It has been a mucky week. We have had to cope with the "filth" of which Papa Ratzinger spoke in his famous Stations of the Cross in 2005 shortly before his election.
It has been a tough week without a lot of consolations.
As I have written before, I am not terribly sentimental in my celebration of Holy Mass. I prefer to remain fairly workman-like. How I wish that the word "priestcraft" didn’t also have a negative connotation!
This morning, however, I did have a good moment, something of a consolation, during Mass.
I think I was being set up though a confluence of factors. After all, we poor little humans depend on our senses for the signs.
This morning it may have been the little things … sunlight still at a low angle through the windows … birds singing outside… the scent of pure beeswax candles for Eastertide … the remnants of incense… and the reading from 1 Peter…
Dearly beloved, laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions, as newborn babes desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation; if so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet. Unto Whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honorable by God: be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priest-hood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore it is contained in the Scripture, Behold I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious; and he that shall believe in Him, shall not be confounded. To you therefore that believe, He is honor: but to them that believe not, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is made the head of the corner: and a stone of stumbling and a rock of scandal to them who stumble at the word, neither do believe, whereunto also they are set. But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare His virtues, Who hath called you out of darkness into His admirable light, Who in time past were not a people; but are now the people of God. Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.
The fourfold Alleluia concludes only after the Victimae paschali laudes.
It simply… all came together.
Of this passage from 1 Peter Venerable Bede wrote:
It is hardly surprising if someone who has never tasted the kindness of the Lord fails to avoid the filth and corruption of this world. But if your hearts and minds have been cleansed from wickedness, then it is natural for your to long for the vital nourishment of Christ.
The gates of hell will not prevail.