14 March 2014

Father Andrew: The Altar

Dear children, each one of you has got some wilderness where you go apart and wrestle with your sins and fight your flesh and try to think and plan your life ideally ; each one of you has some Nazareth where you sweep up shavings day after day and do the same tiresome jobs ; each one of you has your mountain where you pray and wonder and hope ; each one of you knows something of the shadow of Gethsemane; and each one of you is going to some Calvary, somewhere, somehow, some day. Many have already found their Calvary.  Here at the altar of God we migle our life's experience with His life's experience Who for our sakes became man.

We, as I say, have our wildernesses, but no one of us has had forty days and forty nights of it, fasting, fighting with the fiend ; we have our Nazareths, but no one of us has been so fettered and so cramped as was the Divine Nature humbled beneath the disguise of a village carpenter among the envious people and the stupide people who could not understand His great soul and wondrous mind and His thoughts of God and man. 

We have had our dark and difficult days, and we are going, each one of us, to a Calvary ; but no one of us has had a sweat of blood, no one of us can know what it must have been to hang on the gibbet of the Cross, first in the awful glare of the day and then in the awful blackness of the night.

I cannot think of a religion without at altar.  It is God's altar ; it is Christ's altar ; it is our altar.  Here we come to find the holy way of sacrifice and the strength to follow that way. 'I will go unto the altar of God.'

Father Andrew, S.D.C.
The Symbolism of the Sanctuary
'The Altar', pp. 16-17