A very close friend of mine wrote this gorgeous reflection–full of faith and nostalgia and hope. She’s asked to remain anonymous.
I have used two of my grandmother’s copper pots for over twenty years. Some of my happiest childhood memories came from the work of her hands and the bowls of tomato sauce she would warm for me. If I became sick she would cook pastina with chicken broth to heal and soothe me.
A few nights ago I had to leave in a rush and had the timer set for a son to take the rice off when it was finished. As we left, S—- asked me if I really wanted to leave the pot there cooking and perhaps just forgo that part of the meal. Oh, but I knew better, “Oh honey, how can you serve Tikki Masala without rice.” Unfortunately, the son left in charge put earphones on and didn’t hear the timer.
An hour later, S—- got a frantic phone call from another son — “Where’s mom? There’s a problem with dinner.” We came home later that night to find one of her pot’s interior burnt to a crisp with what was once rice. For days I have been slowly working away to remove the layers of damage–low boils, gentle abrasives, hints from Heloise, sighs of ‘please God we need to fix this pot.”
This little episode seems like the state of the Church. The earthly vessel, our Mother, which holds the glories of the kingdom of God and the grace to dispense love and heal souls–Holy because of her head-Jesus- abandoned by those in charge of Her keeping, distracted with the things of this world and not the Gospel—leaving love in the ruins. I could never abandon my mother, the Church. I have witnessed the grace of God in souls–especially my own. I have witnessed the horrors of her members’ sins–especially my own. Yet, I know that the Church, and my copper pot, will always love and serve when not misused and abused. I know I can’t leave the clean up alone to the one who forgot the pot or the Church, because a treasure must be handled with care.
New rule at our house–no one in charge of supper may have earphones in their ears–and I won’t put sons in charge of the pots until I know, they know how to use them correctly. Let us focus on whatever our mission is, whether cooking dinner or shepherding souls.