Today I served at the altar for my first real mass.
Here’s what I got from it: I’m learning quickly and I seem to be a natural at this. All the same, I was overwhelmed and a bit taken aback by the enthusiasm I got from the congregation. They complimented me on my energy and presence… Except, it wasn’t MY energy and presence they felt. I was a conduit for something far greater and the praise for my skill in serving felt just a bit inappropriate, though I was gracious about it.
I have a strong sense that I’ve done this before, in other lifetimes. I can’t remember when or where, but the motions, the actions, the words and the energy are all there, coming back to me as if it were only a few short years ago. It’s funny, I have a character in my stories, a 12th century canon and mystic from Hereford, and although he is entirely a fictional character, his essence seems like it came from somewhere very real.
I wish I could remember where this character, so close to my own heart, came from. I wish I could remember serving at the altar in centuries past. I wish I knew how I missed my chance to transcend this world when that good life was done. Today’s homily was about purity through non-attachment rather than aversion; perhaps aversion was my great weakness?
Or maybe I never did it before. Maybe I just have a natural instinct and enthusiasm that comes from someone eager to find a new area of focus. At least, it seems to be helpful, for what it’s worth.