Sunday, 24 March 2013
Watch and pray...
On Friday night a Vigil of Prayer before the Blessed Sacrament was held at our church (St John's RC in Horsham) for pro-life intentions and to mark the ending of the 40 Days for Life prayer campaign. We began with the usual Friday night Stations of the Cross, using some Stations specifically written with pro-life causes in mind. This was followed by Mass and then silent prayer before the exposed Sacrament until midnight, when Fr Richard closed the evening most beautifully with solemn Benediction.
It was a privilege to be able to spend this time quietly with Our Lord in the darkened church. In the background we could hear Friday night revelry going on (our church being in a town centre location) and for a while we were accompanied by a, thankfully muffled, electric guitar soundtrack but none of that could really impinge on the sacred time and place in which we were caught up. It was a time of kairos, a time when the eternal breaks through into the temporal... and a fitting preparation for the time of prayer before the reposed Blessed Sacrament that many of us will be spending on Holy Thursday night, as we stay with Jesus during His time of agony in the Garden.
There weren't so awfully many of us (though a fair few - an enormous, enormous THANK YOU to you all for coming!) and we were only there for a little time... but I firmly believe that Our Lord deposits each of our prayer offerings, great or small, into the spiritual treasury of His Church, whence they can be drawn upon by others as blessings in their time of need or used to forge weapons for the spiritual battle in which humanity is caught up. We can't know on this side of the grave how many babies may be saved from abortion or post-abortive women healed of their grief and guilt through our prayers, but we can know that prayer is the absolutely vital foundation on which all our pro-life efforts must be based.
A big thank you to Katherine for organising the evening, to Fr Richard and to all who supported us in any way, including the boy and his dad (I'm so sorry I don't know your names) who kindly came back into church at midnight so that the lad could assist at Benediction.
Wishing all readers many blessings and graces during Holy Week.