Last fall, I spent a weekend at an abbey, with the purpose of spending some one-on-one time with Jesus. It was a wonderful experience, one I hope to repeat from time-to-time.
The church at the abbey is lit primarily by its high windows, so it feels a bit dark and cavernous. Incense is offered during mass – it floats upward – patiently, silently filling the entire church. As mass continues, you soon notice sunlight streaming all the way down to the floor – our offerings in the darkness revealing the light from above – light which was always there, but previously unnoticed. Following the photo is what I wrote while there at the abbey.
Offerings of prayers and psalms are not our own, but a reiteration of the words of almighty God, given to His children. What can we offer as a sacrifice to Almighty, Eternal, Creator?
“I detest your celebrations and festivals, the stench of your sacrifices fills my nostrils. What do I want from you, but a broken spirit and a heart of contrition. I have shown you what is good, to practice justice, to love mercy, to walk humbly with me, visiting widows and orphans in their state of neediness, offering sanctuary to the stranger and renewal to the weary.”
“The oblation which we offer up to be accepted by God is ourselves.”
Truly, we have nothing to offer. We have only what we are, endowed by the Creator. We are who we are through the grace of the crucified King. He offers to us. Our posture can be nothing but the humility of profound gratitude.
We bow, kneel and prostrate ourselves in body and spirit, and Jesus – our brother – bids us rise, invites us to join Him in His work. As His fragrance fills our nostrils, we begin to see the invisible; the light filling the world around us is made tangible through our actions – our reactions – for anyone to now see and understand.