Faith and Life

Quiet Sanctity

Every morning before Mass, a small group of people in the parish gather and pray the Rosary together. In the stillness of the Church, their united voices call out with confidence to the Queen of Heaven as they think about the Mysteries which are being prayed, each Mystery a reflection from some episode from Scripture, usually from the Gospels.

This morning Rosary is separate from the Mass which will shortly follow it, but it provides a beautiful lead-in to that Mass. It means that for those praying, they enter the Mass in a spirit of prayer, their souls and their minds quietened in order to listen a little better to the Lord who will speak in His Word and then come to each of them sacramentally in the Eucharist – and from which, He will then send them out into the world of their daily lives, taking Him with them.

It is, I think, a very beautiful and good way to begin the day. And I think that one day – though not on this side of eternity – they will each come to see the great blessings they were given in responding to this invitation of the Lord to honour His Mother and then to unite themselves with Him sacramentally.

I watch these people and it seems to me that they are quietly living holy lives, day after day. They are, I think, what Pope Francis calls “the saints next door”.


Sanctity is the most attractive face of the Church
Pope Francis


When we think of sanctity, we tend to think of the great and illustrious saints who did wonderful things, who performed miracles. And yet, there are ‘small-s saints’ all around us, in every parish in every part of the world. This ‘quiet sanctity’ is everywhere, even if we do not notice it.

For those who ask “where is God?” in our world today – look around you; He is in so very many different people, if only you will take the time to notice and to see His grace at work in them.

If you are not sure just how best to spot these people, then look for the ones who pray – that is always your first clue to the presence of God, alive and active, in these people. People who truly believe in God will always be people of prayer, because prayer is the very recognition, adoration and petition of that God, and of our innate need for Him and for the power of His grace. So look for those who pray. And no matter what the world tells you, there are a great many such people, people of authentic prayer. They are everywhere.

And if you do spot these people (and I am certain you will, if you look for them) – then why not watch them carefully, learn something from them, and perhaps even become such a person?



A Catholic writer living in the United Kingdom

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