Monstrance of My Childhood
By Sister Marcia Klawon OSF
Only a child of seven
When in the Eucharist
My heart met His
In intimacy of first Holy Communion.
Clothed wholly in purest white was I,
Symbolic of the purity of heart
That would a fitting dwelling be
For my most precious Lord,
The Lover of my soul –
Oh, cherished memory!
A few weeks passed –
And in the church’s vestibule
My child heart waited
In silent joy and eager longing
To walk in Corpus Christi procession
Clothed once again in
Pure white First Communion garb.
Oh, vivid memory!
Hands folded, eyes lowered, slow pace was mine,
When finally, the moment came –
And we, a line of white-clad children
Around our church’s aisles.
My heart-beat fast
As thundering organ played;
My eyes gazed upward in wondrous awe
To rest upon the pure white Host
Within the center of a huge, majestic
Monstrance encircled by exquisite,
Golden rays, raised high in priestly
Hands under a silken canopy.
Oh, blessed memory!
A decade passed –
And then the Lord of pure, white Host
So magnetized my heart
And called me for His spouse,
And joyfully I gave myself to Him.
Oh, happy memory!
Four decades since have passed –
And time brings change.
Because of poverty and dwindling parish members
My childhood’s church is closed,
Yet memories remain alive
Of pure, white Host
In huge majestic monstrance
Encircled by exquisite, golden rays.
Oh, tender memories!
Two days ago, on Holy Saturday –
I sat in silent watch
Before the bare, stripped altar
An open, empty tabernacle
Withing the chapel of our motherhouse.
But soon at Easter Vigil services
My joy was full
As in Communion
I met my Risen Lord again!
At close, the beauty of Handel’s Messiah
Brought Easter joy to fullest peak – or so I thought,
Oh, awesome precious moment!
The pure, white Host
Within a huge, majestic monstrance
Encircled by exquisite, golden rays
Was raised aloft to rest
Upon the altar’s marble throne,
I gazed in blessed ecstasy
Upon my eucharistic Lord
within the very monstrance
of childhood’s parish church.
Tis Easter week –
I kneel in joyous adoration
Before my eucharistic Risen Lord
In huge, majestic monstrance
Encircled by exquisite golden rays.
My prayer –
Lord, magnetic Center of my Life,
May I grow holy,
May I, Your living monstrance
Oh, wonderous calling!