When I am away from church…

After three years without missing a Sunday obligation and a holy day of obligation, I missed four Sunday obligation and the feast day of the assumption of our lady. No word can describe my disappointments with myself.  When Protestants do not have a church to go, they can get together to have something on their own. Sometimes, I do think what we are supposed to do when we are way from a parish and priests…. I tried to pray rosary with some of my catholic friends when we do not have a parish to go on Sunday and read the Sunday reading together, but it still make me feel something is missing from our lives…

So the first thing I did after the training is going to Church. I have to see God and to receive communion.  We went to Dali for a tour. Dali is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with one of the most beautiful Catholic Church. There are a lot of “Bai” minority people live there. Thanks to the some missionaries, they have a really really beautiful  “Bai” style Catholic Church ( see the picture).  Now there is a Chinese priest working there.  He devotes all his life to recover this Church ( which had been almost destroyed during Cultural Revolution) and to recover the faith in that area. There are not a lot of people during Sunday mass, but mass itself is really prayerful and beautiful.  The most importantly,  I received the communion. It is just such a strong power within my heart. Now I am looking for confession. I hope that I can get it done in the coming Sunday.

 

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Friends,you cannot imagine how much I miss St. Francis de Sales and how much I miss Latin Mass. A good tradition cultivates the desire for sacraments and the desire for the holiness. I cannot tell how much more now I told myself that ” I have to”  and from the deep of my heart, I can hear the voice that demand myself to go to church , to do prayer. It is not something optional anymore. Life is hard without good liturgy and good priests ( I have to say that, though faith should be deeper than that..) My friends say that I am lucky since during my faith formation, I met the 1% of good priests in this world.These days, we often think about what we can do when we are away from good liturgy and good priests. The books of saints and prayers now are our closest companions.  From those stories and through the prayers, I realize the great distance of me from saints when we are facing the problems of church. Saints keep praying and sacrificing for our Church when our Church is in trouble. I complain way too much!

There was some moment, when I was in a church with really terrible liturgy ( just like the adoration for the past Thursday.. I cannot say how terrible it is…) I did doubt whether Jesus was still there and somehow the meaning of going to the Church. However, when I see the Eucharistic there.. I cannot doubt anymore. Although the liturgy itself becomes something really disturbing.. my heart is not distracted .

Sometimes, there is always a questions among us, Whether I should go to a parish if the liturgy there is really terrible and the priests there do not know what he is doing. If I have a second choice, I will definitely not go to that parish anymore, but what if it is the only choice?I do not know the answer, but these days I do feel that our faith is rooted in something way beyond the priests and liturgy ( though both of them are crucial to Church….and our faith…. I do pray everyday that all our priests can realize that. ) but when we are away from them, God is still with us…

 

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