Space!

I’ve joked with friends that being an introvert in the Catholic Church is a particular challenge. Going to Church has inevitably been a very social undertaking: from the greeting rituals as one enters and leaves to navigating the shoals of the secretary’s office and other treacherous territories.

Today, thanks be to God, I was able to go to a normal Mass in a normal Church for the first time since March, and to my peace I discovered that the yellow tape obligated us to all sit several meters apart. Which utterly precluded the usual pre- and post-Mass chit-chat, as well is the in-Mass live commentaries,* besides sparing me the stress of snuggling up next to a stranger. It was an atmosphere that permitted me to actually read the readings and prayers, meditate, pray, and pay good quality attention to the sermon (a rare thing).

I even arranged to have lunch with a friend afterwards. She’s an introvert, too.

In fact, nearly every time I’ve said “I should write a book called ‘Catholicism for Introverts’ dozens of people say “Sign me up for a copy!” (Feel free to take the idea, I don’t have the time or interest to write it, but there seems to be a need.)

Any more said would probably just be complaining, and I’ve done enough of that. I’m very grateful. The Sacraments are a precious treasure.

*When the person sitting next to you makes clever or critical remarks in response to things that happen.

One of my favorite depictions of Holy Mass.

Come, Holy Spirit

Today is Pentecost. Here is my favorite medieval illumination:

And a lovely bit from the readings in Matins today:

While they received the visible presence of God in the form of fire, the flames of His love enwrapped them. The Holy Ghost Himself is love whence it is that John saith “God is love.” Whosoever therefore loveth God with all his soul, already hath obtained Him Whom he loveth, for no man is able to love God, if He have not gained Him Whom he loveth.

(from a homily by Pope St. Gregory the Great, speaking of the scene in the image above)

And later:

“And My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.” O my dearly beloved brethren, think what a dignity is that, to have God abiding as a guest in our heart…

Salve Maria.