Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Conversion, St Paul, and the open church

Back at St German's again this morning for the midweek 'class Mass', with a dozen communicants and two dozen children, telling the children the story of St Paul's conversion. Today's his feast day. The horrid catarrh bug I've been harbouring since the weekend made it a bit of a struggle to give of my best, as singing wasn't easy and my nose kept running. 

Afterwards a young woman came into church and sat quietly in the nave. I greeted her as I was leaving, and she asked if it was OK to come in and just pray. I told her she was welcome whenever she found the church was open for services or housework, as it's there for everybody. She told me that her interest in spirituality had grown in recent years since she'd learned about Buddhist meditation. What this did was to kindle her interest in Christian faith, as she knew she'd been baptized as a child. I think she'd taken a break from her work in a nearby hostel for the homeless.

We chatted for a while about journeying in faith, and I reassured her she'd always be welcome just to come sit and enjoy the peace and beauty without needing to join in a service, unless she felt she wanted to. How many people's path to conversion down the ages, have started like this, waiting in silence in a peaceful empty church? I wonder.

After this cheering encounter, I made my way home, to lie low for the rest of the day, in the hope of seeing off this miserable ailment. I have two funerals booked for the coming week and a further one for the following, once a date can be settled upon. With Fr Mark still on leave, there are extra duties to cover in February now, so taking care of myself and not overdoing it has to be a priority when I'm not working.

No comments:

Post a Comment