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 

Marched reverently 

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,  

But then 

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 

Always be. 

 

Oh, wonderous calling!