It’s 12:20 in the place for which we are named, Richmond-on- the-Thames. Richmond is named this place because a view of the James River reminded William Byrd II of the town in England. One day I shall show you the views so you can compare and judge yourself.
My telly is tuned into the Pakistan vs. South Africa match at the ICC World Cup. The venue is the Lord’s Cricket Ground, a venerable site, judging by some of the Victorian architecture. This match is grinding on. I feel as if Pakistan’s inning is about releasing pent-up frustration over a less than stellar outing so far.
This venerable game has continued, relatively unchanged since the Eighteenth Century, shortly after William Byrd compared my town to the other Richmond. We Virginians are conscious, perhaps obsessed with traditions and we have the statues to prove it.
This Sunday is about another tradition that won’t mean much, unless you are Catholic. Even if you are Catholic, it might not mean much, given the state of the Church today. It is the Sunday to which the Solemnity of Corpus Christi has been transferred. In many parishes, after the 1100 AM Mass, there will be a Eucharistic Procession. The priest will carry the consecrated Host in the monstrance. The worshippers will follow. Adore Te Devote by St Thomas Aquinas will be chanted. That this chant and these processions have continued for nearly eight hundred years inspire awe within me. It is about the True Presence of Christ’s Body in the sanctified bread. Metaphysically present. It isn’t just symbolism. Call us crazy. That’s OK. It isn’t about what outside observers think of Catholics.
In this era where many in the clergy have betrayed and dishonored their vows, The Lord is still with us. What comes after decadence and betrayal is purging and catharsis. While some have abandoned Him, He has not abandoned us.