Friday, March 11, 2016

Little things...God's handiwork

She is the youngest Doctor of the Church and it is no mistake. Her "little way" is the path to changing so many things about our world.

Our story begins last Thursday in a southern suburb. We fled our home...I'm still feeling guilty because spending money on a hotel during Lent doesn't seem to make sense but, in the grand scheme of things, it was the right decision. Our gigantic (and only) bathtub has a crack that is growing rapidly and we couldn't wait any longer for fear of further damage...more on that later.

While we were relocated, we went to daily Mass at a little (I'm talking about 20 pews on each side) parish that morning and heard the amazing story of St. Katherine Drexel. She was very rich and ended up, after being told to by the Pope and her bishop, beginning an order of nuns who served the poor Black and Native American populations through schools and support systems. She didn't want to do it but she saw the need, heard His voice, and said "yes". That's not the 'little thing' of this part ;0)

The little thing was the time the pastor took to not only educate the 10 people who were there for Mass all about the great Saint but also the time he took to talk to us about things after. I was raised in a small, rural parish. I think the slow pace and intimate relationships just make more sense to me.

As usual, having a wonderful experience at a tiny church, I started ruminating about all the things I dislike about my home, time to see (literally or figuratively) the pastor, few friends because of the immensity of the congregation, just the sheer majesty of the building (if you don't know me, I'm not really about lavish). Huge, huge, huge...bad, bad, bad. (Yes, this is the devil's go-to for me and I take it every.single.time)

You know the Holy Spirit is about to show up with a Holy smack upside the head, right?

On Sunday, we were sitting down to pray the Children's Rosary with our dear friends and their families and in walks our pastor. We must have looked at him oddly because he said, "I'm here to pray the rosary." I'm pretty sure I heard DH snickering. Sometimes it's so obvious even the outsiders get it.

Here I am, in a full-blown attitude about all things wrong and this man, who is charged with watching over a flock of many thousands, takes 20 minutes out of his day to pray with a few children from the parish. Yeah. I deserved that smack. I know how busy he is. I know how many people want his time. Watching him help the kids pray was moving in a way that, I hope, will help me resist the next rant. It was a small thing but it spoke volumes to this tiny group that gathers faithfully each month.

It gets his suggestion, we headed to the seminary after for an art and music celebration of Consecrated Life. YES...NUNS...bunches of them! I love, love, love to have the kids in that atmosphere. There were also brothers and priests...what a witness to the kids - that these wonderful people who have dedicated themselves to God are people like us who create art and play music. Oh, and the MC was "Miss Mary" the Romper Room leader from my childhood who later became a nun. I promise you, you can't make this stuff up!

A few days later we spent some wonderful time at a local park, enjoying the beautiful spring day God sent us

Taken by accident (ahem) I think it's so beautiful.

after which we headed to the local ice cream parlor which was packed with other people enjoying the day. Trying to order under pressure for five small people from 20+ flavors is not a small task. So, when I looked up and grasped that the lovely older gentleman in front of us had just paid our bill, I had a slight breakdown...tears of thanksgiving, I assure you. What a joy that we could be the recipients to such prompting by the Holy Spirit.

double chocolate...all gone

Today, before heading out to St. Vincent, we stopped at a local parish for Stations and to grab a bite at their fish fry. Walking up we saw three people from our "40 Days" family. How lovely that we all chose to be there at that moment. How blessed that we can come together to walk the last walk with Jesus.
A quick Hail Mary before Stations

The priest (one of two responsible for four parishes) seemed scattered during Stations then apologized at the end. He said they had six funerals at the various churches this week. We happened to be in front of him ordering at the fish fry and he took a moment to bless the kids individually. How lovely for us and, I can't help but think, for him after having six funerals in a week. It's good that we were there.

Last night we headed back to our home parish for confession. We haven't been avoiding it, we've just taken other opportunities that have come up instead. It was nice to go home to our confessor that knows us, our marriage, our kids. He said a lot of wonderful things but one of the simplest and most powerful was to look for the Holy Spirit working in our lives. It's so true, really. We can get caught up in our life, our family, our pursuits so much that we forget The Creator of everything, without Whom it is all meaningless.

This blog was a handful of "little things" that God sent our family during the last few days. Go out and start looking for the Holy Spirit at work in your life. I promise, if you open your heart to hearing His presence, it won't be hard to find. When you hear that whisper or are a recipient of someone's "yes" to that guidance, REJOICE! Even in Lent God is with us and He will guide our way.

Keep going...we are so close to singing the "A" word again (that's what the kids call it, lol). We are blessed...and so are you.

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