Wednesday, 7 April 2010

St. George & The... Ummm... Bee !

Our Sacristan is on a well-deserved holiday for two weeks, and, as her assistant, I have stepped into the breach.

At the end of Mass, I started clearing a few things away in the Sacristy. Suddenly, I became aware of a loud buzzing noise coming from the little room where the torches, candle snuffers and thuribles are kept. I glanced in... and saw the most enormous bee - about three and a half inches in length.

I have never seen a bee that size. It sounded rather annoyed.

Now, many years ago, I had a really bad bee and wasp phobia. Just how bad can be judged by the fact that, at its height, I used to walk in the road so as not to go near any gardens where a bee might be lurking... A course of systematic desensitisation has sorted the phobic behaviour, but I still don't like bees and wasps. They're fine outside. I am just much happier for them to remain outside.

Anyway, this was one very large bee. I decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and shut the thurible room door. I could still hear loud buzzing...

At this point, His Hermeneuticalness returned to the Sacristy. Rather sheepishly, I explained that there was a very large and angry bee behind the door.

"That's ok," he said, reassuringly, "Leave the door shut."

"But I can't!" I wailed... "I need the candle snuffer... and I have to get the torches for the Mass at Chislehurst..."

He smiled indulgently (ok, ok... he laughed at me for being such a wuss) and he opened the door to have a look.

He then promptly shut the door again.

It was a very, very large bee...

Off he strode, in search of some sort of implement. On his return, he was brandishing a large broom. He opened the back door of the Sacristy, and then opened the door to the thurible room... I think he squished the bee on the bristles... I wasn't able to see, as I was preparing to flee the Sacristy if it all went horribly wrong. Fr. Tim then disposed of the body via the back door...

Of such valorous deeds are legends made...


gemoftheocean said...

Geez, it's like the scene when Diane Keaton called up Woody Allen in some movie or other to come and kill a spider in her bathtub. He indulgently laughs then goes into the bathroom and immediately comes out, ashen, and says ""You didn't tell me it was the size of a BUICK!" Then he says: "Give me something to hit it with" and she gives him a Magazine, and he says "National Review?" [conservative Mag. published by William F. Buckley] you're reading National Review? Why don't you get BUCKLEY to kill the spider for you?"

After Mass I once informed the Sainted Fr. SHipley that I had found a tiny spider hovering near the entrance of the tabernacle door. I remarked that had that thing been bigger and IN the tabernacle, then HE would have had to go over to get the ciborium(s). He looked at me and said "then the congregation would be out of luck." we both think of spiders as "the anti-Christ."

Richard Duncan said...

If you go to the EWTN library you’ll find a charming address by Pius XII to the beekeepers of Rome in 1948

Here’s an extract:

“Bees are models of social life and activity, in which each class has its duty to perform and performs it exactly—one is almost tempted to say conscientiously—without envy, without rivalry, in the order and position assigned to each, with care and love. Even the most inexperienced observer of bee culture admires the delicacy and perfection of this work. Unlike the butterfly which flits from flower to flower out of pure caprice; unlike the wasp and the hornet, brutal aggressors, who seem intent on doing only harm with no benefit for anyone, the bee pierces to the very depths of the flower's calix diligently, adroitly, and so delicately, that once its precious treasure has been gathered, it gently leaves the flowers without having injured in the least the light texture of their garments or caused a single one of their petals the loss of its immaculate freshness.”

They are clearly models of the spiritual life and … Fr T should think carefully before squashing any more:)

Br Richard
The Oratory

Peter Simpson said...

Wherefore, in this sacred night, receive, O holy Father, the evening sacrifice of this incense, which holy Church renders to Thee by the hands of Thy ministers in the solemn offering of this wax candle, made out the work of bees.

Now also we know the praises of this pillar, which the shining fire enkindles to the honour of God. Which fire, although divided into parts, suffers no loss from its light being borrowed. For it is nourished by the melting wax, which the mother bee produced for the substance of this precious light.

(From the Exsultet)

Poor bee - it may have helped in the making of your Paschal Candle!

Jay said...

I've never been a fan of wasps or bees since I was riding my bike as a kid and a wasp flew into my mouth! Stung me on the inside of my lower lip, very painful. I did get a lot of ice cream though, so maybe it wasn't so bad.

Strange thing is, there was a huge, massive bee on the floor in the Sacristy on Monday morning, I almost didn't see it and nearly trod on it. Bravely, I found a piece of cardboard and a glass, and used the combination to collect the bee and throw it out the back door.

The bee was very groggy, I doubt I would have gone near it otherwise!

Mulier Fortis said...

Jay - I think that was Fr. Tim's original intention, until he saw the size of the beast.

Peter - believe me, that bee was a mean one, and didn't look like it helped anything, EVER...

Br Richard - I passed your comment on to His Hermeneuticalness, and one of your confreres, Fr Guy, this evening - they found it highly amusing!

Richard Duncan said...

Mind you, I bet the Ven Pius XII had never actually been stung by a bee when he wrote the address:)

Br Richard

Elizabeth said...

I loved the illustration with this post...St George is my little guy's patron! Looking forward to his feast day. Thanks for stopping by, I will be back often.
BTW: Thanks for rminding me that I HAVE to update my in no way represents all of the blogs that I follow...I've been too busy/lazy to figure out how to reconfigure the thing :)

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