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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

5.07.2007

Squishy Sacraments

We've been trying to have a baby for over a year; since January 2006. The medication (C*lomid) that my doctor put me on to "help things along" has not raised my levels significantly (from a 0.08 to a 0.15 -- with the goal being 15.00) so he raised the dosage and we're gonna' give it another go.

In the meantime, I'm getting all the things I can accomplished around the house; renovating, planting, cleaning, organizing. We still had a load of work left to do after we got married (like arranging picture albums, sorting through all sorts of brick-a-brack and hodge-podge) that I really have my hands full at the moment. Which is indeed good, I don't like sitting still. I like to get things DONE (which is probably why there are three stacks of books to be read beside my bed). But at the same time, I cannot help my longing for a child to care for and educate and watch grow... who has my husband's green eyes, I hope.

It occurred to me to ask our Deacon yesterday after 8:00 AM Mass about receiving the anointing of the sick. I told him our situation and he said I certainly "qualified". I asked when I might be able to receive it and he said to ask both our priests, but explained that our rector, the guy in charge, would probably not be able to do it because he's usually so busy. He instead suggested we ask the "junior" priest (who is in his 50's, ironically). I wouldn't mind asking either of them, they're both incredible.

So Tef and I scooted out the side of the cathedral and made way for the next wave of parishioners who were easing in early for the 9:30 Mass. Who should be coming out the door but our sweet, smiling rector? He thanked us for a gift we'd given the church a couple weeks earlier and we made small talk. I knew this would be a good opportunity to inquire about the anointing but didn't want to impose, especially with 9:30 Mass getting ready to start. But my husband's Yankee ingenuity stood up and asked for me.

"Well, when would you like to be anointed?" our father asked.

I shrugged cheerfully, "Whenever... I'm open."

"Why don't we do it now then?"

So we did. He went to get the necessaries and then he, Deacon, Tef and I stood in a little huddle on the sidewalk on that glorious spring morning and I was anointed in Christ's name for healing. It was quiet and peaceful and... perfect.

I've been anointed before -- Pentecostals will use any excuse to anoint anyone for anything. But I'd always been anointed under the impromptu declaration of a man's prayer who was himself willing a thing to happen. The force of his prayer was presumably what would do the healing, not the anointing itself. Or so it seemed.

This was not like that. This was a well-mapped prayer whose effectiveness rode on the shoulders of the Anointing and the name of Him in Whom it was offered. Our father was just there to carry it out through the benefits of his office.

The Mass is the same way. It doesn't rely on the priest so much as it does the actual service. I might go so far as to say that it doesn't matter who is officiating... but I won't. Different priests can do well or poorly. But the words themselves cannot be changed or rearranged to mean or impart anything else than Christ. Maybe that's why I've been so surprised by the number of joyful, surprised tears I've shed since we started attending Mass over a year ago. The quiet joy and holiness sneaks up on you. It doesn't announce itself and declare that you acknowledge it, it steals into your heart like a lover.

Here's praying with hope that the Lover's anointing has healed its beloved.

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4 Comments:

Blogger nightfly said...

Since it rests on Him, no pressure on me - but I'll add my featherweight. God heal you and bless you both with a healthy child!

4:38 PM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Thank you, NF! ["featherweight": I like that]

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Occasional reader; never posted before... Our daughter is not quite a year and a half old... We did the IUI procedure, so I remember the Clomid stage and everything else they put my wife on. We've got friends who've just done IVF - it's amazing how many people have these struggles these days. I think most people that aren't dealing with it have no idea. Anyway, know that there's one more set of prayers being said out there for ya. God bless.

1:01 PM  
Blogger WordGirl said...

Thanks so much for de-lurking. And for your prayers.

1:53 PM  

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