A woman walked into The Church and said, "It smells like God in here!" Do you know the experience of when you smell a certain scent, and it takes you back to a certain place, or a certain time? We often associate memories, people, and places with scents. Perhaps the scent of vanilla reminds us of the perfume our grandmother used to wear, or the scent of lavender takes us back to the garden of our childhood home. As I put on my veil for mass, I can still smell the scent of God radiating from it. The incense from mass envelops my veil, and I wear the fragrance of God. To wear the aroma of God; this is a profoundly deep mystery. Unification with God and becoming one with Him. A rich, and beautiful mutual exchange of love, for God wears our fragrance, and we wear His.
Have you ever pondered upon the fact that Heaven has a scent? What does God smell like?
Incense is used within the Mass to symbolize our prayers rising to the throne of God. "Let my prayer be directed as incense in thy sight; the lifting up of my hands, as an evening sacrifice." (- Psalm 141:2) Incense also symbolizes purification and sanctification. The use of incense can be found in both The Old and New Testaments. Incense was used in The Old Testament as part of ritual purification for the dwelling place of God. In The New Testament, Saint John recorded in Apocalypse that He saw incense in The Throne Room of God. "And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and with golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints." (- Revelation 5:8 )
We can see a common theme in both the Old and New Testaments of incense symbolizing the prayers of the faithful. Perhaps the scent that God wears is that of our prayers. It's a beautiful thought to ponder on, Our Creator emanating the fragrance of our deepest prayers. Saint Alphonsus Liguori can be quoted as saying "Our prayers are so dear to God, that He has appointed the angels to present them to Him, as soon as they come forth from our mouths." God deems our prayers so important, that angels are appointed to bring them to Him, thus carrying our prayers to God, like incense rising to His throne.
As God is engulfed in our prayers, and radiates the sweet scent of them, by union with Him we wear His fragrance and He wears ours. The fragrance of God is a mutual exchange of love; The Love and the lover are both coated in the same heavenly scent. The fragrance of God is intimate and personal. Prayers, which are the conversation between the soul and God, rise as Holy Smoke, veiling this side of heaven and the eternal paradise in a haze of deep devotion of love.
Picture yourself standing before The Lord and being covered in the incense of your prayers, your conversations with Him. The glory of His light shines through the holy smoke, and you both emit the fragrance of The Kingdom. Unified and triumphant, you stand in eternity wearing the fragrance of God.