17 September 2017

A simple image

I have been going through some of the things that have come into my possession following my mother's death.  Among them was a couple of her old missals from fifties and sixties.  (Mother held on to almost everything.  She was practically a hoarder before hoarding was cool.)  In one of the old missals was a simple line drawing explaining the structure of the Mass for the reader.

Simple, elegant and clear.  I know of nothing in the modern missals like it.

I have some other books as well.  Among my favourites is a tiny little book- maybe two inches wide by an inch and a half- now falling apart printed in the 1910's and called The Little Key to Heaven.  it was given to my father for his first communion. It is filled with prayers and the ordinary of the Mass as well as the proper prayers for a few of the more important masses including the Requiem Mass.  It also instructs the reader- in this case, a child- in what at that time were the most basic elements of the Faith.  Nowadays, we are even more basic.  I was once with a group of grown Catholic men and we are given a quick quiz on our faith.  One of the questions was: what are the commands of the Church?  The other men looked at each other blankly.  They had never heard of such a thing.  I knew it not from my eleven years in Catholic school, nor from my decades of attending Mass, but because the commands of the church were on one of the first pages of The Little Key to Heaven.  What children were once expected to know is now deemed to hard to teach children and hence adults never know them either.  When will we learn the simple lesson:  When we ask for much, we get much, but when we ask for less we get even less.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. The plan of the Mass is so beautiful.


Kathleen1031 said...

May God rest the soul of your Mom, and comfort you. It's nice to have something so personal and meaningful. We have my husband's grandmother's book of prayers, in Italian, worn and very old, and we treasure it. We don't know Italian, but she did, and it's her prayer book, so it's important. What could be more special than a book our loved one held for prayer.