title: Choir Box: Our Lady of Lourdes
fandom: Gundam Wing
characters/pairings: Sally, Noin, Zechs, Trieze, Une, Relena, Heero, Duo, Father Maxwell, Sister Helen, Mr. & Mrs. Peacecraft
rating: G
warnings: none
summary: Sally contemplates her place at Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrow
notes: song by Lethanon: Gloria Mundi
this song is just incredible. it's so what i was thinking before i was even thinking it. ^_^
much gratitude to Lethanon, for sharing her abundant talents with us, and allowing me to tag along on this journey. please make sure to go download the song to get the full effect, and go to her site to get fansong cds from Leth. because she rocks. ^_^
these fics will have strong Catholic overtones, but if i do my job right, they won't be essential to the fics. all the fic titles will come from feast days in the Catholic calendar.

"The body of Christ."


She stepped aside, raising the wafer to her lips.

"The blood of Christ."


She crossed herself, and went to sit back down. She caught eyes with Mary as she passed by; she always loved this statue. It was the only one in all the church grounds where Mary was smiling.

She sat forward in the pew. She didn't like praying after communion, the way the whole congregation would kneel down and only sit back when the Father Maxwell did. If they were really praying, would they all finish at the same time? Still, she didn't want to impose on anyone.

She smiled at Mary.

Someone bumped her elbow. She looked up to see Noin grinning at her. Sally sighed.

Looking up at Mary, she bit her lip. 'Hey, babe. How's it going? I guess ok, right, because your son took care of you.

'Lucky lady.

'I don't have much longer here, do I? Especially if Noin is going to be indiscreet... But what else could I do? It's not like she was asking my permission to have sex... She just wanted to be safe. I'm not allowed to teach them about that, though, am I? What was your son thinking when he picked John? Birth control is a sin... My ass!

'Sorry. Probably shouldn't talk to you like that. But you're a mom. The best one. So.

'I care about them, is the thing. I don't want to see any more girls sneak off for a weekend at "the spa" like Une. I don't think she even wanted that abortion. I can preach to them about abstinence 'til I'm blue in the face, but they're kids. They'll do what they want to, and learn the hardest way they can.

'Wouldn't you help them, if you could?

'Maybe you don't understand. You're known for your forbearance. Lucky woman.'

Sally's eyes drifted over the congregation in front of her. She knew that people looked at her strangely for sitting "so close" to the front, but she wasn't about to bow down to their petty social structures. She looked at the Peacecraft family in the front row.

'Look at them. Do they ever think about their son? Do they miss him? I got another postcard. Signed Zechs. He sounded... like he was ok, but he doesn't have a home because of them, and he's barely eighteen. Is that right? I don't care what anyone says, he's their son. Do they miss him?'

Across the aisle from them, she could see Treize and Une between the lines of people on their way to communion. Treize sat with his back straight, his hair perfectly coiffed. Sally had never seen a hair that had strayed from Treize's control for as long as she knew him.

'Does anyone know him? Did Zechs? Did Zechs break his heart, or was it the other way around? Or did they both walk away with broken hearts? Will he really marry her, just for his family? Because she's the socially acceptable choice? Is that love? Is that better than being with Zechs? Because she's a woman?'

The choir swelled, Duo's voice ringing out in the lead, as usual, but Sister Helen must be feeling very proud right now. Everyone was in good voice, and the song was beautiful.

She looked up at Mary again, smiling. 'They're my students. They are fragile, young. I'm... I'm a part of their development. I care about them. Maybe... should I play it safe? Play by the rules, so I can stay with them? Can I serve them like I need to if I'm limited? Or should I teach them the way I believe they should be taught, and bear the consequences?

'It's not easy being good when you're born with original sin, you know. Anyone can be good when they are pure.

'Sorry. That was rude.

'But my days here were numbered before I even began. I don't fit into their pretty little world. I don't do the yuppie thing. I don't do the SUV thing. I don't give in to the media. Of course they hate me. If I keep teaching their children the way I know is right, they're going to run me out of town. What will Relena do then when she gets old enough to start thinking about what her brother chose to do with his life? What her parents did to him? Who will she have to talk to? Dorothy? What will Heero and Duo do when they realize they can't live without each other? What will any of them do without me?

'God, listen to me. You'd think I was the one on the cross. Sorry.

'I'm being selfish. Self-involved. Egotistical. How am I supposed to teach ethics to teenagers when I don't know what the hell to do myself?

'I'm supposed to teach them the church's rules, and the church's morality, but I don't understand it any better than they do. Is an abortion really better than a condom? Is Noin really that sinful because she's protecting herself? Is Zechs really that terribly just because he's honest?

'Will Father Maxwell and Sister Helen still love Duo when he realizes he's gay?'

The song ended, and the congregation shuffled back into their seats as Father Maxwell sat down. It was inevitable. She couldn't be anyone other than who she was, just like a sheep couldn't help but bleat with the other sheep.

She just wasn't sheep enough.

She winked at Mary as she went out. She'd already learned more teaching these last five years than she ever could in any school, or from any book.

She'd have to be responsible for her actions. After all, the only one she had to answer to besides herself never spoke back.

the lyrics to the accompanying music...

Choir Box: Gloria Mundi

Omnia mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis
Qui potest capere capiat
Avarus animus mello satiatur lucro
Mea mihi conscientia pluris est quam omnium sermo
Multi famam pauci conscientiam verentur
Forsan miseros meliora dies sequentur
Qualis pater talis filius
Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus

Haec trutina errat
Audaces fortuna iuvat
De facto diem perdidi
Sic transit gloria mundi

Fortunatus qui rerum cognovit causas
Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas
Caeli enarrant gloriam Dei
Volo in domum redire

In altum, ad astra
Per aspera ad astra
Docendo discimus
Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodies?

All things are changing and we are changing with them
Let him accept it who can
[[The sounds of the animals...I can't translate the rest of this line...
something like a greedy mind is satisfied with no amount of gain?]]
My conscience is more to me than what the world says
Many fear their reputation, few their conscience
For those in misery perhaps better things will follow
As is the father, so is the son
Therefore, let us rejoice while we are young.

Chorus: There is something wrong with this scale
Fortune favours the bold
In reality I have lost the day
Thus passes away the glory of the world

Fortunate is he who has been able to learn the causes of things
Vanity of vanities, all is vanity
The heavens declare the glory of God
I want to go home.

To the summit, to the stars
Through the thorns to the stars
We learn by teaching
But who watches the watchmen?