Well yes, of a sort. But not in a frat house or an alley, or on the screen where a romantic picture of abuse is being painted.
No, in a Church.
A Catholic church.
In the communion procession.
The Carolina Cannonball tells a tale that is equal parts infuriating and heartbreaking.
I offer prayers for her Grandmother, and I offer just the latest in a long line of prayers of thanksgiving.
Prayers it took me far too long for which to see the need, of which to see the justice - prayers for the circumstances surrounding my beloved Mother's death.
Between stories like this, observation of the residents at the nursing home where I minister, and the daily evidence of the disrespect for human life especially in the weak or dying that is the curse of our cursed world, and sometimes seems found as much in the care industry and the hospice movement as anywhere else - with all of this I am gradually becoming as grateful as I ought always to have been.
last month when I got the call from my family that Abuela was back in the hospital and it wasn’t looking good I decided to call her church [ Church of St. Thérèse of Lisieux 4137 Portsmouth Blvd., Chesapeake, VA]and let Father know. I reached the parish secretary and the conversation went like this…And her communion story rival's mine, where the priest dropped the Most Sacred Body of Christ on the organ console and waved, Don't bother getting up, take it [sic] when you're finished.
Me: My grandmother is in the hospital dying and I would like Father to administer Last Rites.
Secretary: Well, Father stays pretty busy but we have a ministry team of people that regularly visit the sick and pray over them.
Me: No, I want her to receive Last Rites.
Secretary: Well, the members of this ministry can anoint her for healing.
Me: Well, that’s lovely but you can’t heal death. She.is.dying. I would like her to receive Last Rites.
Secretary: I have a few members of the ministry available now. Are you sure you wouldn’t like them to visit with her?
Me: Unless they can hear her dying confession, absolve her, and prepare he soul from one transition to the next, no.
when I went up to receive on the tongue he forcefully tried to pry open my hands to put the Eucharist in my palm. When I remained in front of him with my mouth open, holds folded closed, to receive on the tongue he grabbed my hand and took the Body of Christ, wedged it between my fingers and said, “Just take it. It’s easier this way.”
Small things with great love, my aspergillium....