A Precious Gift: Souls

by Sara A. Blalock | Source: Catholic.net

During Advent, my church was transformed.  Trees gleamed with purple lights, the Advent wreath stood tall with its purple and pink candles, and the janitor, with the help of a volunteer crew of parishioners, built a temporary stage in preparation for the school children’s Christmas Program. 

The stage was not up long, but it adjusted how those who administered the Eucharist got to the congregation.  At daily Mass one day, an elderly lady was distributing the Precious Blood.  She does move around well for being 85-years-young.  That morning my pastor was out and a retired priest who lives in the area celebrated the Mass.  On his way to distribute Communion, the visiting priest paused to help this woman down the steps of the stage.  The gentlemanly action was small and subtle, but spoke volumes.

So often these days, especially in my diocese because of a priest shortage, we lay people are geared toward asking the priest how we can make his job easier.  Yet, this priest though his gentle actions toward this woman reminded me that it’s not just about outward services to the congregation.  Father saw the grace and beauty of this woman’s soul.  He gave her dignity by helping her up and down the stairs of the temporary stage. His actions stressed that personal attention is as important as administration of the sacraments.

And then I just had to ask myself: Do I take time as I go about my day to really SEE each soul I encounter?  Do I consider that I am washing the face of Christ when I clean my child’s dirty face?  Do I realize the value of an encouraging smile to the frazzled clerk at the store as I rush around in my weekly shopping?

Perhaps, we could look a little further around us to see the beauty of souls.  Perhaps, we will find one of the most precious gifts of all.  It’s a gift we can keep all year long.

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