Thursday, March 01, 2007

My Cantalamessa Moment

Last Thursday, one of my favorite sources for blog material was in New Jersey. Fr. Sing-the-Mass spoke on Ash Wednesday evening to over 1,300 people at Seton Hall University, and on Thursday held a morning of recollection for Priests. During the two-hour event, he reflected on three parts of Mass: the Liturgy of the Word, the Consecration, and Holy Communion.

I brought along 2 books of his that I had bought and read years ago when preparing for the Diaconate: one was his book on obedience, and the other on celibacy (obviously the two promises made upon ordination to the diaconate). At the end of his talk, he stayed around for about 10-15 minutes, and then headed towards the door in order to be driven to the airport. I knew if I wanted anything to be signed, that moment was my small window of opportunity. So surrounded by other Priests, I stood on the aisle and waited for him to come by. I reached into my bag and pulled out one of the books, the one on obedience, and uncapped my pen to have it ready for him.

As he passed, he took my pen and my book, and signed his name. But when he looked at the title, he smiled and asked me, "Where did you find this? It's been out of print for a while." I told him I bought the book 10 years ago before my diaconate and had it ever since. He laughed and announced loudly to the priests standing nearby, "Father has a book on obedience. He wants to be obedient!"

Thank God I didn't hand him the celibacy book.

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