Sunday, August 6, 2017

God's graces

I haven't been doing that great health-wise lately. Some aging, some other things. It tends to get me down some days. Yesterday, when I woke up and my left had was twitching (my mom has pretty severe non-Parkinson's palsy in her hands and head) I ran right past all the offering-up and straight toward the edge of despair. I know God's not giving us more kids because of the things to come (or the things that are already here) and I am very grateful for the lifting of that extra burden/blessing, but I fail most of the time when it comes to living out my cross in the health area.

Luckily, there was enough grace in my tank that, when dh and I were lying in bed talking about the day that was about to begin, I mentioned that I really wanted to go to Confession. It hadn't been a month (our usual rotation) but it's to the point now that I can feel the need for the comfort it brings...comfort that is wonderfully similar to but not exactly like the grace that flows from Mass.

Grateful for technology (at that moment if not others) I looked up local Confession times and we picked noon at a nearby church which we knew of but had never attended. We have met the pastor and I had hoped he would be there because he had wonderful advice once prior during the Sacrament at a conference I had attended.

We packed up and went, stopping for pretzels on the way (nice post-soul-washing-treat) and arrived with 20 minutes to pray during Adoration before the priest arrived. After about 15 min, kids were starting to get antsy (Mr. G still tends towards, "but Mom...nothing's happening!" during Adoration because, to him, it's much less entertaining than Mass). I was antsy myself since there were more people coming and added to our five (God is so good!) we were running out of time to get to our next appointment. So, I knelt down, looked at Jesus in the Eucharist and prayed, "if you could, perhaps the priest could come a few minutes early?" I heard the door and smiled. God is such a Loving Father. He often senses our desperation and helps (if it won't block some other thing that leads to our sanctification). That's what love is...knowing a child's need and fulfilling it; most especially when the result is His children drawing closer to Him in the Sacraments!

We all had a wonderful confession (I love that pastor. He doesn't really candy-coat anything but he is so full of is truly Jesus working through him). Back in the car and up the hill to Mount Saint Mary's. A lovely young couple was being married by our very favorite Oratorian priest (I don't know, we may not have only one favorite). We were grateful to arrive just at Communion so we could sit in the back and witness the man and woman pledging to work with God in whatever He calls them to as man and wife. Beautiful.

Don't judge...we weren't guests ;0) We were there to see the groom's aunt, uncle and kids, who came from CT. This woman. Well, we "met" on a national Catholic mom's board about 10 years ago and she has been my assurance that, even when everyone else seems to be facing their time of falling off the narrow path, following that path is the only way to travel. She is also wonderful when I'm the one who happens to have lost my way. How good is our God to give us people, near and far, to walk with us and provide support on difficult days? That, and their family is such a joyful witness to living God's plan. They are amazing to me.

The kids had a crazy, wonderful kid-time...the day was beautiful and running around on the overlook reminded me how blessed we are to live in this city. Ahh, what a great respite from some of the daily challenges that grind me down.

God loves these two...the day could not have been more beautiful!

Saying goodbye to our friends (until the next Stockbridge trip), we headed back down the hill and a bit south to pick up Grammy. It was festival weekend at her parish and we decided to take her to Vigil Mass before heading out to food and fun. We saw the Pastor on the way in and he was generous enough to hand us a bunch of ride tickets for later...enough to ride our fill and gift others with the rest. Joyfully walking into Mass, we were treated to another surprise...
It was POLKA MASS!!!
I know, I'm not a huge fan either but it seemed appropriate. If you're a member of the Liturgy Police, take a breath. Half of our family was going to Mass again today and if you look at the English, we were singing beautiful hymns that generations past sang in their churches. No "roll out the barrel" here ;0) (I told you, I was full-up on grace at this point and that gives me more ability to put the condemnation aside. Judging? Yes, it wasn't the greatest way to celebrate Mass but, honestly, it happens once a year.)

As I mentioned, it was a good prep for dinner...the Polish Platter included halushki, pierogi, stuffed cabbage and kielbasa. Bought a beer for my beloved and myself and it was a wonderful meal shared with family. They needed some sustenance for the rides and games to come...
She had a slight panic attack, poor thing. can you not have fun with Grammy?

G was not doing pictures yesterday

Ahhh, young children gambling. Such a Catholic tradition ;0)
We ended the day, physically exhausted but spiritually and emotionally overflowing. What a wonderful day with friends, family, and Our Lord. Seeking Him first when planning your day will insure, even if it's not a day of fun and feasting, that you will be protected and walked with by Him who knows and loves you like no one else on Earth.

We are blessed.

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