Monday, September 10, 2007

Non Serviam

My mother is 91-years-old and lives in a nursing home run by nuns on the campus of Universite Laurentienne. The nuns are doctors, biologists and hospital administrators. St Joseph Villa is cheerful; the souls of the residents may linger unaccountably on this earth, but that is a fact to be celebrated. On Sundays the nuns get real. A brisk woman with a scapula and a chalice enters my mother’s room. She gives my mother Holy Communion. She asks me if I want Communion. I begin the usual trite bad-boy Catholic, “Well, you know, Sister, it’s been over a year since my last Confession, and perhaps I really better not….” But she’ll have none of it. Faster than I can utter, Non serviam -- my sins are forgiven and I have a host in my mouth.

I’ll have to cancel our meeting in Hell. Sorry. I’m sure you’ll have more fun without me.