Saturday, April 9, 2011

Hats off!

Fr Dan came and spoke to our children about his life in Kenya,
about the missions and how they changed his life; shared why he became a priest
and showed us photos of his home and family,
of  the church and school that the Holy Childhood Association built
so the children could see what their little Lenten boxes are doing. 
It was a great afternoon, with the children
throwing their arms up into the air with questions
or shouting their answers. 
Fr Dan's enthusiasm and eager faith was catching. 
He taught the children a blessing song in swahili
and we clapped and sang back
what I am sure was a horrible rendition
but you would never know it by the wide smile on his face.
Someone asked if mass was different there and he told us oh yes! 
Here, you are so very holy -
and he folded his hands and bowed his head! 
Then he told us of how the children in Kenya
dance the priest down the aisle to start mass. 
How they play drums and clap and sing. 
How every action of the mass is another opportunity to dance and sing -
the gloria, the gifts, the gospel, the prayers! 
He said mass there is very long -
with all the singing and dancing, a couple of hours!
One of the kids asked him, "why do you sing and dance so much then?" 
And he said
 "We have not yet forgotten the joy of our salvation!" 
There's that winning smile again! 
And after mass they go out and sit under a tree
and talk about everything
while the children kick a soccer ball.
We have not yet forgotten the joy of our salvation! 

The holy spirit loves to come down like that - at the drop of a hat -
and it landed on my head and there it sits. 

His words gave voice to something deep within me.
The immediacy of God's grace
The urgency of God's love
The consonance of God's joy.
Night and day his words have danced on my head...
and there is that
I take off the hat,
twirl it in my hands,
place it on again, this way and that,
take a look at myself again.
We have not yet forgotten the joy of our salvation!
Is yet inevitable?  Is it like everything else,
the common miracles that I trod upon with heavy foot;
blind or weary, calloused or distracted by daily cares? 
Is the mystery of God's love too much for us? 
The indiscriminate beauty that leaves us awestruck too overwhelming.
We surely cannot contain it, fathom its depths. 
Like the wood of the cross on Good Friday -
the church shows us just one arm, then another,
Behold the Wood of the Cross
and then finally it is revealed; it's mystery too much to take in all at once. 
Like the Bread of Life,
no one meal satisfies,
we hunger again,
and so I find myself  "hats off" to my savior,
Hats off to the creator of this wonderful world!
Hats off to say thanks!
Hats off to ask a blessing...
Hats off, tossed into the blue sky above,
feasting and dancing, clapping and singing the joy of our salvation! 
Happy Easter!  Happy Spring!  Happy Happy Everything!

Joy is the most infallible sign of the presence of God!

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