There is no sanctuary in our sanctuary.
In that holy time, in Your temple,
A time hopeful of preparation,
That time before we all join together
To celebrate the Holy Eucharist, the marriage feast—
that sacred memorial,
that hope-filled prayer—
Of You, Lord Jesus Christ, and Your bride, the church.
Between aspiring young voices braying pop gospel melodies,
Loudly, out of key;
And joyful elders (and all those others without the excuse of hearing loss)
Rejoicing in one another’s company,
Their voices pitched for sports stadia,
As even their whispers bounce to and fro
In a space fashioned to carry our praise of You to all corners.
There seemed no audial space remaining
for a quiet Hail Mary in the presence of our blessed sacrament.
So near to You, Father, yet so unreachable.
I resigned to the small chapel.
No blessed sacrament there.
But, with the human cacophony now muted,
I could hear Your soft cry, Oh Lord,
Weeping for us all.
For the aspirations of the young woman
Whose voice will forever be most appreciated in the pew;
For the lonely elders reveling in the presence of friends
After so long a time away from human companionship;
For You, Lord Jesus, our one and only divine companion,
Waiting patiently, watching hopefully,
Longing for just a glance,
A by-Your-leave, maybe?
A knee, oh gracious Lord,
For You who died for us,
For our salvation;
Most of all, for my sorrow-filled weakness, as I fled Your presence,
Removing myself from You, who is love,
Realizing my own frailty—spiritual, physical—
That overwhelms Your voice,
Singing to me
In the quiet of Your Sanctuary.