I don’t always think the Catholic church does everything the best possible way they can do it. However, I’ve appreciated the focus on the local and global communities which have been part of the church as of late.
This weekend I was away at a writing weekend in Clear Lake, Iowa. Or, as my favorites at Raygun put it, the Hamptons of Mason City. My friend Christine has friends who are in the area, and so when she mentioned to me that she was coming for a writing weekend and I was invited, I knew that it would be some time of good productivity, delicious food, and catching up with someone whose friendship I have come to value in ways expected and unexpected.
While I was in the Clear Lake area, I went to mass at the church there. This week they were doing the Anointing of the Sick. For the last five or six years, the Sunday in which this sacrament happens is one of the most beautiful masses I could attend. Again, at this service, the priests walk around and give the sacrament to those who ask for it, while the community around them help pray for and bless the members of the church community in need of this blessing.
Sometimes, being single in parishes which are great places for young families or established members of the community can be pretty isolating. I need this reminder of community and that we are all together, despite when it feels we are alone. The focus on this community is a reason the church is so powerful to me, and so when I have a good reminder of this, I feel God’s presence working through me and others in ways which are powerful.
Recently, I’ve been needing to know I have this community in different ways. Between Christine’s demonstration of support and attending this mass, I know I have had two extremely powerful reminders that my community is all around me, whether demonstrated through a good friend or a room full of strangers.