The Eucharist—Corpus Christi Procession, Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky
June can be very hot especially if you are an Altar boy wearing a wool cassock in the sun at a Corpus Christi procession. We had to be perfectly still in our kneeling. It was very hot and humid. The Nuns saw to it that there was no movement or talking except for singing or saying prayers. The temperature had to be 99 degrees! Then it happened—the server to my right and one row away fell face down in the infield and did not move! He was immediately taken away for treatment. I remember thinking what the heck are we doing here anyway? My 10 year old mind thought what is the big deal?
Father Giani Baggio, C.S. caused me to think of this during his homily last Sunday at St. Pauls. Of course “the big deal” was and is the Eucharist. Now I have a different view and understanding of Corpus Christi and the presence of Christ. Taking an hour each week to spend in Adoration with God is something I cherish and when It is not possible to be there I am disappointed. My time in Adoration is an opportunity to be in the real presence of God and The Holy Trinity. I guard those moments. I cherish those moments.
As Father made clear we should remember we are in the presence of our savior and behave accordingly. Respect is required and day to day conversations be held outside of the Chapel. This is also a time for listening and reflection. Sometimes I believe the Devil is working overtime with me when I enter the Chapel. The good news is I am aware of what is happening and call on The Holy Spirit for help. The Holy Spirit does not fail me.
Thank you Father Baggio for bringing back those memories and providing a reminder and perspective on the Eucharist.