Friday, January 15, 2016

Children, Indulgences and other major life issues.

Last night we went to the preschool/kindergarten meeting for our Catholic school. It was so wonderful to see some of the teachers/staff who were there from four years ago when our older two attended the school. It brought back all the wonderful memories of the teachers' dedication to educating faith-filled kids.

Just to be clear, it was never the teachers that drove us out. We left because, having been called for some time to homeschool, it was the proper moment and, to a lesser degree, because it was clear that a reasonable number of the parents often had different expectations than we.

Let's skip ahead, ok? Yesterday I felt strongly called to head down to Mass after picking the girls up from Little Flowers so that we could attend Mass today. When we arrived it was a nice plus that one of our favorite priests was presiding. When I heard the homily, it was clear why I had been called.

Today's first reading was 1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22  and the Gospel was Mark 2:1-12. Father's homily addressed the first beautifully, saying that Israel wished to have a king "like everyone else" and when they said that, God told Samuel they were rejecting Him, not Samuel. Father went on to say that, if we are living correctly, we won't be like most everyone else (in society). He said, "if you live your faith, you'll be different...get comfortable."

The Gospel was about the paralytic who is brought to Jesus for healing by his four friends. Father pointed out that he was cured because of his friends' faith and that we need to also surround ourselves with like-minded friends. It is difficult, he said, to live in our society. We need friends, or groups, with whom we can connect to walk in our faith.

The Mass was lovely, as is anytime we get to share in Christ's sacrifice, and I couldn't imagine our good fortune when I heard "I'll be in the back for Confession after Mass". So, in addition to all the other graces, there is this...
To experience and obtain the Indulgence, the faithful are called to make a brief pilgrimage to the Holy Door, open in every Cathedral or in the churches designated by the Diocesan Bishop, and in the four Papal Basilicas in Rome, as a sign of the deep desire for true conversion. Likewise, I dispose that the Indulgence may be obtained in the Shrines in which the Door of Mercy is open and in the churches which traditionally are identified as Jubilee Churches. It is important that this moment be linked, first and foremost, to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist with a reflection on mercy. It will be necessary to accompany these celebrations with the profession of faith and with prayer for me and for the intentions that I bear in my heart for the good of the Church and of the entire world. - Pope Francis

In the car, on the way to Mass, we prayed the rosary and for the pope's intentions...

then we walked through the Holy Door at the Cathedral; went to Mass; finally Confession. I love it when a plan comes together (ahem...)

So, I digress (just as an example of how easy, peasy  it is to gain an Indulgence if you are so disposed).

It's not really a digression, though. As I sat and listened to the testimonials last night and as I spoke to some of the teachers that were new to me, I wondered how many of them would understand or even try to appreciate the life we have chosen. If I told this day's travels to them, would I get a look similar to the one that comes with "oh, you homeschool." I already know how it is having the discussion about someone's trip to Disney and ours to the EWTN studios (not yet, stay tuned!!!). Ours is not the only way to live according to God's laws and Jesus's teachings. I think it is one way, though, when we are strong enough to say "yes" to God's call. I do think, even with all of our failings, that we are on the right track.

I feel like the preschool discussion has become a bit more clear to me from our travels today. If nothing else, I know I have been given a strong confirmation of our choice to home school the older people. Father's message to "get comfortable" and "find like-minded people" has helped me to focus a bit more clearly (I have been feeling pushed, as opposed to called, lately and it's been a bit unsettling). We shall see what ultimately happens.

There is something else on my heart from what I heard last night but I'll save that for another time. If you would like, you may reread THIS as preparation. Until we meet again.

We are blessed!

Don't forget to pray for Opal ;0)


  1. What an amazing happenstance. thank you for your faithful example. Yesterday was so discouraging, but you inspire me to live this challenging and rejected life we've been called to with open arms. Here I am, Lord. I have come to do your will.

  2. We are so blessed to walk with you!