Fonticulus Fides

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Monday’s Mass

Monday’s Mass for the Feast of Guardian Angels is always the second-grade Mass at our school. Each child has a role. Zooey was chosen to give the welcoming message and announce the opening hymn, and the other two kids in his class in the “Challenge Reading Group” did the other readings.

I was very proud of Zooey. He walked out of the sacristry (and was thrilled to be allowed there), strode up to the lecturn, hands as in prayer, and read in a strong, clear voice with very good inflection. “Welcome to Saint Mary’s. Today is Monday, October 2, the Feast of Guardian Angels…” He read a short paragraph about guardian angels, inviting everyone to think about what a blessing they are to us, and then announced the hymn.

As Zoo walked down the aisle, around the back, and back up the second aisle to his class pews, he saw my husband and daughters and I and just beamed. I’m glad we all got to go to hear him deliver his first service to the Mass, and I am very proud of him.

So my thoughts were on guardian angels that day, and my own long-neglected one who has, I’m sure, performed Herculean feats to keep me safe over the years. It’s only been maybe in the last month that I’ve been trying more to thank my angel for his protection. I asked him to show me his name (somehow the male persona fits?), and it seemed to be Victor, so that’s what I call him now.

On Sunday, I fell off a ladder while painting the kitchen – not too far – and it was jarring and bruising, but nothing was broken. And I know I have Victor to thank for it. And how many times have I prayed to my kids’ guardian angels, too, and my husband’s…!

But Monday got very difficult when I learned of the ten Amish girls shot by Charles Roberts. How frightened they must have been! Or maybe their innocence left them calm because they could not imagine the evil thing that was about to happen. I think about their guardian angels and I wonder how hard it must have been for them, not to be able to stop what was happening.

I am inspired to accept the critical injuries of five of these girls and the deaths of the five others as fitting, somehow, into God’s will, if only because their Amish families and community have made such a profound statement to the world. “We must forgive…” How nobly they follow the teachings of Christ, even in such terrible loss and agony.

I hope you are in prayer for these fine people. Their faith is being sore tested, I am sure. It is easy to be angry, easy to want revenge (not that it’s possible), easy to feel hatred and loathing. It is much more difficult to walk the way of Christ at this time, and we need to pray for all of them and offer what spiritual support we can.

And do not forget Marie Roberts, the widow of the attacker, and her three children. Theirs is a different kind of pain, but they are victims of this evil and in dire need of spiritual support and prayer as well.

Finally as Christians, we must remember to pray for the soul of Charles Roberts himself. God’s mercy is infinite and powerful, and those last nanoseconds between the final pull of the trigger and death could be like a thousand years to God. He could have reached into Charles Roberts’ soul and spoken to him, heard his repentance and offered absolution in that tiny space of earth time. It is a decent thing to pray for.



Post a Comment

<< Home