A Pilgrimage of Penance Down Pearl Road

It was the fourth day of Advent, where I should go to mass? When the thought occurred to me to take a walk to Corpus Christi Church. Corpus is not my designated parish, but it was the church I received both First Holy Communion and Confirmation in.

As I walked down the street, a gentle rain was falling, the sidewalks were wet, and I noticed that some of them hadnít changed since I was a little girl. As I walked, God began to speak to me, (as I said this was a penance, so when you give something to God He will always meet you and give you more) He asked me to take special notice of what I see.

I took special notice of big old house greatly decorated for Christmas; it was bought just recently. The previous owner was a "Reader and Advisor" I remember praying for deliverance of this establishment many years ago. God answered that prayer.

As I continued my walk, I passed the Lutheran Church, a sign reading "Christmas Eve Service", inviting everyone to join. My walk took me past a Lutheran Cemetery. When my children were young I would take them through on our bicycles, teaching them to pray for the dead.

My walk continued past the Pentecostal Church. It had a sign that read "Jesus isnít in the crib, He is our high priest".

I finally made it to Corpus, passing an establishment, which was not as edifying so, I prayed.

The church had been redecorated, and it looked fresh and beautiful. As mass began I remembered my childhood years here and I asked God if I could come back, and He said I was back.

On my journey back home, (I really believed I would run into someone I knew and they would offer me a ride, no such luck) I heard the loud singing and music that was coming out of the Pentecostal Church. I noticed by the sign the service was just beginning, so I went in.

As I began to praise God with hands held high I felt like I was at a Charismatic Prayer meeting, I asked God about the church, and He said: These are my people too.

As we prepare for the third millennium of Christianity, I realized the joy and pain of the Holy Trinity on the subject of unity.

In this year dedicated to "God the Father", let us reflect on our role as Christ -bearers. Mary was the first bearer of Christ. She brought Him into a world much like todayís. She was not afraid, * "she let humility be bold, and modesty confident. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Let us open our hearts to faith, as She did, our lips open to praise, for the desired of all nations, is at our door, knocking to enter in."

May God bless us this coming year to know and serve Him and all His people with renewed faith and better understanding.

* This passage was taken and edited from the Liturgy of the Hours, December 20, Office of Readings; homily from St.Bernard, abbot

Pax et Bonum

Sally Hudgins, SFO