Sunday, March 31, 2013

I am rich

Front and center since Pope Francis made the scene has been the topic of the poor. The Church's relationship with them , our personal relationship with them, material poverty versus spiritual and moral poverty Et cetera. The poor we will always have with us. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

So with this rolling around in my head, off we went to Easter Vigil Mass. We all know the difficulties that we sometimes encounter at big holiday masses as we attempt to pray and enter in to the liturgy, only to be assaulted on every side with one thing or another. This year it was a couple ladies directly behind us who complained about every last thing. If the one said ''oh my God" once, she said it fifty times. I know it is a longer mass, but my children never behaved so poorly as those two. I had to keep saying, to myself, "poor in spirit, poor in spirit, poor in spirit."

Something else that kept getting my attention was a necklace worn by one of the lectors. This woman trained me to lector, and is sweet and soft spoken. But this necklace looked like something you would see in a room by itself, in a thick glass case, with laser beam security alarms. It had cut stones the size of quarters with some other very sparkly stones, possibly diamonds,  strung in between. And folks, it was not fake. I just couldn't stop looking at it. How it caught the light, how elegant and not gaudy, despite its size. Mind you, I didn't want it, it just fascinated me. I do kind of wonder if I was subtly judging her for owning/wearing/wearing it to church. Not really sure. For all I know she gives away more than she keeps.

But what really hit home for me was this.

This is similar to the necklace I wear. If I wasn't so tired, I would take a picture of mine -- it is a nest with the birthstone of each child. Mine has eight stones, seven for my living children, and one representing the two in heaven. It's gorgeous and unique. I receive compliments all the time. I had it on at mass, and I thought, --these are my jewels. There is no price that can be put on them. I am richer than I deserve to be, and more grateful than I have words for.


Wishing everyone a Happy Easter!


  1. I am convinced the majority of sins I commit occur at Mass. I go out of my way to find a seat away from everyone, but annoyances still seem to find me. I am very claustrophobic on top of it all and it never fails that a tall gentlemen with broad shoulders will come and sit directly in front of me, no matter where I sit. What's so magnetic about me that anyone would actually want to sit anywhere near me? I would sooner hug a cactus myself. I feel like I'm suffocating when he sits in front of me, plus he obstructs my vision. I force myself to suffocate and offer it up for my selfishness in wanting to be left alone. At the Easter Vigil last night, the priest opted to include the exchange of peace. One woman was so loud and effusive that before I knew it my head whipped around to see who the pest was that was causing such a disturbance. What is it to me if someone is overjoyed that it's Easter? How does it make me a better person to be so judgmental?

    On the other hand, I think we should dress suitably for church, but not to the extent where we ourselves become the center of attention. Perhaps the lector wanted to look her best, but didn't realize what a distraction her baubles would create. This morning, my daughter came downstairs in a dress that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that she is a beautiful young woman. I sent her back upstairs to find something less attention-grabbing. At first she didn't understand and was hurt by my reaction. She wasn't trying to look voluptuous. She wanted to wear something beautiful. I did my best to explain how her beauty could be a distraction for others and how someone might find her so alluring that they don't pay attention to the Mass. She relented and picked out something more suitable. If some people are only going to give God an hour of attention a week, we should do everything we can to make sure He is at the center of it, and not us. But I still need to learn to mind my own business and tend to the log in my own eye. So don't be so hard on yourself - you have miles to go to catch up with me in the cantankerous Catholic department! Blessed Eastertide! Joyce

    1. I really don't think the lector had any ill intentions. Maybe I live under a rock and that's why her necklace fascinated me so much.
      Oh and haha -- the "cantankerous Catholic department" -- sounds like a British sitcom.

  2. Oh, Kelly, this is a wonderful post.
    Unfortunately at our parish only the priests can sing. (I can't carry a tune in a bucket either, for the record) The cantor at the 7 am Easter Mass was a man with a voice EXACTLY like Kermit the Frog. It is always a distraction-I keep hearing the lyrics of "The Rainbow Connection" instead of the hymn whenever he's the cantor-but this Easter it fairly overwhelmed me. On top of that, the three young men seated behind me had never heard this fellow sing before, and were pretty vocal about his abilities. I actually turned around at one point and shot them what is known in my family as Mom's Withering Look.
    I should not let these "peripherals" affect me so. I get mad myself when they do. It's humbling, to be sure. But our dear Lord is forgiving.
    Happy Easter to you and your "jewels".

    1. Thank you! That is very kind of you to say.

      I get very distracted by unusual voices (oh the stories I could tell) and music. I can't help it, my ear just is attuned to certain things. And I make associations much like the Rainbow Connection one. Once we were at a mass in which the music ministry people did each and every song as fast as humanly possible. The singer could hardly get the words out. One of the songs' tunes and meter was straight from West Side Story, and another from Les Mis. Of course the music selections themselves had a lot to do with it, but also the tempi were outrageous. Once I got,
      "I like to be in America
      Ok by me in America
      Everything free in America
      For a small fee in Ameri-ca!!!"
      in my head, it was all over!

  3. What a lovely momento for your children. Children really do make us rich.