As Catholics we identify very closely with the Church building itself. We go into this House of God for Sunday Masses, funerals, weddings, baptisms and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.
But what is really special about our Catholic churches is inside where you see the red vigil lamp burning. This reminds us that Jesus is truly present here in this church in the Holy Eucharist in the Tabernacle. For this reason we genuflect when passing past it or as we go into the pew. You can really feel that presence of God in this House of God. There is a sense of warmth and love. The vigil candle never goes out, like the lamp that was always lit in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. And this lamp is red to show God’s presence and love.
When you travel to Europe and Central and South America, you will always find a huge Catholic Church towering above every other building in the center of the town. That was because before, the House of God was the center of governments and society. Life revolved around God, represented by His Home. At the very heart of the city or town was the presence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the tabernacle of every Catholic church.
The House of God is also called the “Porta Coeli” or “the Gate of Heaven”. Once entering into this door, you left the strife filled society outside and entered into a foretaste of heaven. The colorful stain glass windows shine with light coming down from heaven. The extremely high vaulted ceilings lift the soul up to the “Other dimension of Heaven” beyond the reach of man.
The extraordinary height of the church is accentuated by the even higher steeples, bell towers and spirals that dominate over everything else. This speaks to the human intellect about the vertical transcendence of the divine, the heavenly kingdom. Yet the body of the church is massive and fortified, connected and open to the horizontal daily life of man.
In the evolved new order of the man-centered society, we find at the center and heart of the towns and cities, the financial center where skyscraper banks and businesses dominate the sky line. We have let go of the Divine, to adore the false god of money. And it is a cold god in a impersonal dog eat dog world.
How wonderful it is to slip into one of these Old Traditional Houses of God that is surround by all the temples to the god of manna. Instantly one is transported to another dimension where one finds God’s presence in a peaceful quiet that drowns out the greed and noise of the cut throat world just beyond the walls of God’s fortress.
These Houses of God were built hundreds and hundreds of years ago and have survived time. They have seen glorious times when Jesus was the center of Catholic Christendom as well as times of plagues, wars and anti-God revolutions. And no matter what, they still go on speaking volumes about true traditional Catholicism without even opening their mouths. They stand as monuments to the grandeur and splendor of true Catholicism. We traditional Catholics are so fortunate to be part of the timeless truth of God shining forth from these awesome Houses of God. We too, with God’s help, will go on sharing what is sacred and beautiful by our simple lives dedicated to tradition and truth.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.