Saturday, June 9, 2012

Saints and Carousels

We took Peter to the beach this evening for his first ride on the historical Dentzel carousel at Ontario Beach Park. Built in 1905, the carousel remains in its original site and is the only ride remaining from a long-gone amusement park. I love the carousel and its history. I like knowing we have a link to the past, a shared experience with people I will never know. It's a reminder that we aren't the only ones who matter.

Have you ever heard the Litany of Saints? It's long. It's a list (or litany!) of saints, punctuated by the response, "Pray for us." It's not frequently used in liturgy, but as a child, I dreaded the times it was sung. It seemed to last forever and be incredibly boring.

As an adult, it is one of my favorite prayers. Part of my changed attitude is increased knowledge; now I know who many of those saints are. Mostly, though, it's the understanding of the communion of saints. Like the carousel, the Litany of Saints is a reminder of a shared experience. I'm not blindly muddling my way through life, doing things my own way. We have heroes, scholars, mystics and warriors marching through the ages, making a path for us. Their lives remind us that we're not the only ones who matter. We are part of the Body of Christ, an eternal Body that reaches beyond this place and time. It's easily worth a few minutes of my time to remember that.

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