PORTLAND, Oregon — The Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, shares a recent letter it received to offer Catholic readers a little lighthearted break amid the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic.
An open letter to Catholics from church mice:
Amid the pandemic, you have prayed for doctors, nurses, grocery store workers, priests and religious. You even, amazingly, invoke grace upon politicians before remembering us, who are right under your noses.
We church mice always made a good living from the Cheerios the Nelson kids dropped in the fourth pew during 10 a.m. Mass. And we realize the holy water was holy, but it also was delicious and refreshing. Now we are doing without, and you hardly seem to care.
Missing Holy Week was a big hit for us. In addition to the ecstasy of nibbling on succulent dropped palms, we consider Palm Sunday our most entertaining of the year. Those feisty Nelson boys call it “Sword Fight Sunday” and regularly thrill us with palmy parries and thrusts. We church mice refer to it as “Eye Poke Sunday” and would roll with laughter in our dens as we’d recount inadvertent facial assaults between pews. We guess those palms are hard to manage safely. Next year, best leave them on the ground for us. We’ll take care of them.
Other than dodging drops of hot wax from all your little candles, we are impressed at your Easter Vigils. For the record, we prefer the dark part, since we must scamper into our holes when the lights come up. It’s mouse code.
We may not have souls, but we can sense that something happens for you at Mass, something we don’t notice in your houses, taverns and garages. For one thing, you almost never eat cheese puffs at church. For another, you seem connected to something bigger than you, a state we admire.
We may be only mice, but we hear when you say that your Christ is king of the universe, not just of humans. I guess Jesus is there for us all, even those who don’t look like us — though tails and whiskers would be an improvement on you.
We mice pray in our own way and we pray fervently that you return to Mass soon, especially the Nelson kids.
Langlois is managing editor of the Catholic Sentinel, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland.