“ I want a Biretta with me when I lay in the tomb.”
I never know how important it is for a priest to have a biretta, until one day I received a phone call from a friend to ask my help to find a biretta. After the Second Vatican Counsel, birettas are not really easy to find, but one might still be able to find in some places. The price might not be cheap, but the meaning behinds it is way beyond the price.
In a historical city in a country with a long long history, long enough to make her forget who she is. In a small parish, 4:00 a.m. in the morning, he woke up and began his day: dressed up in black, prayed the liturgy of the hours, and went into the chapel as usual for the first Latin Mass. Latin Mass for him has already become something related him to our lord, even when there is not any participants, not mentioned the altar servers.
It took him almost 30 years to be stand in front of Lord. Although it is still not easy these days, the freedom to stand in front of lord has already meant a lot to him…
At the first glance of his brother’s deaconation ordination, he decided to go on the same way, but this way takes much longer than he thought and was much harder than he imagined. When he was 14, he began to learn French in a small seminary, where the french guys never wanted to eat at the same table with them. After the second world war began, the seminary was closed. He had to stop his study and became a teacher in a rural place and waiting for the end of war.
Three years after the war ended, he was ordained a priest, but what waited for him was not the altar of God but was the 27 years long waiting in the darkness. People around him kept telling him to give up and to get married. ” There is no hope ” was the sentences he heard everyday during those 27 years. Although he was not sure at that time, he chose to the way of God. In the darkness, one could not see any hopes in this world, but for those who chose to give oneself totally to the God, the light of holy spirit is within them.
When the day gradually become clear, he was already over 50, but he remembered everything about being a priest. It is a feeling of “home” for him, when standing on the altar, in front of our Lord. For so many years, nobody really appreciates the beauty of Latin Mass. His Latin mass was even not allowed to be ” public”, but what does that matter to him? He keeps doing that.
When his fellow priests driving their fancy cars to do evangelize around the city, he prayed the divine office and rosary in his own room. He did not go out a lot, people have almost forgot him, because this city does not have memory. However, God always remembers him.
One day, the same 6:00 a.m. in the morning, a boy was praying in the chapel in front of the statue of Mary. Boy suddenly turned his heard, ” Father, I just prayed that Mother Mary will give me a chance to see you. Could you be my confessor? ”
Father surprised and smiled. Story has not ended yet, and will definitely go on and on. The only reason I want to write down this little story about him is just because I see so much God’s grace within it. It is about him, but more importantly , it is about God.
Father finally got his Biretta, he told me that , he will work extra hard to make himself worthy… God, your work is so beautiful!
(hahah, the picture has nothing to deal with the story. It is from my friend..I just think it is soo cute, so I ask them to allow me to use it in my post, but for those who have not seen a biretta before.. you can see it in this picture.)