What we are trying to do in our little church at the end of the world is ‘letting God be God’. We have re-created the basics of monastic life, that is, its focusing on God. What God says. Regardless of numbers, we sing the morning and evening prayers. The lectio divina, with its long readings, is built into these services. We simply let God speak; his sacred texts being read aloud. We are just waiting if this ‘hotspot’ makes a difference.
All we know is that when we let God to be a member of our community, He starts creating ‘a new heaven and a new earth’ among us. Or, it is like an airport of self-knowledge. Without these prayer-times this airport would be closed. No arrivals, no departures.
Today’s Gospel is such an important illustration of the importance of these monastic (heart-focused) opening times. The astuteness of the Syro-Phonecian woman should be our example. We need to bring our ‘muted churches’ before the Lord, just as she had brought her little daughter (detached from Tradition, the continuous and full reading of Sacred Scripture, shortened prayer times, one or two services per week, the abandoned sacrament of reconciliation, etc.).
This healing is a profound symbol of how letting God be God makes us speaking again. She goes home and finds her child lying on the bed ‘and thee devil gone’. The devil gone: when our churches are lit with ‘the speaking presence of God’. Based on a monastic blueprint.
And a last remark. It is not about numeric growth. The point is having a space where Jesus, the divine Word of God resides. Where ‘he could not pass unrecognised’.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..