows.'

4 comments:

Marie said...

Oh, this is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing:).

Peace & JOY to you:)

Marie

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

THe people who built these churches, it seems to me, understood not only who God is better than we do, but what human nature is.
When the Wise Men gave the infant Jesus gold, francincense (sp?) and myrrh (again I can't spell) they knew a baby doesn't need these things; God doesn't need them- THEY needed to offer these things for the good of their own souls.
Is it a coincidence that when 'sin' went out of fashion that beautiful churches went out of fashion too?
If I'm okay, you're okay-then what do we need to do to show our love and need for Almighty God?
Once we understand who we are in realtionship to God we will start building beautiful churches again-like Mthr Angelica has done.

God bless you Susie and I am praying for you and your friend.
Have a blessed 2008

Joyful Catholics said...

Whitestone...that is profound! You are so righ! I'd never thought of the 'sin angle' but it is true! Also, since there's no real 'sin' anymore, we're not really 'guilty' of greed (one of the 7 deadly sins)so we see these monstrosities called "houses" now, over a million dollars being built and who lives in them? Oh, maybe 2 people, deeply in debt, and MAYBE they might have a kid or two. Yet they're never outside or rarely outside enjoying their yards or sailing their boats that I see.

I'm not condemning them all, I don't know their hearts, but we're a much more greedy society that's for sure! AND my husband works on a lake as a lake manager of these multi milliona dollar homes. One is over 21,000 sq. ft! Tennis court and basket ball court INSIDE! Only 2 people, retired live there! It really makes me nauseous. I don't know them, maybe they're as nice and kind as can be, but COME ON! Then look at some of the churches! Yes, you are certainly correct.

Funny you mention the 'I'm Okay, You're Okay' book/philosophy of the 70's that was a catalyst to this grievous way of seeing ourselves. I posted a "comic" on that very line. I think it's back in August posts, 2007.

Bless you and thanks for writing and praying for my friend. One day she'll thank me for being rather brutal with her and not supporting her sinful choice.

PAX

Anonymous said...

Mother of God Church, Covington, Kentucky. An old, German parish downtown. http://www.shadowcatcher.info/thumbnails.php?album=28