Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Christmas Day Mass

On Christmas Day, SFC McG and I traveled by convoy to a place outside the wire that's a very difficult place for the Soldiers who live there to be. Conditions are harsh, food is dull and predictable, there's really smelly mud everywhere these days what with the rain we've had, and they lost one of their buddies to a sniper not too long ago.

They only get Mass once a month.

Twenty guys showed up (there are only men at this place) for Mass, despite our having had to change the time and day of the liturgy at the last minute because of problems getting there by air. Fortunately, my parent unit is now allowing priests to move about the battlespace by convoy lately, so we were able to get the Brigade Commander's PSD (personal security detail) to let us tag along at the last minute as they went out to visit this particular outpost.

We encountered some hefty traffic snarls, so we got there later than we'd planned, but everyone waited for us.

They were clearly tired, and sad to be away from family and friends on Christmas. They grieved the death of their brother. But they were clearly also very appreciative at the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist on Christmas Day in the midst of their very difficult living conditions and military situation.

It lifted my spirits to be in their presence. I felt as though I was actually doing what I signed up to do.

Please keep them, and all my sisters and brothers in uniform, in mind during the difficult days between Christmas and the New Year. Thanks.

Blessings and peace to one and all on this Second Day of Christmas,

Fr. Tim, SJ


megat said...

  I think your blog is really interesting ... especially this post :)

1776 said...

All of you are in my prayers every second of every day. Thank you for going outside the wire to be w/those boys.

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