Sunday, March 09, 2008

A post-Communion meditation, Ramona style

At Mass today, just moments before Holy Communion, Ramona whispered, "I have to go to the bathroom."

I whispered back, "Can you hold it just a couple more minutes? Just 'til after we go up for Communion?"

I was thinking that since we were in the fourth row, I'd receive very soon and then we could head to the bathroom without missing the pinnacle of my day.

Ramona solemnly nodded.

And so, with the Body of Christ in my mouth and my daughter's hand in mine, we headed up the aisle, down the stairs and into the tiny bathroom of our 125-year-old church. There, instead of praying my favorite post-Communion prayer, the Anima Christi:

Soul of Christ, sanctify me
Body of Christ, save me
Blood of Christ, inebriate me
Water from Christ's side, wash me
Passion of Christ, strengthen me
O good Jesus, hear me
Within Thy wounds hide me
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee
From the malignant enemy defend me
At the hour of my death call me
And bid me come to Thee
That with thy saints I may praise Thee
Forever and ever.

I listened to Ramona chatter about how cold the toilet seat was, and wasn't it nice to sit by Grandma Mary today, and what does that sign say? Does that say there's a diaper table in the other bathroom? ("Yes, sweetie, a diaper-changing table,") and, oh, wow, that water is cold, too. Why is that water so cold? Let's go sit down. And you can warm me up.

And that's what we did. We made our way back upstairs (passing, on our way, a teenage girl slipping out the side door ... sigh ....), back to our pew and we knelt together for the few seconds that were left of my post-Communion prayer time.

I had missed saying my Anima Christi, but I knew something vital:

The soul of Christ is sanctifying me. Every day. Little by little, one bathroom and one chatter session at a time.

The soul of Christ: through my children and my vocation.


Leonie said...

Lovely post, Karen. Inspiring.

And, btw I have one of my children learning the Anima Christi in Latin this Lent, to use later as a post Communion prayer, should he choose. :-)

Denise said...

beautiful. thank you.

BTW, the Anima Christi has always been one of my favorites is always nice to find someone else who finds the same joy in a prayer.

Anonymous said...


Thank you. I had a similar Communion time today,although my boy didn't quite make it to the bathroom. Thanks for the reminder of what we are doing and why.


Anonymous said...


Thank you. I had a similar Communion time today,although my boy didn't quite make it to the bathroom. Thanks for the reminder of what we are doing and why.


Eileen said...

This is really special. Thank you for sharing it!

Whatever are you going to do when that precious little girl grows up? Or, more to the point, what about the rest of us??! :)


The Bookworm said...

The Anima Christi is my post-Communion prayer too :).

Barry Michaels said...

Karen, you rock.

Jen said...

That is my prayer after Communion as well, and I often have a hard time actually saying it because I have a baby in one arm, and usually holding another child's hand in the other, while settling yet another child into their seat, and/or doing many other various things that little kids all seven and under do. Your post, however, is a wonderful thing I will remember this Sunday after Mass. Thank you, because I really needed to read that. P.S. Pray for the teenager slipping out the door after Communion. That used to be me. I'm convinced that many prayers are the reason I came back and now stay until after the closing song is over and done. :-)

Karen E. said...

Thanks for all of your great comments.

I'm with you Jen, on praying for the teen who left! I said a little, "Forgive her, Father, she doesn't know what she's doing." Let's pray that one day she'll be able to tell a story similar to yours!

Mary DeTurris Poust said...

I needed to hear this today, Karen. Thank you for the beautiful post.