Tag Archives: blessings

Holy Water for sure

When I entered the side of the church, I noticed there was no Holy water. I knew the dispenser was at the front, so I pulled out the inner font to get a refill. I had plenty of time to go back and forth before other parishioners arrived.

At the entrance, I turned my attention to the Holy water vessel in the corner. I pushed the button but the spout was bone dry. I turned to our Pastor, also in the vestibule, readying the other celebrants. He must have seen my unknowing expression, and said, “Let’s take care of that right now. Go to the sacristy and find a bucket. Bring me some water to fill it up.”

I’ve not spent much time in the sacristy and didn’t remember seeing any buckets. Regardless, I headed back into the church to help address what I interpreted as a religious crisis.

Now in the sacristy, I saw songbooks to my left and a closet of robes on the right. The sink was straight ahead but there were no buckets. I spun around: a cross, a bookshelf, a wastebasket, Ahh! a big green watering can.I filled it as fast as the faucet would allow.

I walked as calmly as I could, back down the aisle of pews, with my creative plastic salvation.

I filled the stainless steel vessel and Father approved by saying, “Now go get a couple more of those.”

Back in the sacristy, I hurriedly focused more on filling the green watering can than which way my water spout was tipped. At the half full mark, I realized I was spilling water all over the counter. I reached for the first thing I saw and wiped up my mess with a crisp white piece of linen that was probably already blessed for another occasion.

Knowing the error of my ways, I walked as solemnly as I could, past all the pews filling with parishioners.

I added the contents of my second watering can to the Holy water vessel. Father peeked in and said, “One more should do it.”

The pressure! I couldn’t imagine how Moses or the apostles felt being spoken to by God. I was sweating unholy bullets just trying to fill a water vessel for the local Pastor.

I returned to the sacristy a third time without incident.

Until I started to walk back. The woman that cares for the altar was in the first pew. She had seen my mission from the start, stopped me and said, “We use that for the plants. We put Miracle Grow in there, ‘ya know.”

My heart immediately sank. I wasn’t even done yet and had also slopped up one of her linens in the process. I smiled at her with no answers, or options, and continued past everyone in the church.

I poured my last full watering can into the Holy water receptacle. Father readied to give a quick blessing while I considered what the woman said to me.

– Nobody will be drinking it.

– Father was aware of my bucket choice.

– We resolved the situation in record time.

After the blessing, I put the stainless steel cover back on top of the Holy water dispensary. I refilled the font insert and replaced it at the side of the church. I considered how Holy water renews faith. Some believe it also repels evil. Maybe this batch would even help miracles grow?

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Betrayed

Late Sunday morning my husband returned from taking his mother out to breakfast. With the day promising 80’s sunshine in mid-September, Richie said he’d be outside. He saw my heart was elsewhere, “I’ll be out in a bit. I’m writing.” He knows me too well, recognized that was an indeterminate amount of time, and took advantage of the situation. When I finally went out on the deck, I felt betrayed by him, her…and a fellow writer:

$Temple$

Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit

which is in you

which ye have from God

and that ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price.

Therefore glorify God in your body

and in your spirit

which are God’s.

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1 Corinthians 6:19-20

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Photo credit:

TheZigZiglar via Instagram

War moon

To define “Aunt” Trudy would be to say she was a divine woman and a favored dinner companion. We were not related but rather, both adopted extensions of the Mullaney holiday gatherings. I was a nephew’s wife and she was the son’s mother-in-law. We were those added family members that created the need for a larger ham at Easter, demoted the youngsters to a kids table at Thanksgiving and brought additional dessert selections at Christmas.

Trudy was that interested family member that sincerely wanted updates to everyone’s life. She also brought her own experiences, humorous or thought-provoking, to the dinner table. While her age would define her as elderly, this grandmother was more active than most. She had weekly exercise groups, unique interests and outings with friends. Trudy didn’t boast about any of them, they just came through in her conversations. She put everyone at ease and was the most gracious guest. Her “across the pond” accent, and accepting and loving nature made her delightful company. She was a woman’s woman.

It’s 4 am and as I admire the near full moon lighting up our bedroom, I feel safe. I tell myself a lit night sky is not always a good thing and am reminded of Trudy and a comment she once made in real Aunt Stel’s living room. If they both knew I was now writing this on my iPhone under the covers, like a tweenager reading with a flashlight under their first homemade tent, they would be laughing at my childish approach to retelling this moment.

A woman doesn’t typically talk about her age and Trudy was no exception. So I thought, until she told a story one Easter, about how she quit smoking as a young woman. When one of the boys had to excuse himself to go smoke, Trudy was understanding and told him not to apologize for leaving the room. She completely understood nicotine’s prodding. During his temporary departure Trudy talked about the nasty and inconvenient habit and how she was finally able to quit.

I am sure her story was compelling; I don’t remember the whole tale. What I do recall is that there were multiple date references, that included the year she was married and how long she’d been smoking. I backed into the numbers and inserted myself into the conversation. I suppose I was trying to match her wit, charm and humor when I delivered my mathematical perspective.

“Trudy, if you’d been smoking that long by the time you quit, that would mean you were already smoking at thirteen! How scandalous; were your parents aware of this?”

As gracious as ever, she smiled and welcomed me into her storytelling. “Why, yes, dear. They knew my friends and I smoked during the air raids in London. The cigarettes calmed us in the deep level shelters as we listened to the bombing overhead.”

My question, and any potential follow-up, was no longer charming, humorous or witty.

Her WWII response left me mute.

I froze in my chair and didn’t have a worthy comment.

I finally started to stammer an educated retort into the now quiet and compassionate room but she’d have none of that. Instead she eloquently added another sentence or two about her English family and simple dress fashions of that era. Her answer to my question did not intend to make me feel uncomfortable.

When my brother-in-law walked back in with his Marlboros, there were a few chuckles around the room.

“What’s so funny? Were we the butt of your jokes while I was gone?”

“Clever. No, dear. We were just talking about England and my family.”

Trudy moved the holiday along and continued. “Sit down and tell us about where you’re working now? Do you have a girlfriend?”

Trudy kept the atmosphere upbeat and had seamlessly transitioned the conversation to someone else. This British adopted aunt certainly did add to the family. Like the moon, Trudy reflected light in our life and made us all a little brighter.