It is standing room only again at the Saturday 4pm mass led by the charismatic Father Lincoln at Sacred Heart Church in Palm Desert. In spite of the crowded seating, I noted that many women brought their handbags to mass. There are 4 large purses taking up seating space in the row of seats in front of me. I am simultaneously obsessing over the people forced to stand and the huge purses that couldn't be locked in the car parked in a church parking lot guarded by security for one hour.
After communion, I kneel, give thanks and pray my usual prayers. I pray for determination in keeping an open heart for those I try to love unconditionally, including myself. I pray for the strength to be supportive and kind to those who cross my path daily no matter how busy I am. I pray for help to be selfless in my grace while serving others even in the smallest ways. I pray to forgive and to be forgiven. The Divine certainly knows this to be quite a challenge given my personality but I'm hopeful my prayers will be answered over time. As I kneel, I am sucked into the gaping maw of an open purse on the seat in front of me. It appears to have a voracious appetite given it's size. I tried to focus on prayer, love and centering my soul but I found I couldn't look away. It presented an excellent opportunity to see what was so important they couldn't free up a another seat.
|Looking into the voracious maw of a designer handbag|
As my mother aged and became more forgetful, she frequently became concerned with where her purse was....believe me when I say we spent many hours looking for it. With caregivers in the house, she was convinced it was necessary to hide it even though by then it didn't hold anything of much value. We prayed to St. Anthony so many times for help I thought we wore him out. "St. Anthony! St. Anthony! Please come 'round. Something's been lost and cannot be found." He answered our prayers more times than I can count.
|St. Breiuc Patron Saint of Purse Makers|
So between purse-maker, St. Breiuc and purse-finder, St. Anthony, I can only hope that those of us who can't be separated from our purses for an hour long mass may find solace in praying to at least one of these two saints. I'm certain either would be delighted to intervene on our behalf, bringing us enough security and peace to leave a purse at home, downsize or lock it in the car, instead of giving it a seat in the pew at a standing room only mass. Think of it this way...the saints can help us lighten our burden and feel confident enough to take only what is really necessary to attend mass, our souls. Plus, I'm sure there are many who will give thanks when they are offered a chance to sit down. Mercie! Oui?