Monday, December 07, 2015

Advent 2: Making raids on the ineffable

I crept through a tunnel on the bare edge of dawn today, intent on raiding the ineffable.

The pines outside my window, ghostly pale in the lights from the patio above, stood guard as I pulled on black turtleneck and dark pants and slipped out my door, what I need to jemmy open the gate on the other side in my hands.  I came to the surface in a dark corner,  and keeping to the shadows made my way to the pool of light at the front.

I bowed to the tabernacle and took a place in the choir section reserved for guests, put my reading glasses on and opened wide the gates into the mysteries, finding the psalms and the canticle and the hymn.  Habits rustled and seats eased into place.

We rose and fell, breathing our way into the day.  Lord, open our lips, we said, and proceeded to raid the psalms, foraging ruthlessly for the day's food.  We followed St. Ambrose, as he ransacked Luke's account of Mary's visit to Elizabeth, shaking it until each word gave up its worth.

One by one we slid across the altar and out the door, hands empty, but not empty-handed.

The image of raiding the unspeakable comes from this op-ed by Gile Fraser in The Guardian.

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