What happens when you go to pray and someone of a different faith is in your church?
Kerry Weber shares a very emotional article about how the Russian invasion of Ukraine has altered her life, giving a glimpse through her eyes of the church she visits.
I do not have time to go to the church’s rosary for peace in Ukraine, but I go anyway. I have to do something, even though I feel like my small gesture will amount to nothing. So I drive our minivan to the Ukrainian Catholic Church a few towns over. The building is made of yellow brick with a scalloped roof; blue and yellow tulle bunting, the colors of the Ukrainian flag, hang along the handrails ascending the stairs.
Just inside the door, a woman in a fleece vest embroidered with the church’s name stands arranging donation envelopes and blue and yellow ribbons of remembrance on a table that also holds a sign advertising a St. Patrick’s Day corned beef dinner.
After the service, Weber found that some of the people at the church were of different faiths, including Muslims. In her essay, she offers a brief description of the Muslim family and then tells of her reaction in retrospect after arriving home.
When I get home, I learn that a 40-mile-long convoy of tanks is headed to Kyiv. I draw a sharp breath as my stomach drops. Everything feels worse than it was before I left. And so it goes, those moments of exquisite grace and excruciating pain, inextricably bound on the world stage. Had I really expected our prayers to make an instant difference?
Save us from the fires of Hell.
I close my eyes and see the church again, a tiny building in a small town where nothing happens, except maybe tonight something does, even if it’s not what we thought we asked for. I see the infant napping in her stroller and the elderly kneeling, the prayers shouted to the heavens, a man in a Red Sox jacket and a priest in a cassock. I see it all conclude with the Ukrainian Catholics, Roman Catholics and Muslims embracing. At the front of the church the shimmering icon of the Theotokos shelters us all under her veil.
Read the full article here.