feet shuffle | Story #1

by Elouise

St. John's Abbey Church Interior

feet shuffle
down multiple aisles
approach the altar
sacraments of life
and death remembered

 the sound of shoes
resonates against concrete
moves us to receive
hope for life and death
a crumb and a drop
spiritual food for body and soul

It’s 1980-something. I’m sitting in a long pew just beneath the balcony in St. John’s Abbey Church. The sanctuary is full of visitors, members, and local residents of Collegeville, Minnesota. We’ve begun moving forward to multiple stations where we’ll receive the sacraments. This is an ecumenical Eucharist; all are welcome.

It isn’t far to the stations set up near the center of the sanctuary. Architect Marcel Breuer collaborated with Benedictine monks to design this space. They ensured no one would be more than 85 feet from the altar. They also excluded columns, drapes and sound baffles.

No ecumenical Eucharist has moved me to tears as this did. It was the sound. It wasn’t the readings or the homily, or even the hymns. It was the inescapable sound of feet shuffling along the concrete. Beggars all, slowly making our way forward and then back to our seats. Like the thief on the cross. The one who didn’t stay sitting in his seat, but got up and led the first procession to the cross on which Jesus lived and died for us.

* * *

5-day Story Challenge:

Thanks to my blogging friend Kim for inviting me to join this challenge, and for her consistent encouragement since I began blogging.

As for my readers, take a look at Kim’s blog. Here’s her post on the day she invited me to join the challenge: http://zipsrid.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/he-who-has-a-friend/. I’ve never seen a pail like the one in her photo, and her poem plus story is heartwarming.


*Post a picture each day for 5 consecutive days (see note below). Attach a story to your picture.
*Can be fiction / non-fiction, or a
*Poem / short paragraph
*Each day nominate another blogger

Today I nominate John
at https://bandeaux.wordpress.com/
I also extend an open invitation to all my followers
who have stories they’d love to tell.

*Note: Sporadic posting is OK if you’re not able to post each day. There’s no obligation to accept this challenge–though if I nominate you, it’s because I know you have stories to tell!


© Elouise Renich Fraser, 30 September 2015
Photo from http://www.thecatholicspirit.com