Sacred Heart Church

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Yesterday I spent the day at the county courthouse.  Having been assigned to a jury panel on the eighth floor, I took the elevator with mixed anticipation.

Stepping onto the hallway, I turned left and walked to the window.  I wanted to see the roof of the cathedral a few blocks away.  Satisfied, I walked to the opposite end of the hallway nearer the courtroom where I’d be most of the day.  Looking out the window from there, I spotted another beautiful church top and asked, “Does anyone know the name of that church?” but got no response.

After lunch, one of the jurors spoke to me from across the narrow hallway.  “Remember you asked about that church this morning?  It’s Sacred Heart on Comanche Street.”

I smilingly thanked him and decided that, no matter what time we were dismissed, I’d stop by for a visit before heading home.

At the church

SHC31510-45I parked on the side street away from the front entrance.  A woman and her son were getting into their vehicle, so I hurried over to ask if the church was open.

“Unfortunately, the church is locked.  These are different times… not safe to keep churches open at all hours.  But, if you walk in through that gate and through that door,” she said, pointing the way, “you’ll find the chapel.  That’s where we often come to pray.”

“Thank you!”

She looked on until I opened the door to the chapel.

I’d waited six long hours to get there, but I’d been ready since the night before when I’d placed my Coolpix in my tote bag.

Purposeful visit

SHC31510-5Walking into the darkened chapel, I noticed the woman writing in the book of petitions.  She was so engrossed in her thoughts that she never once looked up to see anyone enter.  The man, too, was deeply in prayer.  I did my best not to disturb them, although I did meet the woman, Esmeralda, afterwards when she asked why I was taking photos.

We talked at length about prayer, faith, petitions and praise, and why she visits the chapel.

“I like to be spontaneous.  This morning I got the notion to come here after my doctor’s visit this afternoon, so here I am.”  Esmeralda enjoys the chapel’s quiet peacefulness before returning to her hometown.

“I think God planted that thought in both of us today,” I enthused.

Esmeralda agreed.  She’d wanted a photo of the lifelike Christ icon for some time, so I was glad to oblige.

We exchanged information, and then she asked me to pray for her and for her son.  “My son’s a pharmacist, but he has such a bad case of psoriasis that he can’t get work,” Esmeralda explained.

“I’ll keep both of you in my thoughts and prayers, and I’ll add your names to our church blog’s petitions page.”

We hugged goodbye, and I remained a while longer, finishing the entry I’d started before Esmeralda had approached me.

Treasure trove

I’m always amazed at God’s impeccable timing and his sense of humor.  He leaves me treasures here and there to keep me actively engaged in what I’ve come to call my Easter egg hunt in life.

Yesterday’s time spent at the courthouse led me to Sacred Heart Church.  So, yes.  I found another treasure and got what I wanted, even though the church was locked.

The sneak peek through the glass wall that separates the chapel from the main church was priceless, even though I would’ve wanted to photograph the Stations of the Cross painted on the walls and the arched ceilings.  But I suppose it was God’s way of whetting my appetite until I return there for Mass, take more photos, and discover something— and/or someone— as I did yesterday.

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March 17, 2010

The chapel reminded me of our visit to the San Agustin Cathedral in Laredo, TX.

           

May 10, 2010

Searching for prayers to St. Felix, I came across a very nice tidbit: Visits to Jesus in the Tabernacle: Hours and half-hours of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament (1898).

August 14, 2011

So far I’ve found depictions of a bereaved Mary holding her beloved son in three sacred spaces: Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church, the Corpus Christi Cathedral, and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral (left to right, respectively).

               

“No created mind, no created heart, no human force is capable of knowing how much love the heart of Mary had for our Lord” (St. Jerome).

June 27, 2017

Most people’s glorious gates of perception creak on rusty hinges.  How much of the splendor of life is wasted on us because we plod along half-blind, half-deaf, with all our senses throttled, and numbed by habituation?  How much joy is lost on us.  How many surprises we miss.  It is as if Easter eggs had been hidden under every bush and we were too lazy to look for them. But it need not be so.  We are able to stop the advance of dullness like the spread of a disease.  We can even reverse the process and initiate healing.  We can deliberately pay attention each day to one smell, one sound which we never appreciated before, to one color or shape, one texture, one taste to which we never before paid attention (David Steindl-Rast in The Way of Silence: Engaging the Sacred in Daily Life).

Links of interest…  Blessed Virgin Mary…  Finding comfort (booklets as pdf files)…  How to pray the rosary…  Michelangelo: about / sculpture…  Our Lady of Sorrows: beautiful prayer (YouTube) / devotion (YouTube) / devotionals / feast (Sept. 15) / meditations / mystery of comfort and hope / mysteries (YouTube) / novena / of sorrows / prayers / scriptures (YouTube) / seven prayers / seven sorrows…  Pietà: about / art (YouTube) / chapel / depiction / making / names / statue…  Sacred Heart: parish / church

WP posts…   Angels keeping watch…  Bearing one’s crosses…  Christ’s sacred heart…  Concrete abstraction…  Faces of Mary…  Growing pains…  Heart of hearts…  Heart’s desire…  In the pink…  Historic nuggets…  Living one’s gifts…  Lourdes novenas…  Mary’s miraculous medal…  Mary’s seven joys…  May flowers…  My Franciscan Crown…  Noon visit…  Our Lady…  Our Lady’s church…  Prayerful ways…  Repeated prayers…  Revisiting St. Simon…  Saturday evening Mass…  Seven dwelling places…  Solano, Solanus, Solani…  St. Felix…  St. Monica…  Sweet Jesus

St. Austin Church

Our last trip to Austin we attended St. Mary Cathedral, since neither of us had been there before.  We also knew that St. Austin would be next, since Steven had spoken glowingly about his attendance there in years past and I had yet to see it.

Sunday morning was cool; the air, a bit damp.  We parked in the back and walked through the peaceful churchyard to St. Austin’s main doors on Guadalupe Street.

On entering, I was enveloped by St. Austin’s granite massiveness, yet the church felt warm and inviting.  Its side altars, alcoves, and seating room to the right of the main altar are uniquely unlike any church I’ve ever seen, although it’s reminiscent of the Greek church Segy and I wandered into while in Berlin.  The church, named for
St. Augustine (Austin) of Canterbury, is managed by Paulists, who are also responsible for the University Catholic Center at UT nearby.

               

               

       

       

       

                  

               

       

   

               

               

July 19, 2015

“If you believe what you like in the gospel and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe but yourself” (St. Augustine of Canterbury).

Links of interest…  Servant of God Isaac Hecker: founderPaulists (blogs: Busted halo & Giving the word a voice – booksmore)…  St. Augustine of Canterbury: about / apostle of England / bishop & missionaryfirst archbishop of Canterbury / Italian Benedictine / memorial / monk / prayers / quotes…  St. Austin Catholic Parish: historyparking information…  University of Texas (UT Austin) Catholic Center

WP post…  Elvis moment…  Painted churches…  St. Mary Cathedral…  St. Mary revisited