My somewhat naive and under-educated friend, Fre3d Capra, has engaged in many exploits since Beating a Dead Horse #7 – Fre3d and For the Sheep in Exile – Bulletin 2015-07-19 – Commentary; we’ ll save those for another time. Suffice it to say he is making great strides in his spiritual growth. Today, however, marks a highlight in the relationship that we share. Let me tell you about it. It won’t take long.
Immediately after the 8:30AM Mass this morning, Fre3d’s noisy old pickemup truck (that’s what they’re called in Hawaii) came screaming down my lane and skidded to a stop under the black walnut tree. Fre3d came bounding out of the truck (I think he picked this up by watching videos at Cooter’s) and started yelling, “Petition, I have to talk to Petition right now!” (Please recall that Petition is the name of my dead horse.) “Petition has to know what I’ve just seen at St. Peter’s.”
I said to Fre3d, “Whoa, friend! What’s the big hurry and what’s so important?”
Fre3d quickly replied, “I saw it, I saw it with my own eyes and I heard it, I heard it with my own ears. I think Petition is going to come back to life! I just saw it in the Sanctuary at St. Peter’s!”
“Slow down, Fre3d. What did you see and what did you hear? What makes you think Petition is going to come back to life?”
“There was a priest, an older priest with Deacon Benyo, and he said the black and he did the red, he did everything that was in the Missal that you loaned me.” I told Fre3d that’s great, but I don’t think that it’s enough to bring Petition back to life.
Fre3d responded, “No, there’s more, there’s much more!” He gasped for breath and tried to compose himself. “Not only did he say the black and do the red precisely, he also let the altar boys ring the bells at the Consecration. There were bells and the bells made the Consecration seem more solemn, and everyone was quiet and they looked to the altar when the bells rang.”
“Now that is interesting, Fre3d. What else was there?”
“Well, there was a real homily. I learned some things about the Eucharist. It was a beautiful teaching that I can share in the life of Christ. The visiting priest made it seem so clear.”
“Okay.” I was struggling to put all this new information into some order. So, I asked, “Many of these thing were the way it used to be at St. Peter’s. Was there anything else that surprised you?”
“Oh yes, for sure. When I went up to Communion, I didn’t have to wait for people lined up to receive from the extra extraordinary ministers of the Eucharist. Apparently, the visiting priest didn’t need or want their assistance. There was no congestion or tripping or making way for people to get back into the right order in their pews. What a relief! Please, may I go tell Petition about this now?”
“Certainly, Fre3d. I think he will be heartened by the good news – even if it is only for this week. He will be glad to hear about how we had a brief return to the ‘status quo ante’ at St. Peter’s.” Fre3d went rushing to the barn, with all the flies and the somewhat odd odors and I could hear him recounting his story to poor dead Petition.
I too went to the 8:30AM Mass and enjoyed that momentary return to the way it used to be at St. Peter’s. As I left the Church I made sure to stop and shake hands with Fr. Mark Pilon. I’m not sure he will ever know how very sincere were my words when I simply said “Thank you for the Mass, Father.”