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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Fire Without

Benediction, and with it Holy Hour, was over.

Sometimes I referred to it as Unholy Hour, with the way the children behave. Of course I mean other people's children....

As the last note of Salve Regina faded away, Marcellinus, or Marc, my 8-year old son turned back toward me with a plaintive look on his face. He pointed at the side of his head. I motioned him to come to me, and as he got closer to me I made out the words "...side of my head hurts, and there's something funny in my hair." I looked at his hair, and for a moment I thought he had a collection of nits in his hair.

I fear lice more than I fear hepatitis and other microbes.

Something seemed out of place, though, and so I tried to remove some of the little knobs off the ends of his hair. Usually nits are not on the tip of the hair. I kept thinking I had seen hair like this before. On an impulse, I sniffed the patch of abnormal hair. The smell of sulfur was overpowering. Ah-ha! I remembered when I had seen this before!

Marc had burned his hair. I suddenly realized that the little knobs on the end of the hair were heat damage. I had seen the few hairs on the back of my hands looks like this after singeing them over the grill. This also explained some noises I had heard while in the confessional - strange things ALWAYS happen when I am in the confessional.

Every votive candle in the church was lit. This consisted of about fifty candles, and I have never seen all of them burning - until today. While I was talking to the priest in the confessional, I kept hearing a 'clicking' sound which reminded me of an elderly person's walker. I expected the confessional door to suddenly open up and some old person barge in on my confession. It didn't happen. What I was hearing was the sound of my children lighting all the votive candles.

At some point, Marc must have waved the extended butane lighter too close to his scalp.


Kindred Spirit said...

Don't feel badly about this: I just realized yesterday that my youngest daughter had been blowing out the votive candles that other people had lit...:-( I've said it before: who needs to pray the Litany of Humility when he/she has children? :-)

dadwithnoisykids said...

Blowing out votive candles was one of Theodore's specialties - right after receiving Our Lord in Holy Communion!

Adele said...

Haha, unholy Holy Hour!! I can totally relate. Confessional frustrations, that too. Haven't had the other happen as in our parish you press a button and a fake candle comes on. Your parish sounds much more fun... for the kids anyway.

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