Monday, March 14, 2016

With a Little Help from My Friends: The Grace of Community

Yesterday, I had all those good intentions about arriving for Mass on time, to sing with our choir. I had set my clock ahead for Daylight Saving Time, gotten up on time, spent my usual morning session on the internet to wake up and catch up on what was going on, and grabbed breakfast in plenty of time, but  my body apparently did not reset its clock.

Those with celiac disease know that sometimes you just can't leave the bathroom behind in the morning, no matter how hard you try.  Add to that, it was raining, traffic was a little slow and Mass at my parish actually started a couple minutes early, which is very unusual. To top it off, the side door closest to the choir area was, unexpectedly, locked, so I had to go around and come up from the back of church.

I slipped into the choir area just after the opening song ended, actually only one minute after the time Mass should have started. However, that meant I was unable to put my pyx containing my low-gluten host on the altar as was our usual protocol. I quietly resigned myself to receiving only the Precious Blood, so as not to cause a disruption.

What I had not anticipated was that my friends in the community care about me. At the offertory (we had silence yesterday rather than a song), the choir member closest to the sanctuary offered to take my pyx up, quietly, after Father came down the steps. Gratefully, I handed it to her. But then, the usher taking up the collection on our side came over and took the pyx, saying he'd take it up with the procession and hand it to Father with the gifts.

After he walked away, one of our other choir members leaned over to me and whispered, "You are very much loved." A bit overwhelmed, all I could say was "I guess I am, in spite of myself."  Grace. It happens.

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