Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Called to Help

After Mass this morning, at the abbey, I went to get the book with the psalms to sing Terce with the nuns.  I noticed this man in the last seat, in the last back pew, of the chapel.  He was standing up ready to sing.  But, he had no book and I thought he looked confused.  So I went over to him and asked him, "May I pray with you?"  He said "Yes."  We prayed, sang, and prayed, again.  He followed me along.

When it was over and the nuns were recessing, he turned to me and said, "Sometimes it's nice to just listen.  The words get in the way."  He said some other things, also, but the words in the quotes are what resonated.  I thought he was trying to tell me that he would have rather I had left him alone.  I had interrupted his prayer time.

I walked out feeling very down about my self.  I had done it again.  I had presumed too much.  It's like helping an old lady cross the street when she didn't want to get there.  She was just standing on the corner.  I can't count how many times I've done this--too many to count.

I think I'm being inspired, or called to help someone.  NOT!

Downcast, I walked to my car. Berating myself. "Stupid!"  "Idiot!"

Michael, (I later learned his name.) came over and started to chat.  It was just small talk.  We didn't say anything I can remember.  But I do remember how he made me feel.  As we chatted, my mood changed.

Whereas, I had felt like a failure before, I now felt better.  I may have interrupted Michael's prayer time, but that was OK.  I made a new friend.

Look out little old ladies.  Get ready to cross the street--whether you want to, or not!

A Priest's Day

Here is the book review I promised on Monday, for Death Comes for the Archbishop , by Willa Cather.  She really gets into the nitty-grit...