Monday Morning Offering - 18

Image: George Mendoza

Good morning, good God!

Sunday morning, at the 7:30 Mass,
a young boy served at the altar for the first time.
He did a fine piece of work for you, Lord,
and for your people.
If he was nervous, it didn't show on his face
or in his steady hands.

But, truth be told, Lord,
my eyes were on two others more than on young Patrick.

His dad had come to Mass with him
and took a seat right where he could be sure to see
every move his son made.

I wasn't inattentive to my own duties, Lord,
but I was blessed by watching Ed watch his boy...
How often this father's gaze fell upon his son
with watchful pride, vigilant love and tender joy.
I wondered what benchmark might this day have been
for the man who had fathered this boy,
who was there at his birth...
Ed's heart spirited every move Patrick made,
or so it seemed,
and at the same time joyfully absorbed the sweet fruit
of his son's study and practice and desire to do well.

And then there was Nick, one of our senior servers,
just this week turned 18 and pleased as punch
to announce in the sacristy before Mass
that he was old enough now to vote!
Nick deftly guided Patrick without the youngster's ever knowing it,
gently coaching, inviting and offering opportunities for different tasks,
graciously taking them on himself if his junior declined.
Nick recalled for his new colleague his own early days in an alb
and his original nervousness -
and I remembered how Nick's older brother Mark
had done the same for him...

How blessed was I, Lord, to see all this!
I cannot imagine how much more you saw
from where you sat in our church this morning...

Long intro here, Lord, but here's my Monday morning offering...

I offer you my thanks for your fatherly vigil over the day ahead of me...

I offer you my praise for the ways you take pride
in the person you created me to be,
the person you draw forth each day
from my fears, my failings and my frailty...

I offer you my joy that I am, indeed, the apple of your eye!

I offer you my heart's longing
for the Father's love you have for me
in so many ways I do not see,
in ways too many for me to count,
in ways I need to find...

I offer you my day
and I trust that you will guide my every step,
coaching me to walk the path you mark for me,
helping me move forward, patient with my missteps,
ever ready to lift me up when I fall or fail...

I offer you my trust
that you have walked this road of mine,
that you remember the twists and turns I will face,
that you will be my older brother,
showing me the way and guiding me with gentle care...

Help me this day, Lord, to keep a father's eye, a mother's watch
on all who share my path and need my care...

Help me to be sister, to be brother
to any who need my hand for help,
my word for warmth...

Help me serve you, Lord,
as did Patrick at your altar,
with simplicity, innocence and joy...




  1. Oh how that stirs the feelings I had watching my son serve Mass for the first time, and still have, though no longer so intensely. It must be how parents feel watching their son quarterback the high school football team.

  2. Thanks for another beautiful Monday morning offering. The intro on the new altar server made me think of this past summer when I was involved in the training of new servers. It was a blessing (and something of a hoot, too!). Realizing now what this milestone means to parents, I'm going to suggest we invite them to be involved in the training. Thank you.

  3. It has been mentioned before in comments on your blog posts, but I think deserves repeating here. You, CP, are a wonderful pastor with such a beautiful pastoral approach to everything you do. We are very blessed to have you in our midst. Thank you for all you do for us in person and in cyberspace!

  4. Thanks for your kind words!

    Full disclosure: sometimes comments are submitted of a less flattering nature and I haven't published them because I have no desire for this space to become a referendum on my work here.

    As kind as compliments can be, the VERY BEST WAY to let me know that you appreciate my work here is to keep reading and byspreading the word - that is, the Word and the URL (www.concordpastor.blogspot.com)

  5. Good morning, Good Pastor!

    This weekend I had decided to change my routine a bit in the mornings, and get up a bit earlier, so Monday morning, when all else was still quiet in the house, I logged onto your ‘blog, and read with joy your recount of Patrick’s first service on the altar.

    It helped me to recall watching my sons serve for the first time, and the joy, pride, and nervousness I felt then. It brought a smile to my face as I thought of watching other parents watching their children make their debuts on the altar, too. We all will our children to execute their duties flawlessly and faithfully, and we feel pride in their successes as well as in those moments of indecision or error, knowing that they are learning on their own, finding their own way to learn and remember.

    Thank you for using your ‘blog as a forum to expand those “Holy Family moments,” as one of your readers wrote last week, about your blessing of Mark and his family. Patrick’s debut and Mark’s blessing are two completely different sets of circumstances, obviously, but moments which belong not only to the individuals in their own private and important way, but to all of us present at those Masses. Through your ‘blog, you gather not only the hundreds within the building, but many others who cannot attend, but then share and benefit as well.


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