Skip to main content

"What's so special about today?"

One perk of my job is that I'm within a 3 minute walk of the Cathedral of St. Andrew. It's a beautiful church, and it's always a blessing to worship there.

Last Friday (which was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and a holy day of obligation), I went over for noon Mass.

[An aside here: the following sort of thing happens to me a lot. A lot. My spiritual advisor says some of us attract unbalanced people, lonely people, those on the outskirts. It's like I have a neon sign on my forehead: "SAFE PERSON!"]

I had just entered the church itself when a young woman came up to me, very close. I thought perhaps she was someone I knew, but she was not familiar. She said, "What's so special about today??"

I have to admit that my first thought (and this is how you know I was a religion major) was, "Hey, that kinda the first line of the Passover Seder. The youngest asks, "Why is this night different from all other nights?"

The young woman had intense dark eyes, and an eager face. She said, "We usually just have the service in the chapel, but there are so many people here today!"

Ah: that gave me a bit more to go on. I explained that today was a holy day of obligation, so Catholics were required to go to Mass.

She told me she was a Christian, but not Catholic. "I just love worshiping here. I try to come every day. Why is today so holy?"

I briefly outlined a whole lot of theology in a sentence or two, telling her that God prepared Mary to be the Ark of the New Covenant, the very best place for His Son to begin His earthly life.

"I don't understand why Catholics pray to Mary or saints. They're dead."

Oh, I said: "They are more alive than we are! They are in the presence of Almighty God!"

Her face lit up, "I never thought of that!"

And better still, I told her, Mary was our Mother as well.

"How can that be right?" she asked.

In Christ, we are all brothers and sisters. That means Christ's Mother is also ours.

Her face filled with wonder. "I have a mother in Heaven?"

Yes, you do. And she so much wants to hear from you. She will take all of your cares to Her Son.

The young woman thanked me profusely, and then drifted off to find a seat.

If only every Catholic had her faith, her desire to know and her willingness to ask a perfect stranger: "What's so special about today?"

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Trying to "end run" God

If you're a football fan, you know what an end run is. From Merriam-Webster:
a football play in which the ballcarrier attempts to run wide around the end of the line We try to "end run" God a lot. I do. I figure I know better. I've got this - no need to worry the Big Guy about such a trivial thing.

Of course, it never works.

Like the puppy above, when we try and evade the tough obstacle (even though we KNOW we will eventually have to do it), we end up - well, off in the bushes.

But oh! How I wished my way worked. I'd love to take a flying leap and land smoothly and gracefully. People would be in awe, as if watching Simone Biles nail a balance beam routine that no one else would even attempt. I would shyly look down and blush - just lightly - and acknowledge (But humbly! Oh so humbly!) my achievement.

But no: I am the one pulling myself out of the bushes, scratches all over my legs and twigs in my hair. I'd hear that gentle but loving voice of God saying, &quo…

Trauma Mama

Dear Husband and I both enjoy certain medical shows, such as "ER" and "Code Black." ("St. Elsewhere" was another fave!) These shows revolve around trauma: humans who'd been ambushed by life: a car accident, a fire, and abuse, as examples.

More often than not, these shows also highlight the trauma the doctors and nurses needed to deal with. Having a patient die is always offensive to a doctor: they are charged with saving lives and losing one is the ultimate failure. Nurses spend more time with patients, and can forge strong bonds with people that may be in their lives for just a few days.

But trauma doesn't always look like a bloody body being wheeled into an emergency room, or a house surrounded by fire trucks and police cars. Trauma comes in many forms.

According to one website, trauma can look like surgery. It can look like moving. Trauma can be losing a beloved spouse or more horrifying, a child. Trauma can also be chronic pain, loneliness, m…

Be Brave

A few years ago, it came to my attention that a young family member was struggling with anxiety and depression. I was able to share with her a bit of my own struggles, and let her know she wasn't alone.

A few weeks after our talk, I saw the movie, "Brave." It struck me that the young protagonist, Merida, modeled a great quality. She was indeed brave.

Being brave is not about recklessness. It is not about confidence. It's not about being foolish, or looking for glory in the eyes of others.

Bravery is about doing what is right, even when you are a quivering mess. It's about knowing that things may not turn out the way you expected, but forging ahead anyway. Being brave is standing by the hospital bed while a loved one is dying, and all you really want to do is turn back time. Bravery is standing up to a bully, when your legs are screaming for you to run. Brave is doing what needs to be done even when you're scared and tired and feeling helpless and hopeless.

I …