Today was a stumbling day in church. Officiating Matins, I finished the opening sentences and helpfully announced that the day's psalms were number 147 and 148...of course, that would have been more helpful after the Venite, which is where the psalms belong. During the mass, Fr. W skipped the confession (after preaching about sin) and Fr. M almost blessed the bread with the words of consecration for the wine...that's easy to do when one is using a ciborium, which is a bread box that's shaped like a chalice.
See, stories of liturgical boo-boos are really only entertaining to church geeks like me.
Coming home from church I had a lovely experience. One of the hazards of city living is that people start to blend into the background. With millions living in such close proximity, one can't possibly acknowledge every individual all the time...it'd drive a person crazy.
But today, looking out the window, I saw every face, and in each face I saw a story. A mother dangling a toy in front of her child; a frustrated old lady lugging heavy bags; a young man lazily smoking and watching young women walk by; two friends laughing because they were just ogled by the young man...I saw a flicker of every life, flashed in sharp detail like lightening on the lawn. In a sense, I was seeing people as people, and their souls shone out like flames in the night.
I'm sure it was a function, at least in part, of my imagination. I couldn't possibly know everyone's internal monologue or mood. Still, for the duration of the ride home it felt like I was seeing as Christ sees - every person precious and unique and alive with a divine spark.
It's a shame we can't...or won't...see like that every day.