On a warm and humid Wednesday night, the faithful gathered at Christ Memorial for Mass, a meal and study of Celtic Spirituality. Even with several of our regulars away from us for various reasons, the turn out was good, the worship uplifting, the food magnificent and the class engaging. A very special thanks to all those who prepared and served the food.
The subject of the class was St. Patrick, and it blended perfectly with our celebration of the Feast of St. Palladius of Ireland. We discussed Patrick's background, his formation during his time as a slave in Ireland and his ultimate return as a Missionary Bishop to the island so that they could be released from their slavery by the Good News of Jesus Christ. We focused a great deal on the presence of the Holy Spirit in Patrick's life, and how it was through prayer and the Spirit's indwelling of his soul that he was able to follow the path that God had prepared for Patrick. We read parts of Patrick's "Confessio", and, I think, all gained a deeper understanding of the significance of Patrick's legacy in teaching us how to be accepting of God's Grace.
Next week, we are going to discuss a text which dates from the early 10th Century. It is called "The Voyage of Brendan" and is an account of the saint's journeys across the sea in a search for the "Promised Land of the Saints". This text builds upon the older, pagan mythological stories of voyage and discovery, but makes it a uniquely Christian quest for the "Promised Land" or the "Kingdom of Heaven". As with all the texts we are going to examine in this class, we are looking particularly at how the Early Christians in Ireland came to understand their relationship with the Almighty God, so that we can, in turn, explore and strengthen our own spiritual connection with God.
I have been remiss in not mentioning up to now that there is another activity that takes place on Wednesday night. Beginning at 5:00 PM, the Choir meets to practice and plan for upcoming Sunday Eucharists. We have a dedicated group of folks who make up the Christ Memorial Choir, and they are eager to show more people how fun and meaningful it can be to be a part of the Choir. No need for professional experience or training to join. Many find the idea of singing in front of people to be somewhat terrifying, but rest assured that whatever fear you may have, the benefit to yourself and the to the enhanced worship of your fellow parishioners is that much greater. If you feel led by the Spirit to be a part of the Choir, all you need to is show up on Wednesday night. We'd love to have you.
Remember, choir practice is at 5:00; Mass is at 6:00; dinner at 6:45 and class at 7:15. Maybe we'll see you there.