Dear Friends, Drodzy Przyjaciele, Cari Amici,
When I was a little girl I desperately wanted to be able to serve Mass as Altar Server, but in those days, it was STRICTLY for Boys..no girls were allowed in the Sanctuary. This was deeply hurtful to me, because I had some very powerful experiences of God very early in my childhood and felt deeply connected to Him. I wanted to feel close to God physically and I knew when I entered a Catholic Church that there was something Familiar that was comforting to me. I would be up and out of the house at 4:30 in the morning and I snuck into the Church when no one was there (back in those days, Churches were always unlocked). I would go up close to the Tabernacle and reach up and touch it, or just be near it. The smell of Candles and Incense always was deeply soothing to my very young and tortured soul.
I attended the Catholic School connected to our Church and during one year in particular I was obsessed with this desire to be “Altar Boy”. I would get to the Church long before 6:00 a.m. Mass and hide in the Altar Boys Room. I didn’t put a light on, for fear of being caught, but I would open those huge wooden closets where the Altar Boy cassocks hung, I would put one on…and fasten the numerous snaps. I would walk silently back and forth in that tiny room, I would kneel on the floor and pretend I was Serving Mass. There was a small window, high up and could hear if a car was coming into the parking lot and I would rush to get the cassock off and get out of the room and get into the Girls bathroom and hide before anyone else entered the building.
It was not totally uncommon for some school children to attend morning Mass even without parents, but there were not many of us. I think there were about 5 of us that year who came regularly.
No one ever caught me in my secret ritual in the Altar Boy Room.
One night when I was at home and in bed, having been raped yet again by my father and laying awake trying to locate my own Self from the Filth and Grief and Rage in my bed, I had my first experience of feeling Angry at God. (I was about 10 years old.) I remember thinking that He was not a very nice God because He allowed the Church to refuse me the privilege of Serving Mass. For some reason this Insistent Need to be an Altar Boy was Raging like a Fire and I cried and cried and cried. Suddenly, I sat straight up in bed and I felt God very Near to me. My body got all warm and calm and I was straining my eyes in the dark to see if I could see Him, but I could not. Then I heard Him speak to me! He said as Clear as can be..“Cara Mia, All of Life is a Mass, and you are my Beloved Server of this Mass.”
I was Instantly and Completely Thrilled and Vindicated! Maybe the Church refused me, but God not only Allowed me, He seemed to Choose me to be one of His Servers in this Liturgy of Life!
I never felt sad or angry again about not serving Mass in the Church. (Strange, isn’t it…that I did not feel Angry at God that I was being Raped and Sold for Child Prostitution and Tortured and Brainwashed! I know it was because that was All I knew of the Material World. That is what Life Was Like. Period. I never expected that to Change. But I did expect the Spiritual World to be Friendly and On my Side!)
This morning I was reading some works of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and I came across this quote and was deeply touched by it. It speaks to me about how we are all Priests and Servants of the Lord, in every single Circumstance of our lives and reminded me of my experience many years ago of discovery this Truth.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says:
“Since once again, O Lord, in the steppes of Asia, I have no bread, no wine, no altar, I will raise myself above those symbols to the pure majesty of reality, and I will offer to you, I, your priest, upon the altar of the entire earth, the labor and the suffering of the world.
Receive, O Lord, in its totality the Host which creation, drawn by your magnetism, presents to you at the dawn of a new day. This bread, our effort, is in itself, I know, nothing but an immense disintegration. This wine, our anguish, as yet, alas! is only an evaporating beverage. But in the depths of this inchoate Mass you have placed — I am certain, for I feel it — an irresistible and holy desire that moves us all, the impious as well as the faithful to cry out: “O Lord, make us one!”
I pray that we all can know and trust that we are Deeply Involved in the Magnificent Liturgy of Creation and Redemption.
God’s Servant, Boży Sługa, Servo di Dio,
Gabriel Orion Marie
* For those of you who may not know, I have published a series of three books that tell the story of my recovery and healing from profoundly intense physical, sexual and spiritual abuse. These books have dozens of paintings that I did during my process and those paintings are a core form of communication I used in my Healing. These books are available on Amazon. I hope you will read them and pass them on to others !
This White House (Book One), Going Sane (Book Two) and A Spectacular Dawn (Book Three)