Views from the Pews: Open a window and let God shine in

St Mary and Joseph Catholic Church, Pocklington.
St Mary and Joseph Catholic Church, Pocklington.

Moving house and the death of a close relative are said to be the two most stressful events in life. They can certainly be times when old memories, good and bad, are brought to the fore.

We might find a box in the attic or reach to the back of a drawer and discover belongings almost forgotten about, but which open up a world of memories.

Even more poignant is when we have to clear the house of a relative and sort out their belongings. It can happen that we discover a document, a photograph or an object which gives us a fresh insight into that person and their history.

This is especially true of those who served in the armed forces. Many soldiers came back from various wars and conflicts and never wanted to speak about their experiences. Traumatic events can be hidden away in memories and medals put at the back of a drawer.

Normal life is resumed and heroism is only discovered after their deaths.

A similar thing can happen on the level of faith, we may discover an old bible, a prayer-book of a set of rosary beads, and learn about a life of faith which had formed people in the past, but which was never talked about.

This can be a spur to the next generation to look into their history and their ancestors and discovery a world they knew nothing about.

It can even open a path to understanding the purpose of our lives and beginning to face the big questions of human existence.

Many Christians are currently in the season of Lent.

We are encouraged to revitalize our faith in preparation for the two most important celebrations of the year, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

We concentrate on prayer, giving up things and charitable works for those in need. We are reminded that the life of faith is never static, we cannot put it away in a drawer and bring it out occasionally to reminisce.

Faith in God has to be alive and active. So we are encouraged in Lent to dust off our prayer-books and rosary beads and use them, to find that old bible and read a bit of it each day.

We are not to hide away from those challenging questions of the purpose of life but to open a window and allow God to shine through.