My day was so packed and challenged that it almost prevented me from getting to Mass due to a schedule snafu. Off all Sundays, on top of not benefitting from the outpouring of Graces...actually being THROWN OUT of a state of grace on Pentecost is really deflating.
But...I made it. I've been worshiping at Holy Ghost Parish in Whitman when I can't make it into Boston. They have 24 perpetual adoration in their downstairs Chapel that's to die for and a 7PM Mass. This is my third time there, and actually, the homilies have been very good. Liturgies, decent...though today, I did get a Fr. WingIt....you know, ad libbing his own stuff into the Canon. But, it wasn't completely off the walls, and he adding without subtracting which is less gruesome. I actually have a good friend that used to do (?still does)that. He was gracious enough not to do it when I was there. The community (a great but small one) would tease me about how funny it was that Fr. ______ straightened out his act when miniRatzinger was around.
It's so challenging for me not to blow a gasket (and sin) when I can't pray the Mass because they're ad libbing and I lose my concentration at Golgotha. I can't help it.
Right off the bat tonight, I knew was in trouble. When I entered the Church, I could hear the shrill of a middle-aged woman blathering on and on at the Ambo. I heard the priest refer to her as "Margaret". I got closer, I could see "Margaret" had that VOTF look.... and I started clenching my jaw...and calling for my guardian angel to keep me in a state of Grace.
Margaret finally sat down and let the Mass begin, but she was right back up there at the Readings...and sure enough, after the second reading, came the poem...and on and on it went.
It's so painful.
Galatains 5...worth repeating:
Brothers and sisters, live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, lust, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also follow the Spirit.
The poem Margaret read just flowed on afterwards. After about ten verses I started thinking what in Sam Hill is she reading. I never heard that before....I could see people turning their pages in their books looking for it. I had all I could do not to stand up and say "Margaret!, Sit down and shut up and let us hear the Gospel".
Everyone I know is being severely tested spiritually. Satan is having a good old time for himself, isn't he?
What a murky cavern!
Those of us who live our lives with our hand to the plow think of nothing else but the race to make it another day without sinning. Fr. Carr told me once about a Brazilian ministry for youth - translated roughly - "For today, I will not sin". How much more accurate can you be than that. That's it, that's the key to the whole thing.
I think I have a good streak going for myself when I make it two weeks living in this place.
Anyhoo, the priest was sort of a pleasant older gentleman, full of spitfire for the Lord. His homily was on the second reading from Galatians, and it left no room for misunderstanding good from evil and what spirits provoke what, and how to take an inventory of your life (which was a good thing for me after Margaret).
Hope you all had a grace-filled Pentecost.
I never did get to see the EWTN episode with Bishop Wenski. I suppose there's only so much the Lord was going to let me be tempted by today. VG has posted the link. I think I need a few more days with the Blessed Sacrament under my skin before I can tune into watch it.
I wanted to also post the prayer our friend wolfetracker reminded us about a few weeks ago (which, of course, can only be said in a state of grace or you wouldn't be moseying on up to the Banquet):
Lord Jesus Christ, I approach your banquet table in fear and trembling, for I am a sinner, and dare not rely on my own worth but only on your goodness and mercy. I am defiled by many sins in body and soul, and by my unguarded thoughts and words. Gracious God of majesty and awe, I seek your protection, I look for your healing. Poor troubled sinner that I am, I appeal to you, the fountain of all mercy. I cannot bear your judgment, but I trust in your salvation. Lord, I show my wounds to you and uncover my shame before you. I know my sins are many and great, and they fill me with fear, but I hope in your mercies, for they cannot be numbered. Lord Jesus Christ, eternal king, God and man, crucified for Mankind, look upon me with mercy and hear my prayer, for I trust in you. Have mercy on me, full of sorrow and sin, for the depth of your compassion never ends. Praise to you, saving sacrifice, offered on the wood of the cross for me and for all Mankind. Praise to the noble and Precious Blood, flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord Jesus Christ and washing away the sins of the whole world. Remember, Lord, your creature, whom you have redeemed with your blood. I repent my sins, and I long to put right what I have done. Merciful Father, take away all my offenses and sins; purify me in body and soul, and make me worthy to taste the Holy of Holies. May your Body and Blood, which I intend to receive, although I am unworthy, be for me the remission of my sins, the washing away of my guilt, the end of my evil thoughts, and the rebirth of my better instincts. May it incite me to do the works pleasing to you and profitable to my health in body and soul, and be a firm defense against the wiles of my enemies.
Incidently, for the first time, I knelt to take the Blessed Sacrament. I've been genuflecting (as we are allowed to) instead of bowing at the suggestion of the USCCB...and I've seen a few people starting to kneel in front of the priest and put out their tongue. Been wanting to...and I did it today.
Felt great to be back on my subsurvient knee (one) as I accepted my Precious Lord.