I've been composing this post in my head since Sunday. And then yesterday we learned the Pope is resigning at the end of the month. A pope hasn't abdicated the seat of Peter in 600 years. But the feelings I share don't change just because my church's leader will change. And that's part of the beauty, for me.
We go to Mass every Sunday. And Mass is largely the same, week in and week out. Sometimes that can dull my senses and I am distracted and not present. It is easy to respond by rote, to tune out the things we say every time. And many times, I feel like I leave Mass without having heard a word. There are Sundays when Lily is miserable and whining and I need all the grace there is to stay calm and semi-patient. I know that regardless of the attention I can give, that grace is present and there for me. Thank goodness I don't have to be perfect to get what I need!
This Sunday, though, was a gift. We settled into our seats. Lily was calm and cooperative. I was able to sing the opening song and the opening Mass parts. I felt more present than usual. The sun was shining in. I was with my family. I got to hear every word of the readings.
I held Lily and did the mom rock. We all know the one. Where you are holding a child and you can't help but sway, even when you're sitting down. And she squirmed and fidgeted to find just the right position, and then she gave way to sleep. She hasn't fallen asleep on me at church in ages. And so I held her and continued rocking. I couldn't stand and kneel with the congregation, but that was okay. I was holding my little girl. And for that day, all the grace was right there in my lap. A gentle reminder that it is not all struggle and push and pull.
There was nothing particularly special about that Mass. The responses were the same as always. We sang songs that we knew. But it was just what I needed. And now, as my church awaits the news of our new leader, I take comfort in knowing Mass on Sunday will be the same, and that grace is there for me, however ready I am to experience it.
Just Write with Heather of the Eo