Note: This post is about church ‘n’ stuff, so skip it if you aren’t interested. I don’t post enough to my “religion” blog to make it worth maintaining.
First, a note I jotted down for myself but also for Patience, from today’s homily. I think it came from a book called The Shack, which I had never heard of. It’s a Conversations with God kind of book (not that I’ve read those either!). The main character is conversing with Jesus, and there’s a lot of ecumenism, appropriate to the day we celebrate the arrival of the magi, which leads to the main character saying:
“So does that mean that all roads eventually lead to you?”
At which Jesus smiles, shakes his head, and says, “No. That means that I will travel any road to find you.”
So that one’s for you, Sarah/Patience.
I spent a good part of the first part of Mass contending with my lesser nature, watching a woman in a choir whom I’ve met a few times. She’s older, clearly suffering from mental illness, but too old to have family caring for her, and competent enough to live on her own, with a little help. She is quite tall and usually dressed strangely and unkempt. Standing up there on the beautifully decorated altar with a weird hat and brightly colored shirt and eyes not quite looking in the right direction, she looks so out of place. Which is why she is exactly in the right place, KWIM?
Today was also a circle of life day. It was a baptism Sunday, and there were adorable babies splashing in the font. And just when that was finished, I learned during the intercessions, between the dunking and the anointing, that young mother in our parish who had a particularly malignant form of cancer had died the day before Christmas eve. (She had a wonderful blog and column in the Catholic Spirit. It is amazing to read.) I cannot quickly put it into good words, but it was as if all of life was held right there in that spot, at the font. Emilie quotes a book in her last column that expresses some of it:
“Joy seems more closely related to aliveness than to happiness.”
There at the font, I was standing with hundreds of others in a place so incredibly alive, I could not believe that I had considered missing it.
And we are off to see the Tale of Despereaux this afternoon. Review to come later.