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Those Little Thoughts April 10, 2011

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

Sometimes I just get a quiet, short thought, perhaps related to what I was thinking about or doing, but often not. It happens more often when I am quiet and relaxed, not when I am working, or thinking through a document or a puzzle or a book. Watching TV, listening to music, or talking with someone are effective thought blockers. Driving in the truck with Lacy, the radio off, is a good thought environment.

It happened in church this morning.

I was at the 9:00 AM Sunday Mass at St. Joseph’s church here in Florida. It’s one of the few remaining Catholic churches with an affiliated grammar school, grades 1 through 8. Today’s mass servers were a girl about 12 years old (she is tall at 5′, blonde and thin), her brother of about 10 years, and another boy about 9 years old. The servers are well trained, and with above average intelligence, based on my observations of them over five months and watching how they handle unexpected things as they come up. They are reverent, composed and just great kids. The servers dress in red cassocks and white surplices over their street clothes.

Today, I happened to be looking at the young lady as she received Holy Communion. She properly received the host with two hands extended, answering the Eucharistic Minister’s prompt phrase correctly, and she placed the host on her tongue and closed her mouth. Then she made the Sign of the Cross (an optional action), touching the index and middle fingers of her hand to her forehead, to a spot near her abdomen, to her left shoulder and then to the right shoulder, and finally placing both hands together in the praying hands position.

Everything met the rigid Catholic standards drilled into me in the 1950’s and 1960’s by nuns, priests, family and monks so that I became as fixated as the most militant of them in strict observance. (So filled up with the strictures that there was little room left for love, but that’s another story.) So I was appalled – APPALLED, as Sister Dominant of the Wooden Ruler would boom – that the blonde, smart, scrubbed, lovely young lady used her LEFT hand to cross herself!

“Even if your right arm is BROKEN, you must use it to make the Sign of the Cross, ” Sister would harp.

As I was working myself up to a fine fit worthy of Torquemada and The Inquisition, something interesting happened. My breathing slowed, I relaxed, and I got one of those thoughts. It was plain and simple, and it was something like, “Isn’t it nice that she made the Sign of the Cross so gracefully, so fluidly, neither too fast nor too slow, not carelessly, slightly bowing her head.” My mind was completely changed from putting this neo-criminal on report to admiration of the young lady’s reverence and composure. She may even have inspired some jaded adults to bless themselves properly who had fallen out of the habit, I thought.

You know where I am going with this, right?

Yes, I have become convinced over the years that God does answer prayers, and that He does speak to me, not in the booming Voice from the Clouds but in the whispered, easily missed, easily ignored, apparently random thoughts which occur to me from time to time. Sometimes the thought may come from my Mom, whom I know is in Heaven, or at least it contains a Mom-like familiar context which I can readily accept.

Consequently, the one stricture I think Sister Retribution of the Holy Hand Grenade got right was, “BE QUIET IN CHURCH.”

Actually, maybe all of us should be quiet everywhere. Or one of us might miss an important message!

So, what do you think? Do you ever get these little thoughts?




1. Josie - December 30, 2012

Yes I do i always thank God for everything in my life. My children, my apt. and my church and my friends.

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