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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let There Be Light

Church work makes for interesting a newly minted Liturgist, (not to mention a pretty "green" Catholic) I get to learn many things in my capacities working at our parish. Not the least of them are the things that demand a great deal of attention in a very short expanse of time.

I've learned that it's usually not good news that your pastor is going to deliver when he greets you at your car door at 7am. The last time it happened, the baptismal font had been overflowing for several hours causing a deluge the likes of which Noah would have been familiar. I figure God was up to something by blessing the church proper, not to mention the courtyard, with holy water. It took several weeks for Father to come round on that way of thinking.

This Sunday, the power was out. Father rightfully declared that the Mass must go on and that we would celebrate in 15th century style which was actually kind of cool. All of us that normally use microphones have big mouths anyways, so this presented no challenge. As a liturgist, I also have learned that simple is good. Less is more. After all, Mass will happen in spite of our best efforts to destroy it. We began the liturgy as scheduled and as I was comfy-ing into our candlelit prayer, Father wisecracked about how many Catholics it took to screw in a lightbulb (answer, none...Catholics use candles). We completed the Opening prayer and belted out the Gloria. Then, as the final note resonated, guess what? Power returned. Alleliuia! What amazing timing! Just like the Easter Vigil. Thanks God. Oh but wait, there's more. The prayer directly following goes something like this: "Lord, source of power and inspiration..." Needless to say, the church erupted with laughter and after most composure was regained, we carried on without incodent (except for that very unmistakeable part where Father says the words of consecration and the bread and wine become the body and blood of our Lord!)

We needed the little miracle? Maybe. We needed a laugh? Perhaps. We needed a reminder of What and Who God is? Absolutely. He IS the source of all power and inspiration. Nothing is possible without His power. We are creatures who are completely dependent upon His grace at every moment. And if that grace were withdrawn for one fraction of an instant, we would be snuffed out of existence quicker than you can say 'Bob's your uncle'.

There was also a subtext to the power restoration and this is my take on it: Sometimes we need to experience a bit of woe, to truly appreciate a blessing. We don't appreciate light so much, if we've never been in the dark (see prodigal son). We can't know the joy of finding something lost unless it's gone missing in the first place (see Mary and Joseph finding Jesus in the temple). We can't be grateful penitents unless we've been soul sick (see "he who is forgiven much, loves much" St. Mary Magdalene).

And not three minutes ago, my teenager reported that his long lost retainer had been found (yet again!) on the dirt road 200 yards from our driveway. The expensive little thing is thankfully like a bad penny.

Tony Tony please come 'round. Something's lost that must be found. (thanks-I owe you, big time).

God writes straight with crooked lines. I am grateful for all the little miracles He allows me to see even when I need to take a U-turn to see them.

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