Thoughts and responses for today, August 23, 2007
The following is the response I pray nearly every day for lauds, vespers, and compline following the reading/praying of the day’s psalms and canticles. At times I use it in my regular prayer.
Glory (or praise or thanks) (be) to the Lord (or God, Almighty God, most merciful God, etc.)—The Mother/Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—both now and forever. The God who is, who was, and is to come, at the end of the ages.
Picking-up with my story (is this project narcissistic?)
I ended my last entry by bringing up my memories of the mysterious, dark basement that was the sanctuary of All Saint’s Catholic Church, my home parish while growing-up. Attending Mass in the basement “cave” at All Saint’s is a “homey” memory. I liked the muted light of the basement church. The atmosphere was deep and mysterious.
The Church building had not been built yet, other things were more important, like kids’ schooling. So the priests, nuns, and parishioners of All Saints celebrated Mass in a small, physically close, Latin ritual in the dim basement of the two-story brick building that also housed, upstairs, the school where the black-habited nuns comprised most of the teachers. I remember it as really peculiar, out of the ordinary. God was a great Mystery but Jesus and Mary made it easier to understand him. They made him assessable. Also, Jesus and God came to me in a deep and certain way via communion and my baptism.
I must have attended All Saints School for the school years of 1960/1961 thru 1963/1964, 1st thru 4th grade. I moved to my neighborhood public school, Griffith Elementary, in the fall of 1964 for 5th grade when I was 11-years old. I was happy with that move. My grades improved, as I remember it. But my experience growing-up Catholic would be a lasting influence on me. The Catholic Church (and Christ?) had colonized my imagination.
But there would be a spiritual rupture and a slow transformation in my spiritual life beginning during the years of 1966-1968. I quit going to Mass. I guess I was only 12 or 13 when my Mass attendance started to decline. This was not my doing. I don’t remember putting-up a fight in order to avoid going. I remember Mass fondly. But, as I recollect the situation, though I am not sure why it happened, my mom began to attend Mass infrequently, eventually quitting altogether. So I began to go to Mass with my sisters on occasion. We often went to parishes other than All Saints. But it seems that after my sisters finished college they quit going to Mass. So I quit Mass attendance by default when my ride to Mass quit departing.