I remember watching movies as a youngster and hearing the word “sanctuary” used when people were seeking refuge – safety. I wonder as I write this if that was not part of my love of entering a church. My safe place. Gods house.
I have to admit I was disturbed to learn recently that our church now provides live viewing of mass via a personal log in on your home computer. Why does this bother me? For one thing, our archdioceses offered televised mass that is recorded at a studio. People know the camera is on them and they are being filmed. Not so where I attend Mass, unless people visit the website.
For myself, my relationship with God is very intimate. When I enter my church it is one of my free / safe zones with my Lord. Suddenly my Sanctuary, my place of peace, quiet – sitting there alone with God – is no longer alone. You see, I realize if they are filming us at Mass, they most likely are also using the camera as a part of a security system so those times I have stopped in for some private moments with my Lord – have most likely been watched.
I realize, this is not only my church – perhaps all of them now. We are no longer alone with God. A church is no longer a true Sanctuary where you can feel alone in Him. Praying quietly, tears flowing or laughter with a friend before Mass . . . Big brother is now watching.
I suppose we should not be surprised, shocked or bothered – but I am. My relationship with God the most precious relationship I can have. For myself, I know without that relationship there is no me and there can be no other relationships.
Somehow . . . this seems to taint the beauty, simplicity and openness of our faith journeys.
Who wants to be viewed or taped while having private moments with our Father? How often over the years have I heard – no photo’s please?
I think of how many times over the years I have knelt in prayer before the cross feeling free to pray and talk to my Father, on some occasions tears have flowed freely.
No more. A sacred place that I grew up believing offered sanctuary, has been taken away. Stolen by technology.
I am thankful I have grown past the time in my life where I felt I had to kneel before the cross to pray to find God, in the way that I now know Him. I will still attend Mass. Church is part of my life.
~ Thankfully, we learn with Jesus that our Father is – outside of a church ♥ as he wandered freely to worship and commune with Him, so shall I.
Note to clarify my last paragraph. Jesus wandered in nature, wilderness, mountaintops and the sea to commune with God. I have always known God was with me, but in more recent times I find Him differently. There was a day when I felt I had to be in a church to have that close contemplative relationship with Him. I have now found Him – everywhere.