Thursday, October 16, 2014

Our Church

I'm feeling a little bit badly about venting quite so much about pre-Cana the other day. It was a "poor me" moment and I was wrong to make it public. I think venting cancels out all the grace of the mortification anyway (I'm always doing that...).

It got me thinking though. When we chose this specific parish, it was because our kids would attend school here and DH, being the completely reasonable person he is, determined that this was the most "solid" (financially I would guess) Catholic school in the area. Kind of like finding the reception hall after booking the wedding date (everyone does this, yes?) we chose our home after finding the school.

Fast-forward and you know where we are...still here
but without a specific reason to hold us in this parish. That's how I feel, anyway, on days like the pre-Cana one when I feel so out of place with our choice of church home. It is, after all, our home. I'm fairly sure I (and some weeks, my whole family) spend the most time here at this home, second only to our family dwelling.

Last night God, being as good as He is and always making HUGE mountains of grace from my puny molehill attempts, gave me a good reminder of why, warts and all, this is the right home for us.

We went to a special Benediction and holy hour because our former Parochial Vicar was the homilist. He is so crazy-educated and brilliant...I just like to hear him speak about any religious topic he wishes. As you can guess, yesterday his topic was St. Teresa of Avila (my new favorite Saint!) which was excellent because it was a great continuation of our pastor's remarks from 10 AM Mass (I told you we're here a lot).

"We went" means all of us - the 7- in our raggedy glory. It started out well and when we reached our "holy 40-minute" mark, I figured we were done. I thought in my head, "we are done." When G toddled to the back for the third time and I let it go a long while (like 40 seconds) before checking on him and then shooting DH a death, "I've-done-it-the-last-two-times-and-I'd-like-to-listen-now" stare...I figured we were done.

But, we stayed. I'm not sure why. I think it was the Holy Spirit sitting on me so that I would resist taking the easy way out. You see, I have this entourage that helps me "look" the part but I don't always have the strength to "act" the part. Sometimes I just pray that my silent (or at least not screaming) witness is enough to evangelize. I know that's weak so, today, we stayed.

As I said, the grace was unbelievable. It was like a family reunion. As preoccupied as I was with trying to keep everyone in line (or at least in the pew) I had no idea how many friends were there until after...God took me through a nice retrospective of so many beautiful people that have touched our lives at this parish. He was personally inviting me to stay...not just tonight but for the long-term.

So, if I complain about this or that at our parish, please take it with a huge grain of salt from the sleep-disturbed human that is me. We have grown so much as a couple and as a family in this place. I know that it is an amazing act of love on the part of the Holy us a home to raise our children and pass our days. It is a difficult society, to be sure, and it is populated by mere humans (I have some questions if/when I get there ;0)) so we all have to be a bit more gentle and loving about one another. Starting with me.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Who are we that He would grace us in a way that allows us to glimpse heaven while we gather to praise Him? We are so unbelievably blessed!

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