I wish you could know “Hazel”. She is one of the eldest members of our parish family. I believe, that currently, there are five generations of her family, in attendance, at our church.
I love Hazel.
She is bursting with joy. (One would never know or fathom the tragedies she has suffered in life by her disposition!)
She is energetic.
She has pizazz and style! (I always tell my girls that I would love to get a peek at Grandma Hazel’s” (as she’s affectionately known) earring box, because she seems to have a pair to match each and every colorful outfit!)
In addition to all that makes Hazel unique and special and wonderful, there is one “characteristic” that stands out: Her “resounding Amen”!
Each time Hazel receives Our Lord, in Holy Communion, her response to the priest’s “The Body of Christ” is a ”resounding Amen” that reaches to the very steeple, atop our church! It causes the heads that are bowed to look up; and smile. It causes those who are distracted and looking at outfits and postures, rather than praying, to take note and refocus. And, mostly, it causes the hearts of the faithful to “agree”; albeit, in silence, that “We, too, believe it is the True Presence of Christ!”
Sometimes, I have the pleasure of speaking with Hazel, on the phone, when carrying out my duties as scheduler for weekly Adoration, in our parish.
I always quip, “Hazel, I want to be just like you when I grow up”. She gets a big kick out of that.
I watch her bow down before the Blessed Sacrament in the holy Monstrance…all the way to the floor. With almost 90 years of life, a body racked with arthritis (and who knows what other ailments) and years and years of energy expended, raising children and grand-children; great-grand-children, and now…great-greats; and, yet…she bows: all the way to the floor, on her knees.
When people ask me, “Judy, what are you going to do with yourself when all your kids are gone?” I answer, “I’m going to be just like Hazel! I’m going to go to Mass every day and pray for my friends, family, and people of God. I’m going to dress-up and bow: all the way to the floor! And, I’m going to shout my “Amen!” each time I receive Holy Communion”.
Hazel makes me think of all the wonderful signs and customs and devotions we have in our beautiful Catholic Faith. I am mindful, however, that there is an enemy who wishes to stifle our exuberance, to quiet our voices, and to tempt us to be embarrassed or believe ourselves to be falsely-pious if we take part in these acts of humility and love.
Will we cower and hide our Faith?
Or, like Hazel, will we offer a “resounding Amen!” to the Lord? Will we pray Grace before Meals, in public?
Will make a slow, reverent Sign of the Cross (or, look more like we are swatting a fly away from our noses)?
Will we genuflect (inasmuch as our physical condition allows…or bow, from the waist if we are unable)?
Will we let our voices be heard, in song; even if we sing a little “off-key”?
Will invite the guests in our home to join us in our family rosary; or, will we “forget about it” while we have company?
The less we “show” our Faith, the easier we make the enemy’s job. He doesn’t have to work so hard to win souls away from Christ, if no one can tell who the Christians are!
This week, as you go about your daily life journey, and, especially, when you attend Mass, think of Hazel, and join her in a “resounding Amen”!
Copyright 2012 Judy Dudich