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  • Writer's pictureMichael Orange

I am in the church, but am I truly inside...

In the embrace of sacred walls, under the watchful gaze of saints and the comforting flicker of candles, I find myself pondering a profound question: am I truly within the Church, or do I merely stand within its physical confines?

The physical presence is evident; the pews, the altar, the stained-glass windows all envelop me. Yet, is my soul truly within? The Church is not just bricks and mortar, but the living body of Christ, bound by faith, love, and communion. It beckons us to delve beyond the surface, to explore the depths of our faith.

To be “inside” the Church requires more than mere attendance. It demands a profound interiority, a spiritual communion that transcends the tangible. It beckons us to a relationship with God that is not confined to rituals, but flows through every facet of our being.

I am reminded of the Gospel of Matthew (18:20), where Christ assures us, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” It is a reminder that the essence of the Church lies not solely in its grandeur, but in the unity of hearts drawn together in His name.

Yet, how often do we find ourselves physically present, yet mentally distant? How many times have we knelt in prayer, but allowed our minds to wander elsewhere? This comparison of physical and spiritual presence serves as a call to introspection.

The sacraments, those divine conduits of grace, provide an avenue for this interiority. In the Eucharist, we partake in the very body and blood of Christ, an intimate union that goes beyond the material. In Confession, we lay bare our souls, seeking reconciliation and renewal.

The saints, too, illuminate this path of interiority. Through their lives, they exemplify a profound intimacy with God, transcending the confines of earthly existence. They show us that true communion with the Church is not an abstract ideal, but a tangible reality attainable for every soul.

Yet, it is a journey fraught with challenges. The distractions of the world, the trials of life, and the weight of sin can create barriers to true interiority. It requires conscious effort, a commitment to prayer, reflection, and a continual turning of the heart towards God.

In the depths of contemplation, I realize that being “inside” the Church is not a one-time accomplishment, but a lifelong pursuit. It is an ongoing dialogue, a dance of the soul with the Divine, a constant surrender to His will.

As I leave the sanctuary, I carry with me a renewed determination. To be within the Church is not a matter of physical location, but a condition of the heart. It is an invitation to delve deeper, to seek the true interiority that binds us to Christ and to one another. For within the Church, I am not alone; I am home.


Deacon Mike


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