February 22, 2015: Hero Worship

~by Louis Templeman

I suppose the great benefit to loss of short term memory is that you get to enjoy the favorite memories over and over without tiring yourself. Second benefit is it shields you from the exhaustion you put your company through.

“Have you seen this?” asked my older brother whose face was brightened into a wax mask of adolescent excitement. He didn’t recall loaning it to me or showing it to me at least three times previously. He was so enthusiastic I succumbed.

On this 2002 documentary of a Paul McCartney concert in Atlanta it was remarkable how many of the fans were in tears. People of all ages were effusive with emotion as they were interviewed.

My mother found the tears distasteful. She found it, in some shameful fashion, to be idolatrous hero worship. Yeah, that is what it was like, commented my brother. He was there. He knew.

After an hour into the program I realized I’d exceeded my daily minimum requirement of nostalgia. I left and forgot about it, until the next day at noon Mass.

I got there early and prayed a rosary and then joined in on a weekly novena with the congregation. After Mass began I found myself, like always, switching mentally from distraction to meditation and back again. After passing the peace I kneeled and briefly checked out into some cerebral dead zone until I heard, “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him . . . “. I snapped to attention and fixed upon the host being lifted in the simple ceremony of the celebration.

I felt my heart leap to my throat and had to choke back tears. I wanted to worship. I ached to pray. All I could come up with was, “You’re here. You’re here. And, I’m here to.” I was caught up in the presence of the Other. Perhaps there is a bit of hero worship in worship. All I wanted was to touch him, hold him, taste him. I held him in my trembling hand and I was not ashamed.


Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D.

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