to use this special week as part of his own preparations for reception into the Church.
although I feel drained.
THURSDAY: Justice and Peace Converts sometimes talk about a sense of having "come home," a phrase dislike because it sounds sentimental and irrational, but it is powerfully my own experience of St Mary's. I used to come and sit here alone months before speaking to our parish priest. The fact that "ask, and it will be given to you" is quoted in the morning's homily seems even fuller of meaning for me here. The priest also talks about Tresiderefe, and when he unite
me in the afternoon I have to offer him coffee from Tesco: so much for my commitment.
But at least we have tried to do something about the travellers in the local Justice and Peace group.
In the evening, the Liturgy has been prepared by the children. I go with my family, and during the Liturgy a friend comes all the way down from the gallery to take our decidedly restless sixyear-old away with them. He is thrilled with the new view, and watches the rest of the Liturgy quietly. Our daughter is furious! But we feel surrounded by support in this community. Even in the school afterwards, we are quite happy to let our children go off on their own: there is a sense that they are "known," which is rare and
special. I suppose this is what living in a community means.
FRIDAY: Eucharist and Thanksgiving This evening is actually one of the darkest of the week for me. I'm probably exhausted. I have never been to St Peter's before, and feel tired and restless. I want to be quiet to have time to think,
In the homily, the priest tells a wonderful story about a sinner complaining that the Church "Won't let me in," and God replying, "They won't let me out." In a quite irrational way, given the way I have been welcomed into this community, 1 feel like that sinner, and assume this must be what the Rite of
Dismissal of the RCIA programme tries to enact: separation. I'm not sure about this, but for the first time in 18 months I do feel my separation. It is very painful.
SATURDAY: Mission Mass.
I take the children to this morning's Mass at St John Fisher and they become involved in the play one of the priests is trying to rehearse. Most of the volunteers are little girls, so we have the nice symbolism of a female Peter. My own daughter is John.
In some ways, this was the most wonderful event of the week: relaxed and cheerful, full of the sort of accidental delights you always get when children are around. It also seemed the most perfect image of the Church as community:
Children trotted in front of the priest even as he spoke; other children played games in front of the altar, old and young sharing the wonderful story together. Children direct our attention to the future: that is, both biology and necessity.
In their telling of the story of the Last Supper, the children transformed my own thoughts from the past to the new life. Somehow, this seemed to be what the Mission was about.