September 24, 2014
The school building filled with the sounds of raucous youth and footsteps running in the hallway. Peacefully I fiddled with the ribbons in an old, cracked, green breviary marked “volume IV”. His eyes bright and inquiring, James spoke to me from across the library table. Our conversation was animated and filled with jokes. Every once in awhile, I stopped to be sure the right color thread marked the proper place: Thursday: Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer… His fingers worked adroitly at tying together a pink and black rosary. My failed bunch of knots and poorly-gaped beads lay on the table between us. It was something we agreed not to mention.
Later on, bored, we strolled through the building, peering in each classroom. Stumbling upon an empty room standing with all the lights on, we wandered in. The chalkboard showed the large words: Trinity. Adam and Eve. Garden of Eden. My hands found a brown, untitled book which described the Mass in Latin and English, published right after the Second Vatican Council which so many assumed removed Latin from our timeless sacrifice. But right there, in bold red and black, the ancient words flowed, marked with illustrations of a priest in typical 60’s vestments. The book captured James’s interest as I explained to him the parts in Latin.
I grabbed a stubby piece of chalk then scribbled on the chalkboard: “In nomine Patris, Filli et Spiritus Sancti.” It felt so natural, working the letters, speaking and teaching their meaning, like I was made for this!
James began laughing and pointing. “Look at where you wrote that,” he said. I stepped back and viewed the chalkboard. Above what I had written, was the large word: Trinity. How apt… A big smile crept across my lips followed by laughter. God is good.