Monday, July 21, 2008

The Joys of Adult Conversion

Embracing Catholic Christianity as a sentient adult has its blessings. Currently topping my list is the blessing of not having been raised Catholic and therefore unable to do anything liturgical by rote. For me, liturgy is not at all what the symbolic interactionists would call a "world-taken-for-granted." [Note to self: spend some time thinking about how to reconcile prior training in and affection for this phenomenological approach with B16's teachings about the perils of moral relativism.] Okay, back to the Earth plane.

I, for one, could not lip-sync the Mass, although I can recite most key congregational speaking parts in a heartfelt way. I'm not too proud to admit being at a near total loss when expected to proclaim anything other than A or B options for the mystery of faith. Anyone standing near by might wonder if I'm saying, "WhenweeatthisbreadandhumunahhumahJesusblahblahglory." Not to worry all you Cradle Catholics, I'm determined to learn C and D long before it's time for my own funeral Mass.

So can you imagine what happens when I'm asked to be an Altar Server?

Sometimes this happens when I show up to read for the noon Mass. And if you think it's a young priest who invites me to serve him as he serves us, you'd be wrong. I'm granted this privilege by a man who really is old enough to be my father.

I do not take this privilege for granted. I cannot do it by rote. I always think I've messed up something sacred and he always kindly tells me I've done "fine job." I always say, "thank you, Father" and mean it. I also resist adding that I'd probably do an even finer job if I were wearing an alb and a huge pectoral cross and was eight years old.

1 comment:

  1. I am a long-distance witness to Meredith's spiritual journey from Judaism (really materialism with Knishes) to Catholicism and the stops in between at the Ashram and more American-made Christian Churches. It is delightful to see Our Lord use Meredith. She is living confirmation of the mystery that we will be truly one in Christ and with Christ yet remain vividly ourselves.

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