The light is on in the sanctuary

Published 9:10 am Wednesday, October 11, 2023

By Steve Stricker

Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

A casual friend from Arkansas with close ties to Ole Miss, posted a video on Facebook not long ago with Ashley McBryde singing “Light On In The Kitchen” and saying that this was her song.  

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Catchy song, I like it and is well done by McBryde, about trusting herself, never backing up further than you have to, guys are dumb but one day she would get one, have a glass of water by the bed, honey will keep your nose from runnin,’ pancakes at midnight with girlfriends, you’ll need someone to listen that’s why I keep the light on in my kitchen…always have a place that you can go for cryin’ and bitchin’…etc.  

It’s always comforting to know there’s a place to go to when stuff happens as it always will and someone willing to listen.

Monday, October 2 at St. John’s as usual an hour early before 12:10 Mass to sit, be still, alone in the dark, peacefully before our Lord in the tabernacle, per my hero Bishop Fulton Sheen, to meditate on so many physical, personal issues, my many flaws, and how much Jesus loves me to have endured all he went through to save a wretch like me, and to pray for guidance that his will only be done – I’ll mess it up and don’t want free will!

Unconsciously staring at the Sacristy Candle, always burning, only light on in the church representing Jesus alive in the tabernacle – his body and blood present in the eucharist and thinking about McBryde’s song, thought that along with a spiritual director, this is the light that I personally most need – a light showing us that Jesus is here, in church, in our communion consecrated daily by Father Mark, for us to receive,  a gift greater than any on this planet, free because of Jesus’ suffering, and always there for us. 

Unlike McBryde, I don’t trust anything to my judgement alone, daily working on my faith because I’ve learned from past and current mistakes that when I try to take control, stuff goes mostly to rubbish!  Instead, have to pray on it and give it to God. By doing so, I am constantly amazed at how our Lord works things out for me. – way better than I could ever have done.

As a licensed counselor, I appreciate the power of catharsis and having someone to go to who genuinely cares about you like McBryde.  But for me, I also need that quiet time before our Lord in the tabernacle, in the dark an hour before Mass, with only that light on in the sanctuary….

Steve is an Oxford resident, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, and can be reached at