I hate crowds.
I hate being in the middle of a mass of people. I hate standing in long lines. I hate traffic jams. And I hate elevators most of all.
Maybe it’s because I’m claustrophobic. Or because I’ve lived in big cities most of my life. But I would rather be in a big, open space, either by myself or with a few people, with room to stretch out and breathe.
I hate crowds. With one exception.
As much as I love praying alone in a beautiful old church, I love it even more when I’m surrounded by people at Mass. I love joining my prayers with others and I love seeing the long lines leading up to the altar as each member of the Body of Christ takes a turn receiving the Body of Christ.
And in my imagination I can see all the people in all the churches in the world united with Christ. One Bread, One Body.
And that unity goes beyond the Mass. When I say the familiar prayers with my family or I pray the Liturgy of the Hours, trying to time my prayers to coincide with the monks at Mt. Angel Abbey (as much as my schedule allows) I know that I am part of that great cloud of witnesses.
That great crowd of witnesses. In heaven and on earth. The Communion of Saints.
That’s the one crowd I want to be in.
Note: This Five Minute Friday post was delayed one day due to circumstances beyond my control, but since I usually take longer than five minutes to write these posts, consider it a Six-Minute Saturday.