Tuesday, July 16, 2013

These Words








On our way to Sitka we had the blessing of passing through South Bend Indiana on Saturday night.  The highlight of my entire trip was celebrating mass at Notre Dame.

I could not believe the feeling I had walking around that beautiful campus and sitting in that beautiful church.And I actually got to sit through the entire mass....

  I do not get to sit through many masses these days because Drew is 18 months and so far is not a HUGE fan of sitting though mass.  I like to take the kids during this training time.  I always feel better leaving Pete in the pew with the other kids.  Seeing daddy on his knees is such a powerful image and I want them to soak that in as much as they can...they always see mama on her knees...not that exciting of a site...it usually means I am calming down from something they have done...

Anyway Pete told me he really wanted me to get to sit in the church the whole time and he would take care of Drew.  I was so excited I said...yes please.  There was a moment of worry before the priest walked in...what if he was not what I was hoping for.  At the moment before mass began I was just beaming with joy and hope.  I wanted to priest to match that feeling...but suddenly I worried..what if he didn't....

I need not have worried.  He was the most fitting priest for that most amazing of churches and moments for me.  He said so many amazing things that touched me ..but the part I remember best was the writing from J.R.R Tolkien .  He read some of his writing and it was the exact thing I needed to hear and I have thought about it everyday day since hearing it.

Tonight Pete has duty so I spent some time trying to find the words that the priest read....

"Seven times a week is more nourishing than seven times at intervals.
Also I can recommend this as an exercise (alas! only too easy to find opportunity for): make your Communion in circumstances that affront your taste. Choose a snuffling or gabbling priest or a proud and vulgar friar; and a church full of the usual bourgeois crowd, ill-behaved children—from those who yell to those products of Catholic schools who the moment the tabernacle is opened sit back and yawn—open-necked and dirty youths, women in trousers and often with hair both unkempt and uncovered. Go to Communion with them (and pray for them).
"It will be just the same (or better than that) as a mass said beautifully by a visibly holy man, and shared by a few devout and decorous people.

J.R.R Tolkien

And now I have it here to read over and over again.


  1. I'm part of a small Orthodox church, and I can not respect or trust my priest ... we've been here for 10 years, and I'm angry and resentful-- which is soul-destroying, of course. These words were incredibly helpful for me today.

    1. I understand this exactly. When coming here I knew I was leaving a dynamic amazingly reverent priest and coming to a priest who loves our Lord but has a lack of reverence. I felt like those words would be helpful for me to remember the true sacrifice we come to celebrate at the mass... The greater the sacrifice the greater His glory.

  2. These words are awesome! Such an important reminder. My husband and I both went to ND, and going to your average parish after that experience can be challenging. We also recently had a pastor switch, and we've both been struggling a bit with having a pastor who is not so blatantly reverent as our previous one was. But how true this quote is! It is more pleasing to God that we offer this up to him, rather than focusing on our own perfect experience of the Mass.

  3. How lovely, and your dinner looks delicious!