Real Presents (Part I)

A twist in timeJust when I’m almost certain that church-the-building is one of the last places I’ll encounter God’s grace, I receive evidence to the contrary.

Being a mystic* type, I’m okay with having my assumptions about church and faith challenged empirically. This is what happened when I got into gear for the 5:30 PM liturgy on Friday.

I almost didn’t go because of the life-threatening heat. (I blame beehive hairdos of the 1960s and the massive amounts of hairspray they required for this climatological disaster.) Also, I’d taken a late afternoon nap and could not imagine getting dressed (appropriately), getting into the car and driving anywhere. I got dressed (semi-appropriately), got into the car and drove to the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

Because punctuality has taken on new meaning in the years since I’ve become Roman Catholic, I was on time enough to trail in after the mini-procession. And as if I’d been doing so since the Cradle Catholic childhood I didn’t have, I slid into a back pew.  Unobtrusively — or so I thought until an usher’s tap on my shoulder launched me into full-bodied Uh-oh Mode.

Go ahead and fill in what happened next . . .

[To be continued . . . ]

* Not from Missouri  but “show me” is the prayer that got me into my current situation viz. Christianity.

Creative Commons License photo credit: alancleaver_2000

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Meredith Gould
Meredith Gould, PhD, is the author of seven books, including The Catholic Home: Celebrations and Traditions for Holidays, Feast Days, and Every Day, Why Is There a Menorah on the Altar? Jewish Roots of Christian Worship, and The Word Made Fresh: Communicating Church and Faith Today. She serves on the team at The Virtual Abbey and founded the Twitter chat for church social media (#chsocm).


  1. Meredith,
    How could you? You get me intrigued and then you stop the story. Not fair. At all. I don’t want to wait. I’m an American now and want my instant gratification.


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