Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The One Explanation

I looked around the nave at morning mass today and made a quick headcount. Then I said to myself, Christ! It was an explanation, not an imprecation.

Attendance was high, maybe as high as I’ve ever seen it for a non-feast weekday. My mind moved (we were praying but I was thinking now) to the phenomenon of pastor and pope change, with which the Catholic Church deals regularly. Eighteen months ago, my first pastor, a man I revere, left our parish for a new assignment, and a new guy, unknown to me, came aboard.

For all you non-Catholics reading this, the change wasn’t brought about by a search committee or the vestry. It was ordered by the bishop. That’s the way it works here on this side of the Tiber.

As with any change in leadership, there were those in favor and those agin’. I try to avoid such discussions, or not let them get too far. Me, I loved my first pastor, and the new guy I didn’t know, and like any new guy he took some getting used to, and today he is my pastor and I love him and the reason is my explanation: Christ!

I knew this morning that attendance at morning mass probably had little to do with Father B not being there or Father M being there. It had to do with Christ!

Now I thought (kneeling, supposedly praying) of my spiritual director, whose initials are MAM. She being a she and Mam being something some people call their mothers, I think of her sometimes as my spiritual mother. But that’s an aside.

I thought of MAM this morning (kneeling) because of something that happened between us recently. She had asked me to pray for a person, and when I saw her again six weeks later, I told MAM that my relationship with the person I was praying for had improved dramatically. Then I said something about credit. As in, I don’t think I deserve any credit for this change, and I don’t know what the other person has done differently, but—

MAM cut me off. She said it was never a question of credit. The only credit, she said, goes to Christ.

Which was my explanation at mass this morning.

The photo above shows my church, St. Mary Star of the Sea in Beverly, Massachusetts. Isn’t it beautiful?

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