Prayer in Time of Hope

God of all creation,

Things are moving, changing.

Old ways are being re-examined, set aside, to make room for new ways of being church.

It is as you said, “See I am making all things new.”

It feels like this change has been a long time coming.

The church is bigger than bricks and mortar.

But it doesn’t always seem that way. In many of our churches, more time — and money — is spent on facilities than on formation.

This is my church, the place my faith was shaped,the keeper of memories.

But, if I am honest, memories are not enough to hold me or others if we don’t all feel connected to the community or the communion.

Something has to be done. The paint is peeling, the pews are empty.

Fewer people are coming for communion or community.

Everyone seems to agree that something must be done, but no onewants that something to arrive at their doorstep.

It is painful to watch, painful to experience — especially for many whose roots go deep, who want God and church to stay put.

But God will not be kept in a box. Or in a church. God is bigger. Faith is bigger.

We, the church, must be bigger. Big enough to change in order to survive, to adapt in order to grow stronger.

Big enough to dare ourselves to create community in a newway, to embrace others beyond our walls.

I have heard that catholic —small c —means universal.

Maybe this is the time we embrace

what it means to be Catholic and catholic.

Maybe this is the time to open our hearts, open our minds, open the doors of community,

wherever that may be.

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