En Masse


This past Sunday morning started with me thanking the world for creating comfy beds. Espresso and figs followed suit, naturally.

Over breakfast, my host mom & dad asked what I was planning to do for the day. I responded with a "je ne sais encore" {i don't know yet} and returned the question. They replied that they were going to Sunday Mass and then asked if I wanted to come. I responded with a hesitant, smiling maybe.

30 minutes later, I was on my way to one of the few religious gatherings I've ever attended in my life. Simply out of curiosity. While Georgetown is a jesuit school, I make no secret of the fact that I'm not devoutly religious, much less Catholic. I've attended mass twice before -- once at a jesuit leadership conference last summer with and once to see a friend sing at a Georgetown service.

But yo dudes / dudettes, I quite enjoyed it. I liked hearing the sweet harmony of the hymns; I liked watching the little girl in front of me contentedly draw herself as a princess in a castle; and most of all, I liked the feeling of togetherness.

It was simple. There is something blatantly beautiful about seeing people come together for a communal purpose. It feels radically different from the individual-emphasized American culture to which I'm accustomed, with holidays and tragedies as the only cultural exceptions.

I didn't understand catch much of the all-in-French sermon, save for a word that was repeated at least 10 times and sounded a whole lot like "gazpacho." Or was it gelato? I digress. In normal space cadet fashion, I almost kissed the guy next to me smack dab on the lips during blessings pecked on each cheek. I cursed under my breath; he blessed me anyway. Thank heavens?

At the end of the day, I didn't call myself any more religious. Or any more Catholic. But rather, I'd say I was just a little more appreciative of the window into a different sort of life. A life where the music flows sweet, steady, and perhaps best of all,

en masse.