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Out of Sight Should Be Kept in Mind

A few weeks ago, Alison, Benedict and I attended my sister’s wedding in Pittsburgh. Maree’s wedding was particularly special because of its location. She was married in the historic St. Anthony’s Chapel. St. Anthony’s has the largest collection of relics outside of the Vatican. There are over 6,000 individual relics of saints housed in ornate reliquaries and stored in glass cases surrounding the altar. As I was at the Wedding Mass, it hit me. This is the reality of the Mass!

We are extremely limited by our human sight. Our limitations prevent us from ordinarily seeing Angels, Saints, and even the glory of God. With the exception of mystics and some private revelation, we’re not able to see citizens of Heaven in this life. At the Mass, no matter where it’s celebrated, the whole of the Saints and Angels gather around the Altar to celebrate the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

What I really loved about the St. Anthony Chapel was that, as Mass was being celebrated, I was surrounded by the beauty and overwhelming number of relics. Surrounded by the Saints and in that way I was reminded of this unseen reality of the Mass. It made physical what I cannot ordinarily see. It reminded me that Mass is not only something special and miraculous, but that it is a celebration that transcends time, space, and worlds.

It’s truly sad that we’ve lost so many Catholics from our fold. The New Evangelization is all about us inviting them to come back to the Church. If only they could experience Mass at the St. Anthony’s Chapel and understand the depth, beauty, and mystery of the Church, they might be inspired to come home.

Former Catholics might never visit the St. Anthony Chapel, but they will encounter you. How will your actions show them the joy of being Catholic and living a faith-filled life? You might be the only Gospel that they ever read.