Thursday, May 9, 2013


I love reading at Mass. I am honored. But it scares me; it scares me bad (yes, I know that's incorrect English).

I try to prepare well. I study the words several times, and what a beautiful thing; it has encouraged me to read my Bible more often, perusing the chapters in which the reading is found in order to gain a greater understanding.

But it doesn't fail. Sunday morning comes, and I'm anxious. My stomach feels as if its writhing.

It helps to do deep breathing, to throw myself into singing, mostly off-key, the opening hymns, to hold my husband's hand or my children before I go up as Lector 1 (usually Old Testament) or Lector 2 (New Testament epistles or Acts of the Apostles). Still, the greatest secret to overcoming my fear - to calming down, braving up - is too pray, to offer it up to the Lord.

If I tell Him first at home and then on the kneelers that I want to please Him, to do His will and to be freed from vain concerns about my own appearance or "style", then He gives me the hand I am requesting, the brave up. I no longer feel alone in the endeavor; I feel the presence of the Advocate and Comforter: the Holy Spirit. And then, of course, if I fall flat on my face as I walk to the ambo or stare dumbly at my parish community for several minutes, I can consider myself humbled at the hands of God.

But I don't feel alone while reading His word, because, to quote St, Augustine, I am doing it Through Him, With Him, and In Him. Thanks be to God.