In between refereeing whispered arguments about who gets to sit beside me, or arranging coats that invariably slip from the pew to the floor, I try my very best to catch as much of what is said during the Mass. Sometimes we’re lucky and I get entire sentences — paragraphs even. Today was particularly tricky. But in a rare moment of peace, the phrase all the angels and saints laser-beamed into my mind and stuck there.

… all the angels and saints…

Hello, all the angels and saints, I’ll be needing your help in the next twenty minutes or so… actually, forget minutes. Let’s say years.

… that You should enter under my roof…

Under my roof… Literally and spiritually, Lord, it’s a big mess in there. A big mess.

… my soul shall be healed.

Sigh.

In the silence(ish) after having received Jesus, the heads around us were bowed in prayer. I pointed this out to my wiggly three-year old and hoped, with another deep sigh, that my soul was indeed in the process of being healed.

Jesus, please be with my wiggly, loud and messy family. Please help me to know what you would like me to do today.

Father Zimmer lead a prayer for the souls of the faithful departed and I remembered my husband’s grandparents and a handful of friends who had died recently.

As we were bundling up, hunting for mitts and tuques under the kneeler, my eldest daughter smiled and whispered, “Thank you for letting me buy a Missal.” She had been collecting coins from her Daddy’s pockets (with his permission) for a while since she heard they were going on sale. Very generously, she let her sister look through it for most of the Mass.

Three out of five of us remembered to make the Sign of the Cross at the end of Mass. One out of five of us remembered to genuflect to the Tabernacle without being told. Two or three out of five of us remembered to return the kind greetings of our smiling fellow parishoners. All of us made it safely to the van without running into oncoming traffic. Are these good stats? Bad stats? I never know.

After we were all strapped in, I said, “Guardian angels?” and almost everyone enthusiastically responded, “Pray for us!”

… all the angels and saints… Please pray for my wiggly family.

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