In the Traditional Latin Mass, during the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the priest asks for a partem aliquam.
Partem aliquam: It is very beautiful. The little word aliquot is particularly touching. The priest does not ask much, just “some” part, a very little place with the martyrs in heaven, with all the blessed. Da nobis partem aliquam: give us a little place. The priest does not ask more: may a small place be afforded him with the enumerated martyrs.
-Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in his book, The Mass of All Time
What a sweet, humble prayer. Especially for those of us who don’t do days of fasting on just bread and water, don’t wear hairshirts, and don’t walk barefoot. But we can try to aim for those good ol’ days! And in the meantime, we can pray for a little place next to the giant saints who were able to these larger acts of mortification. Or maybe our spirituality is more of St. Therese of Lisieux who wanted to do these big acts, but instead reached heaven through another route. Perhaps it was a “smaller” route. Being known as the “Little Flower”, she may have prayed for a “little place” in heaven.
Going a little old school,
I’m going to try my hand at story writing. Here’s the start of my first draft. Like Flannery O’Connor’s stories, this story might be dark but hopefully redemptive.
“The backyard!” shouted Harriet angrily, first thing in the morning upon hearing Joey’s first footsteps out of his bedroom. That was Harriet’s way of asking Joey to mow the lawn. Most families would normally greet each other with a sweet “good morning” while slowly and peacefully sipping on sweet orange juice or sugar and cream filled coffee in a loving atmosphere. But that was not this household. Knowing that the challenge of the day starts when he gets not out of the house, but when Joey gets out of his room to go to the bathroom. Through time, he made a habit of getting strength for the day through morning prayer, before opening his bedroom door.
After showering in a bathroom where the floor is “cleaned” by used incontinence pads, Joey is complained to about the trash bag on the front porch being broken into by animals during the night. This complaint before leaving the house was a recurring complaint for several months. There was no need to leave the trash bag outside anymore as there were no more rats inside the house to break into any trash bags made available during the night.