My alarm went off today to remind me about RCIA. Have to say I was a little sad to know that it's over until next year...
I’ve been to a Home Blessing before. Let me tell you, it’s different when it’s YOUR home being blessed. It's personal. It's real. And it’s hard not to take these words to heart:
“Lord, be close to your servant (that’s me!) who moves into this home and asks for your blessing. Be her shelter when she is at home, her companion when she is away, and her welcome guest when she returns. And at last receive her into the dwelling place you have prepared for her in your Father's house, where you live for ever and ever.”
I remember after I was Baptized the smile that was on my face. For at least a solid year. People noticed it and commented on it. I’d fall asleep at night with this goofy grin on my face as I would recall that blessed evening. I’ve done that this week since my Home Blessing. It’s that profound and real and happy.
I even did another walk through after everything was calm and quiet and the party had been cleaned up. I traced our steps from Friday night and looked at every room that had been blessed. I imagined what that meant. I thought about what that blessing meant for my life. Not just at home. It added meat to the idea that has been spinning around in my head about two worlds colliding*. About the Mass being the Real World—the only thing, truly, that is real. And while I still haven’t figured it out, I’m sorting through things at lightening speed now.
When I carry the Mass in my heart when I am away from home, when I carry God with me (or He carries me with Him) I’m bringing my two worlds together. It’s all just anticipation until I participate in the Eucharist once again—when I am physically in Communion with my Brothers and Sisters—if I’m sitting in a pew or sitting at a traffic light. I can imagine it all melting into one. I don’t see how it can happen… but I can almost feel it. I’m excited about going out into the world with Him. Why have I never felt this before?
More on these worlds colliding as they do.
*(Worlds colliding. It’s funny that I would use that phrase. Clay and I joke about that when we talk about our different groups of friends meeting one another. You know, Church friends, old friends, Nick friends, work friends, these friends, those friends… Friday night they all collided and it was beautiful.
They are all beautiful. )
I've been thinking of what to write in my thank-you notes to the folks who came to my HomeWarmer. I remember a conversation I had with Jack a few days ago. I had postponed the party because he and his wife would be in Europe on the first date I picked. I so wanted them to be at the HomeWarmer, which would be a Home Blessing followed by a Shindig.
“Why do you want to be friends with these 80 year olds?” he laughed.
Why indeed. I've been thinking about it. Life has been ugly. Neglect and abuse formed me. And I searched and searched for something so different. I looked for the values and tradition that I felt missing deep in my core.
When I entered the Church, after I was baptized and confirmed on that beautiful night in 2007, I came to realize that I had always had The Perfect Father and The Perfect Mother. And They gave to me, through the Church, the family I had longed for. And those 80-year olds are part of that family.
(Pretty sure this is a rough draft. Or some stream of consciousness babble. Either way I thought I'd put it out there and edit live.)
Something about me is that I am visual. I mean if you describe something to me, I see it. So please, don't describe something gross. For something that is not really tangible, I give it physical traits and I see it in my mind as clear as real. This is true about things like lines, borders and boundaries.
I'm a newbie in the Church. This Easter marked 5 years-- and that's a baby, y'all. We all know that. So I'm still learning. I don't always know when to kneel or stand or what prayer to say when. And I have to read some things that other folks know by heart. I get embarrassed when I “mess up” and somehow disheartened when I don't do something perfectly. Says a lot I know... but that's another blog.
When I first came into the Church I couldn't get enough of it. I wanted to be on the Parish campus 24 hours a day if I could. I saw my Church life and I saw my “real life.” Mass was this perfect thing and I cherished every minute of it. I wanted it to last forever. I would sit before the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel and I never wanted to leave. But I did. I would go out into the "real world" of money problems, skinned knees and cold coffee. And I longed to be back in that perfect place.
There was a line. A physical line. I could see it clear as day, drawn with a crayon or a Sharpie, that divided the Church world and the Real world. I wanted everything to be the Church. I wanted everyday to be the Church. The more I went the more I missed it when I was out in the Real world.
Then in the past two years things started shifting, and more profoundly this Easter. The line was still there, but Mass became the real world. And I saw that so clearly. Everything about it is real. It's no longer the ideal. It IS ideal, but it's not this unattainable dream that I wish the real world to be. And I wanted it to last forever. I wanted to sit before the Blessed Sacrament and never leave. But I had to go. I had to go out into this other world and mark the time until I could be back at Mass. Marking time. I saw that too, so vividly in my mind... just like the old marching band days. Standing and marking time. And waiting. Waiting to cross that solid line and get back to the real world.
That line is there, but doesn't seem right. I see myself in my mind actually step over that line every time I head to the Church. It's not a big step, not dramatic. But it's a real thing in my head. But I don't think it should be there. It is all the real world. Turns out, I think, that the line was my own drawing. I should be carrying the Mass with me all day and every day, all places and everywhere. There should be no distinction between this and that. It is all real.
I haven't figured out how to do that. I'm not that holy. In fact, I'm not holy at all. Called to be so- yup. Failing miserably- you betcha. Amazingly, I can leave something as beautiful, perfect and profound as the Mass, cross the street, get in my car and think the most unholy thing about the fool who cuts me off on the expressway on the way to breakfast. Seriously. Pulling these two worlds together is going to take some outrageous amount of prayer and I don't know what else. It could be as simple as erasing the line, but that's not so simple.