by Vera Grant AMMM Ireland 19.01.2923
I was nervous and yet excited to be going back. I hadn’t expected to be away so long. Four weeks seemed a long time and I missed going to Mass.
Yes there was Mass online and it sufficed in so far as I could watch, say the prayers and sing along with the folk group or the choir depending on which Mass I was ready for but I just wanted to be there.
I found myself watching those going up to receive Communion and I felt so removed from it all. You really would have thought there was something seriously wrong with me but it was only knee replacement surgery – four weeks to the day.
From September I hadn’t been able to walk to Mass but gave in and drove myself. The walk down had always been a quiet time to reflect, to think of the readings and to get myself in to the right frame of mind to be present in the celebration of The Eucharist.
There was something else that was missing online…there was no Communion, no spiritual nourishment and an absence of offering myself in the outstretched hands.
I had two trial attempts walking with the crutch to make sure I could manage not only the going down but the coming back up the hill. The second effort was much better than the first when I was able to ease myself into the pew as opposed to flopping exhaustedly on to the seat.
I didn’t stay long, maybe seven or eight minutes to ease the stiffness and to thank God for making it back in to his house. The house where I always f
eel welcome and at one with the world.
Today in spite of the sun shining it was much colder than I had anticipated but I was determined to go. No driving for six weeks so walking was my only option. Allowing myself an extra ten minutes I was there in good time and was surprised to see so many at a weekday Mass.
The chat was lively, all wanting to know what had happened – had I fallen or been in an accident were the obvious questions. I felt a bit of a fraud in saying that it was nothing as dramatic but something a lot more ordinary.
The chapel was decorated for Christmas and was so much nicer than on the computer. The warmth emanated from the heating and the light shining in through the stained glass complimented the lights twinkling on the tree. It was truly magical and I breathed in the joy of having made it and being present.