Archbishop Leo Cushley spoke this morning on BBC Radio Scotland to give his Thought for the Day, discussing the importance of feeling peace in our heart and safety in our places of worship.
"You know, we’re a security conscious lot. Most of us lock up our homes and vehicles and use passwords to protect our phones and computers. We want to feel safe. We want to feel secure.
"However, the latest terror incident in London on Sunday highlighted again that few places are ever completely safe.Not even our places of worship.
"The Scottish Government recently announced funding to protect such places. The scheme makes half-a-million pounds available to churches, temples and mosques to install security measures to protect them against hate crime.
— Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh (@archedinburgh) February 5, 2020
"It’s a move meant to reassure us that no-one should fear violence, and that’s surely to be commended. But security gates and CCTV, while practically important, will never be 100 per cent effective.
"That got me thinking about what creates the conditions to make us feel secure. So, where’s your safe place?
"Well, families and close relationships ought to be places where we feel secure and loved.
"Our communities are also places where we should feel secure if we know neighbours are looking out for us. Feeling connected, cared for and comforted gives us a certain peace of mind.
"When the disciples were feeling vulnerable, Jesus told them to trust God, saying: ‘Let not your heart be troubled’. He knew that the heart is our safe place and that it must be protected above all things.
"Why? Because when your heart is troubled, it robs you of all your peace (if you’ve been broken-hearted, you’ll know what I mean). But when our heart is safe and serene, well, that’s a different story. It lifts our whole being.
"Knowing this, gives us the empathy required to help others with spiritual and practical support. And when our heart is in the right place, we all benefit and our communities become safer places for everyone.
"I hope all places of worship will be treated as sanctuaries of prayer and safety; and I hope your heart and your home are a haven of peace today."
Broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland, on Thursday 05 January.