Friday, July 02, 2010

Why am I smiling?

Good question. A few reasons.

First, the humidity has been gone for almost 48 hours now. It fell just right, so that I had an enjoyable day off yesterday driving around back roads of my diocese without the need for air conditioning.

Next, on Fridays, one of my predecessors as Pastor here (now retired and living in the area) comes and says the daily Mass here, giving me the chance not so much to "sleep in" as take extra time, have a second cup of coffee, and watching TV. With a cool breeze blowing through my rooms it was a lovely morning.

Finally, I had a funeral this morning of an 80 year old man I anointed a few days ago. Eight children. Twenty grandchildren. Lots of sibling who, themselves, have large families. To quote Rocco Palmo's overused words, "suffice it to say" the church was packed.

But what made this funeral palpably different was the level of participation. Everyone knew the responses. People sang. Everyone knew when to stand and sit and kneel. Everyone was respectful. Sadly, this is so rare today that, when it does happen, it stays with me (and any priest of deacon reading this will back me up on that). Truthfully, having one funeral like this fortifies me enough to take nine other funerals in which it seems that the only one who went to church regularly was the deceased.

THAT'S why I'm smiling.

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