I felt Spring today. It's truly upon us. For the South, that means the main season of the year is just around the corner. That season is Summer. It typically "feels" like summer from April until late November. Sooo... here we go...
The good news is something wonderful happened for me today - I actually stuck to a plan. ;-)
Well.. more than that. I took my lazy self back to mass. Now for some of my friends, that means 'going to church.' The term "mass" means - according to an "official" answer forum:
The Mass is basically a Catholic or Anglican (Episcopalian) worship service, although sometimes the word is used to refer specifically to the Eucharist (Catholic Communion; bread and wine) because the Eucharist is the central part of the Mass. The Catholic Mass follows a liturgy, which is basically the traditional form of worship composed of song, a procession (the crucifers carry the cross to the front of the church and the priests and deacons follow after them and kiss the altar), the greeting ("May the Lord be with you!"), a corporate confession & the "Kyrie," readings from the scriptures, a homily (sermon), prayer of the faithful (everyone in the congregation prays as one; usually the priest or deacon reads off the prayer requests of the pope and bishop, saying "Let us pray to the Lord," and the congregation responds "Lord, hear our prayer," and at the end they pray silently "for the intentions we hold in our hearts"), the Lord's Prayer, The Nicene Creed, the "sign of peace" (everyone greets each other), the Eucharist, and the final trinitarian blessing.
The word Mass comes from the phrase said by the deacon at the end of the Latin Mass "Ite, missa est" (Go you are dismissed) to which the people respond "Deo Gratias" (Thanks be to God).
Sorry for the detailed explanation....You know when I explain things, well... I tend to make sure you actually understand what I am talking about. Okay, so I officially went to Sunday mass. I've sort of been a bad little Catholic over the past few months and totally skipping. Each Sunday morning, I wake up and say, "TODAY I will go." Then it becomes, "Okay, tonight I will go." Then I end up saying, "Okay.. maybe next week."
So I woke up this morning and text my one and only practicing Catholic friend in town and asked when was she going to mass. It took a while for her to respond, so I debated about going at 9:30am or tonight. She finally replied and said, "I am coming out of mass right now." There was my sign. Just go.
So I went.
I sat in the very back on the right hand side. It's always hard attending church alone. I don't care how much faith you have or how often you have been - sitting alone in a church is a VERY lonely feeling. I immediately kneel to pray before the service began. (That's something we do in the Catholic Church,) as soon as we enter, we genuflect, kneel and pray. It always nice to just have a moment with God.
I sat alone up until the very last minute. An older, very conservatively dressed gentleman sat next to me. I had to do a double take to make sure he did not have a collar on. (something a priests would wear.) I did not see one.
We did not speak at all during the service, but I noticed that when the priests were reading or reciting, he was quietly reciting along with them. Again... my suspicions were raised. Finally, we got to the exchange of peace, where everyone takes a minute and gives each other some sign of peace and he grab my right hand with both of his hands and said, "God Bless you, child." I just smiled and greeted everyone else around me.
Finally we are deep into the Eucharist and yes, he was reciting everything the priest was saying. He just HAD to be a retired priest or SOMETHING. No one knows that much by themselves.
After mass ended, and I had genuflected and started to leave he grabbed my arm and said, "I just wanted to tell you that your smile during the "Sign of Peace" just lit up the room. You are truly blessed." All I could say was, "Thank you. Thank you very much." I probably had some weird look on my face and he just walked out of the church.
I went to the church bookstore and bought a little font for my holy water (that I keep in a bottle) and a new book, "The Mysteries of Mary." Basically a little book about her life as the mother of Jesus.
I left mass and went to brunch alone. I wanted to go to Market City Cafe, and since my friend was unable to come, I could not come up with a good enough reason not to go. I ordered French Toast with a side of corned beef, read more on my Kindle and then left for a little grocery shopping.
I am thrilled to report that I bought the starter seeds/kit for Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Peppers, Tomatoes and Chives. I'm not sure when would be a good time to get this going, but I am definitely heading in that direction. I tend to have good luck when gardening, and I am going for another container garden. The one I had in Birmingham was super successful, so I am hoping I will have just as much success this year on my balcony.
All in all - it's been a good day. I'm home now, checking emails, blogging, washing my comforter and sheets and I HOPE to get into the bathroom and clean the tub. Again - my LEAST favorite thing to do.
I hope each of you take a moment and reflect on those special little moments today. My day started out good and I am so happy I went with the flow.