Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Thank God it's Tuesday!

I was dragging all day, a bit overwhelmed by Tuesday (and all other) responsibilities at work, so I was grateful when 4:30 finally rolled around and I could take myself off to chapel for the Tuesday Eucharist. This continues to be for me an oasis of peace in a world of constant busy-ness. Not that I would give up anything thing I'm doing these days, from the course I'm auditing at the university to my job there to the big outside editing project that is drawing to a close, but sometimes, like today, it all feels a bit too much.

Then it's a joy to enter the deep twilight space of the chapel, to find my seat and close my eyes and settle in among the small band gathered there. I really do shut out the rest of the world when I enter that building, and lift up my heart.

The Catholics and Episcopalians hold most of their services in the same shared space toward the front of the church but off to the side. Behind this area, which is outfitted with the standard altar and pews, the Catholics keep a small room called Blessed Sacrament Chapel where one can go for private prayer. The doors from that room into the main chapel are usually open, and I realized today that if I turned in my pew I could see inside to the candle burning behind its red glass and a kneeler set in front of the reserved sacrament there.

Which could be interpreted in one of two ways. Either it's a marvelous thing to pray surrounded by meaningful elements from two religions--or it's strange and a little disturbing to have to turn my back on the Catholic stuff in order to focus on the Episcopalian.


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