Sunday, March 26, 2006

Why I am a Catholic

This is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek comment sandwiched in here to more serious topics.

Sitting in my worn dark oak pew, crammed in with other choir members in our sea of burgundy robes, the attraction of this worship never ceases to strike me anew.
We'd been warned this morning, since at choir practice Thursday night our director told us the organist was "under the weather." Well, that was how this morning's Presider put it to the congregation. Kathy told us more in detail, about the freezing of our organist's prostate and other cutting and catheterizing procedures he had indicated she might share with us. Ah, yes! A very graphic and palpable understanding.
So today we enjoyed the gift of a visiting priest, who played our majestic pipe organ beautifully, but mostly by ear and in the Spirit--which meant he blithly ignored the choir harmonies. Leaving out the C# in an altered chord can create quite the clash. But he did play in the same key we were in, and I guess you could just say we had extremely rich harmony today.
This is a church where, during a very meaningful blessing of the catechumens preparing for baptism, the ushers were already on their feet blocking the aisle, and all view of the sanctuary, in anticipation of the offertory, which was bound to occur at some point. All the while, our local madman roamed the aisle, pacing up and down like a caged lion. Babies cried. And every jarring harmony has reminded me of the organist's very fleshy condition.
Yet into this sea of carnality and human weakness, the Scripture readings flash their light of Truth, answering the questions on my heart with blinding clarity.
And, yes, we had to be thankful for the dear priest who shared his gift with us, and filled me with an upwelling of something that could have been hysterical laughter if I'd allowed it out. It also felt like heaven.


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