The Inner Church
Finding the Rules and Regs Within The Church That Never Changes
People believe that the Catholic Church is a huge structure centered in Rome, with a trained and chosen hierarchy, complex theology, and centuries old rules and regulations.
The reality is that the real Catholic Church dwells within each individual Catholic, with many variations on the external theme.
There are Catholic converts, cradle Catholics, dogmatic Catholics, mystical Catholics, liberal Catholics, fallen away Catholics, and Catholics who only go to Church to sit alone with God in candlelit solitude, communing silently with the Companies of Heaven, the Saints and the Angels who live vibrantly in every Church, most palpably when the congregation has left for the day.
Within the deep heart of a Catholic soul, no one else knows, no one really witnesses, that person’s communion with God.
“That’s what all this is really about, you know”, said the saintly Capuchin Friar, Fr. Barnabas Keck, with a casual wave of his hand and raised glance, indicating the building he was sitting in, and implying the whole structure of the Church, the feasts, the festivals, the community Sacraments, the archives, the laws, the great works of art….”It’s all about Almighty God”.
He was distilling for me , a few months before his death, exactly what he had concluded in almost 70 years of humble service, and exactly what he wanted to leave with me, just… simply…. God.
Taking that message to each individual Catholic, all of the millions of Catholics, “it is all about Almighty God, and you”.
You can live a lifetime of loyally attending all the required activities, and never know that ecstatic, cruel piercing of the heart, that is God’s true love for you.
That piercing reveals the true rule, the true regulation, the truth behind the Mass, the truth behind all of the buildings, the artwork and music, that true broken heart of Love. “Break my heart again and again,” says the mystic, “just, please, don’t ever leave me, I am so alone without you, don’t ever leave”.
The Inner Church, the sanctuary of broken hearted Love, opened over and over again with each new wound, is the Church that never changes.
Sara Street 7/15/17