Today I am leaving work early, with permission, in order to attend my first EVER solemn Chrism Mass.
For those unsure or unaware of the significance of The Chrism Mass I provide the following link:
We will not be gathering on Holy Thursday; due to the constraints on the time of the Bishop we will be gathering tonight at the Cathedral in Stockton, California. Bishop Stephen Blair will bless the three oils used by the Diocese throughout the coming liturgical year.
I am attending with several people from my parish who are involved in RCIA and/or other catechetical programs. I've never attended a Chrism Mass because I was never in a position at work to get time off to go. This year I was invited by our DRE and by golly I am going!
It is an honor to be invited to attend anything. Seriously, people. If you had lived a life such as mine you too would be amazed every time the phone rang or you received an email from a 'Normal' person with the sole purpose of including you in one of their activities. There is a part of me that always wants to stand up and say, "OK WHO IS TRYING TO PUNK ME?" whenever one of those invitations shows up on my door, in my voice mail or in my In Box.
I shared with someone today that the people who seem the most annoyed by me and my life (and my story) are those who clammer for total inclusion. Because I will not endorse any lifestyle or choices of behavior that I know from personal experience lead to pain and heartache I am considered a bigot or worse. However, what I know to be true is that it is the very lifestyle of people of whom I was most convinced would hate and reject the person who is ME that have been the most welcoming, the most understanding and have offered me a way to heal.
I have also made it pretty clear to anyone who cares that I will never be kept from The Eucharist again. I don't care what individual priests to or even what the human administration of my Church does - men will sin and men will screw things up and men will be imperfect. If I am unwilling to turn my back on my country when the men in charge screw things up, why the heck would I turn my back on my Church - the Church that provides me with that which is necessary for eternal life?
SO, off I go today with all the good people to the Chrism Mass. I am so delighted. I am so happy to 'be a part of'.
I am so happy.
Thank you, Jesus.....now can we please win the Superbowl next year?