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August 29, 2014

Back home again

Sunday morning exploded with the colors of late summer, the air crisp and cool whispered intentions of a day meant for parks, gazing at clouds, and just relaxing.

We rose early, had a quick spot of coffee, soaked in the morning sun and headed out, the day filled with promise. The countryside, and city streets flashed by our windows as we quietly made our way across town.

As we pulled into the parking lot, others who had made the same journey could be seen, smiles on their faces, greeting friends, all making their way to the heart of our morning.

The building reminded me of the schools of my youth, cool cement steps, brickwork laid by skilled hands, a large entrance with rows of warm wooden doors. Buildings like this are rare in the modern world of concrete and steel, but my heart sang at the shadows mixed with brick, mortar, cement and timelessness. At one point I was a six year old boy walking up the steps of my local school, the day rich with promise.

At the doors we were warmly greeted, we quietly made our way inside, once in the nave, sunlight beamed and danced on the water of the baptistry. We each dipped a finger, and crossed ourselves, as we were taught, a reminder of the water that brought us here.

The inner chapel greeted us with a warm glow, one that only wood can give, it called to us, come, deeper, deeper…

The room was filled with people, from the front to the rear, we found a little spot in the back, and turning to bow to the altar sat and waited. The silence of a room filled with people is deafening, a reverent hush was in the air.

As the priest ascended the Altar we stood as one body.

The mass had begun.

Each piece of the liturgy sang from our hearts, the words coming without effort. The liturgy of the word seemed to flow by like a fast moving river, sweeping us along, until finally we had reached our reason for being here, the liturgy of the Eucharist had begun. The words were familiar, they spoke of devotion, love, sacrifice, and mercy. The priest intoned the sacraments, the bells rang, and we knew the time had come, everything rested on our next decision and steps.

As I approached the Eucharist, I bowed and crossed myself in respect, and then I was there. “The Body Of Christ” was stated, and I replied “Amen”, taking the wafer and as I was taught, consuming, and then crossing myself. Two more steps, “The Blood Of Christ”, “Amen” and I drank. After almost a year, filled with pain, doubt, anger, and uncertainty, it all faded. I received a gift timeless, immemorial, my heart sang, and my soul was satisfied. I crossed myself and made my way back to the little pew.

And just like that, the Deacon made the call, the Mass had ended, it all seemed so quick, yet so reverent.

As we made our way our out, we realized that we had come home. That here we could heal, we could receive a precious gift, and give ourselves time to find ourselves again.

A warm summer morning greeted on the way out of the nave, and we knew that this day would be different.

This day we had come back home, and we could now move on with our lives, and the day full of possibilities embraced us…

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