You don't have to signal a social conscience by looking like a frump. Lace knickers won't hasten the holocaust, you can ban the bomb in a feather boa just as well as without, and a mild interest in the length of hemlines doesn't necessarily disqualify you from reading Das Kapital and agreeing with every word. --Elizabeth Bibesco

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Several years ago, the deacon at my old church gave a sermon that sticks with me now after attending 3 Masses so far here in France. Now, I'm very bad at paying attention to sermons and I'm doing this from memory at least 3 years on, so I may not get it all right.

He was talking, as I recall, about why Episcopalians put so much weight on the Eucharist and not on the Bible (not, at least, as a literal, premade document). He compared two people growing old, one of whom was very Protestant and who's central "icon," if you will, of the faith (by which I mean what represented the faith to them) was the Bible, and the other of whom was Episcopalian and who's central "icon" of the faith was the Eucharist. Both of them were losing their eyesight and, in some ways, their understanding, so the Protestant was struggling with their faith because they were losing their ability to read and comprehend the Bible, which was their tangible connection to the faith. For the Episcopalian, even though they were losing their sight and comprehension, still had the Eucharist to hold on to. They could still experience the Eucharist, even when the Bible was inaccesible to them.

Having attended Mass here in France in 3 different churches and in 2 different languages, I get that. I love the beauty of being able to walk into a Mass and understand what is going on without knowing the language very well. It feels like the most accessible link to God possible-- a way to access God through something we humans have to do all the time anyway-- eat!

In a way, that's kind of what I'm looking for in covering my head-- a way to access God through sometihng I do every day.


ilene said...

Great post, thanks for sharing! I am sure it would be comforting to know what is happening (in the eucharist) even in foreign lands/languages. Have fun over there and stay safe!! :)

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