Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Something Holy Happening Here

Wednesday morning greetings from the Midwest. Connected with several family members throughout the day yesterday as the blizzard swept through Massachusetts, the state of my birth. Thankfully, everyone is safe and warm.

Well, our IT department here at the "home office" worked their magic and now, with a new and much, much lighter laptop (I do not have a traditional computer here; just a laptop that I use at my desk and take with me on the road) I am up and running here again. Last week, I started to write about my experience at Mass the previous Sunday. Here's what I said: 

I have been attending Mass at Saint Clement Parish here in Chicago since returning to Chicago after the Christmas holiday. Saint Clement is ain the middle of a thriving neighborhood in the city and has a very small parking lot. Yesterday, upon arrival, I discovered that the parking lot was full, so I had to drive around several blocks to find on-street parking. I really do not like being late for anything, but yesterday I found myself entering the church building as the assembly was saying "amen" to the collect. There were no seats in the main body of the seating area, so I sat along the side wall, where there is a row of two seats inside a kind of ambulatory. At any rate, I had to take a photo to show you my "obstructed view" seat at Mass yesterday.

Well, here is the photo:

Basically, I could not see any of the ritual action at Mass. It was warm and cozy in this small side area of the church. I found myself being as engaged as I usually am when sitting in this church. But I also found myself kind of mesmerized by the fact that, although I knew exactly what was going on "up there," not seeing it drew me in in a different way. It struck me that what was happening was simply holy. Even though I could not see what was happening, there was a sense of beauty and awe that filled me. I thought about those who are sight-impaired, those who are completely blind and I wondered about their experience of Sunday Mass. The thought that kept going through my mind was "There is something holy happening here."

I wanted to share a photo I took last week, the day after the snowstorm in Amarillo, Texas. First, here is a photo of the hotel parking lot the morning after the storm.

Later this same day, I was able to take a short ride just outside of Amarillo. This is a photo of Palo Duro Canyon. This is the second largest canyon in the United States. Frankly, I had never heard of it. It was quite beautiful, a stunning landscape amidst the rather boring topography of the flat Texas Panhandle.

For this city boy, this was quite a breathtaking view. And I noticed something moving in a nearby tree. As I got closer, I realized it was a porcupine, eating the bark on the branches.

Quite a day in Amarillo, I'd say.

Glad to be back with all my tools at hand.

Gotta sing. Gotta pray.

1 comment:

John Drake said...

Jerry, your reaction at this obstructed view Mass sort of echoes the reaction that many have to their first experience of the Extraordinary Form Mass. You can't quite see everything the priest is doing (facing the apse rather than the nave) but you know something holy is going on!