Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Master of Disguise

A woman named Ave posted this in a comment box over at Penni's blog: Gosh, life would be easy if satan was a tatoo covered snake with a piercing in his tongue. We could recognize him slinking down the street and stay out of his way. But the Father of Lies is the master of disguises.

Made me think about the first time I ever served as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion. The priest who trained me warned me especially of my duty to make sure that everyone who came for Communion consumed the host in front of me. Unfortunately, there are people who hate Our Lord so much that they would steal Him in His Eucharistic Presence and desecrate Him.

That first Sunday, I was assisting next to that same priest who trained me and I was caught up in prayer, "Thank you Lord for giving me this opportunity to serve you. I am not worthy to do this. Please help me to serve you well." I also found myself thinking about what someone who would steal the Eucharist from a church would look like. Probably a young man wearing black clothes and a mohawk, I thought.

An older woman appraoched me, in her white pants and pink sweater. "The Body of Christ." "Amen," she said. She took Our Lord in her hands and walked away.

I walked right behind her, "Excuse me. Excuse me!" I called as I caught up to her, half-full ciborium in my hand. The organ played loudly. I tapped her on the shoulder. She turned and said, "Don't embarrass me." She kept walking. My heart pounded in my chest, blood pulsing in my ears. I caught up to her again, at the back of the church and held her arm. "I must watch you consume the host." "Don't embarrass me," she said, "I have a scratchy throat and I want to take it home to eat later." "No. I have to watch you consume the host." She did and then she said, "I'm going to talk to the Monsignor about this." "I wish you would," I replied, then I went back to the front of the church, very much shaken, to finish distributing Communion to the rest of the church.

At the credence table, I asked the EMHC who had been holding one of the chalices if she had seen what had just happened. She didn't notice me walk past her. After Mass, I asked my family if they had seen me chase the lady down. They hadn't noticed me leave the front of the church. A couple of days later, I asked Father if he had seen me leave the front to chase that woman. He hadn't noticed either.

I was starting to doubt if she was real. I honestly felt, and still feel, that I had wrestled with the evil one that morning. And he wasn't a surly teen. He was a sweet little old lady.

This is more of Ave's comment:
We can recognize Christ, though, by the wounds in His hands.

This reminded me of the story of a saint, I'm not sure which one, but the devil was tormenting him and he told the devil to buzz off. Later, he had a vision of Jesus in his cell, but the saint refused to bow down to Jesus. When the vision asked why he would not bow down, the saint replied that this was not Jesus at all, but the devil appearing as Jesus to try to trick the sint into payin homage to the evil one. Immediately, the vison changed shape into the devil and he asked the saint how he knew it wasn't Jesus. the saint replied, "There were no wounds on your hands. You are too selfish to allow yourself to be hurt as Jesus was." The devil immediately departed from that saint.

He's mighty tricky, isn't he, that satan?

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