Sunday, July 15, 2012

Getting to Mass means Getting over my Appetites

On clinic days (which begin at 0900) I can go to the 0700 Mass; on surgery days (which begin at 0730), I go to the 1730 Mass.

It's so hard to leave each time! Dr. D normally has three cases each surgery day, and I always miss the second half of the third one because I leave for Mass. I especially loathe to miss the extra incisions I could close! Each surgery day, as 1700 ticks closer, my conscience and my appetites fight. "But daily Communion isn't required!" the appetites whine.

"We've been over this a thousand times," my conscience sighs, not exaggerating. "It is not required, but heroic. It is an act of love. It is the One you love and long to spend the rest of your life and the rest of eternity with."

"It would be rude to leave," my appetite said, trying again.

"We've spoken with Dr. D and explained that we have a previous committment. She has been fine with this and quite cordial. You are not a pivotal part of the surgical team."

"But what about suturing?" my appetites remind me. "It's so much fun, it's such good practice, and you're really good at it."

"Surely you don't think suturing is more important than God Incarnate deigning to descend unto us." my conscience says drily.

"Don't brush it off! It's gold stars for your Dean's Letter and the letter of recommendation that you're certainly getting out of this preceptorship. Plus it feels cool. You're all hatted and gloved and the assistant hands you a needle-driver and forceps and sponges like you're a surgeon! This is good. You're advancing."

"You're right; all of that is true. But we don't always do everything that is good, remember? Remember how we don't eat all the pudding we want?"

"Pwned" does not translate into Latin.
"Yeah...," admit the appetites. They still miss that pudding. "But," they grumble, "we don't get anything out of Communion...."

And now they've lost, because my conscience has intellectual guns that make all the appetities' swordplay useless. "Wrong!," my conscience booms, with the magnitude of St. Thomas. "The Sacrament of the Body of the Lord puts demons to flight, defends us against the incentives to vice, cleanses the soul from sin, quiets the anger of God, enlightens the understanding to know God, inflames the will and the affections with love of God, fills the memory with spiritual sweetness, confirms the entire person in good, frees us from eternal death, multiplies the merits of a good life, leads us to our everlasting home, and reanimates the body to eternal life!"

"Oh," my appetites say from the floor. "I guess we'll go, then."

"That's right."

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