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samedi 19 juin 2010

Saturday Afternoon in South Miami

Visit to a Catholic Church to say Thanks..

American Indians always say that people pray and when they are rewarded, they forget to thank the people responsible for it. After hearing the good news about a follow up PET CT Scan on my sister Jackie, she asked me, do you want to go to church with us this afternoon?

OK, let me explain.

My sister, Jackie is English and brought up in Jamaica and her husband Joseph’s father migrated to Cuba from Bethlehem in the 1930s! they both are catholic and strong believers but that has not interfered with our deep relationship, which gets better with time.

This is the first ever time, in my memory, that I have attended a mass, even though I have been inside a church for weddings and funerals. The rituals reminded me of some of our rituals or variations of it. I was able to separate myself from the liturgy but feel one with the ambience of reverence and pray silently for the continued well being of sister Jackie.

I have prayed for her, on numerous occasions at the Schwedagon pagoda in Yangon, at the Chinese temple in Malacca, the hindou temples of Shiva in Madras and of course at the synagogues the few times I have attended them: at the cochin synagogue and also at the tomb of the Malabari Jewish Saint, Naomi Mutta. And on more than one occasion I have prayed along with other Indian friends at their sweat lodges.

If you come with a clean heart and know what you are praying for, I don’t think it matters where you are praying, the infrastructure I don’t think it matter, but what is inside your heart does…

PS as always i used this occasion for anthropological observations.. on a saturday evening at 5pm, there were quite a few people in attendance. majority of the people were white, most of the non white people were of caribbean origin, matronly black ladies from jamaica well dressed, chinese jamaicans with their american children in tow, some white was nice to see families attending the church together, young and old. What i did not like was that many of them were dressed very casually, a woman sitting in the front pew had her two children and she was wearing what looked like a housecoat and crumpled shorts and sandals!