Mom needs to see a
doctor near Denver, so we have moved in with
sister Barb in Aurora. We feel as if we are on a vacation here with lots of help and companionship.

Michael’s Parish is just a couple blocks from the house, and they have a 6 a.m.
Mass Monday through Friday.  Monday and
Tuesday were nice mornings, and the walk to church was comfortable in a short
sleeve shirt.  The full moon from the St. Joseph’s Day had only
waned a little and was beautiful in the early morning sky.

   Wednesday came and
so did some chilly weather.  I opened the
door to head to Mass and was immediately frozen by the wind.  I knew I needed a hat. 

    There is a closet
right next to the door I was exiting, so I asked Barb if she had a hat in there
I could throw on.  She opened the closet
and took out a pink knitted hat.  Not a
bad hat for the right gender.  I asked if
there might be another one.  Next came
out a Santa Claus hat.  A nice hat for
the right saint. 

   Those were my
choices, so I went with the pink one, hoping that the moon had waned a lot more
and wouldn’t reveal the color as I walked very quickly.

Michael’s is a very big parish with lots of seating for the 30 or so who are at
the daily Mass.  I took the hat off, of
course, before opening the church door and tucked it under my arm.  I decided that it was important that no one
see the hat, so I decided to sit far away from the crowd. 

   I bypassed the two
main sections of chairs – the church has joined chairs with individual kneelers
rather than pewsand, coincidentally, the chairs are pink.  I continued to the side section that I didn’t
remember anyone sitting in the last two days and picked a seat in the back row
to lay the hat on. 

   I decided to walk
behind the row to pray before Mass.  It was just about time for Mass to begin when
I noticed a man heading toward my section.  Well, the hat blended in pretty well with the
chair so I wasn’t worried. 

   Then the man walked
right into my row and started to lay his jacket on my hat.  He looked at it.  He looked at me.  Then he picked it up and said, “Is this your
hat?”  I mumbled something about it being
my sister’s and took it.

   There was a row of
handicapped chairs against the wall behind the back row where the man had taken
over the chair I had intended to sit in next to my hat.  I decided to sit in the handicapped

   At the time to
offer peace to those around us, the man offered me peace and then said, “I am
sorry I took your chair.”

   There were only
many hundreds of other empty chairs in the church – it really wasn’t my
chair.  I had options.

   By Thursday’s Mass
Barb had found a white hat for me. 
Better.  And on Thursday and
Friday I noticed that the man who took my chair sat in the same place both of
those days.  It was obviously I who had
tried to take his traditional spot. 

   It’s important to
know the territory when one heads to daily Mass. 
My Laetare Wednesday has taught me that clearly.


Jezu, ufam Tobie. 



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