Now it has been accomplished, and I am welcome to return home any time I want.
And so it happened last week on day six of another Novena to the Holy Spirit that I finally received the answer to a question which had gone unanswered for so long. I was in the chapel of my former parish.
I had planned on attending daily Mass there earlier in the week, and then take my car nearby for a much needed oil change, but did not make it there until Thursday morning.
My dear friends greeted me warmly. Carole hugged me before Mass, and during Mass Lynn held my hand and would not let go. I still terribly miss these lovely people of great faith. I miss the intimate setting of the small chapel, being so close to the life-sized crucifix, the camaraderie of the wonderful people. For so many years we have braved the elements, road construction, traffic, and life circumstances to come together and "have breakfast with the King."
I was charmed all over again by the Mass in the place I held so dear. Mass was almost over when God told me that I had His permission to come back and visit any time I wanted. What a sweet moment that was when God informed me that our transition to our new parish was complete, and that was what He had wanted me to finish.
There is more to this story. Ten years ago during a time of great trial, I asked the good Lord to send me a sign to let me know that a new era was beginning in my life. I never got the sign. Every once in a while as the years went by, I thought about my request and wondered why I never heard back about that particular issue. Then one day earlier this year, all these years later, I was at daily Mass in the chapel of our former parish. The Mass was almost over and I felt that someone was trying to get me to look up at the altar. Was it my guardian angel? I had not noticed and it had to be pointed out to me: there on both sides of the altar was my sign, and in duplicate!! I was stunned, for not only was the sign I requested unusual, I had never seen it in the chapel before, there it was on both sides of the altar, and I hadn't even noticed it. I knew without a doubt that this new era in my life had finally begun.
It was soon after that I was driving through downtown Rochester on my way to daily Mass when God told me to get going on publishing the book of a dear friend I met at daily Mass nine years ago. Exactly one week after that, I was driving to daily Mass through the same area when the good Lord told me to take my two youngest children out of their Catholic school and take them to Holy Mass on weekends at what is now our new parish.
That was quite a surprise, as was God's invitation nine years before to attend daily Mass, as was His request that I also receive His Precious Blood during Holy Communion, as was His instruction while I was dating that there was something He wanted me to finish first, as was His sweet, loving notification that we are now at the parish where He wants us. He knows of my difficulties with the transition and gave me permission to return to our former parish for Mass any time I wanted. Not only that, He so kindly referred to it as my "home."
Oh what a kind and concerned God we have. He looks out for us, and guides us towards our greater good. He knows what we need before we do. Not only does He want us with Him, He wants us unified with Him.
Once during daily Mass, I was listening to the homily when I felt Him leave the altar and come toward me, and as He did so, He drew me toward Himself. We sort of met in the middle. It was all I could do to not cry, for it was so beautiful, this uniting of the soul with its Creator, to become part of this great love that defies our understanding.
I used to wait in car line to pick my children up from school, and one day years ago God invited me to come sit with Him in the chapel instead of waiting in the line. For years my routine included daily Mass in the morning, and then sitting with Jesus in the chapel before picking up my children. The peace and calm was so very nice. During one of my final days in the chapel before removing my last child from her Catholic school, I knelt in the pew and said goodbye to this special part of my life in that place. The circumstances of our transition were very painful, and on that day, Jesus left the tabernacle, came to me where I was kneeling, and gave me a hug.
Even though HE knew that great things were ahead for me, I didn't, and He comforted me with His tremendous love and mercy.
If you ever doubt that God cares about you, or wonder if He hears your prayers, or think that they don't matter or or that what you do is irrelevant, I can assure you that your life matters to God down to the smallest detail. I can assure you that He not only wants you to know, love, and serve Him, He wants your soul UNITED with Him, forever. United. Imagine that!
The first day I took my children to catechism at our new parish, there was Eucharistic Adoration in the church. Jesus was there to welcome me, and I have never experienced anything like it, ever. His goodbye hug in the chapel led to His astounding and immensely loving welcome to our new church.
I could go on much longer but will save other details for another time. It is clear that God had something for me to finish, and now I know that it has been accomplished. I must admit that the transition has been difficult for me and I still feel displaced, and don't quite know why that is. Perhaps that is because we live so far from the church. Nevertheless, my children and I absolutely love our new parish and I never knew there was a place on this planet like it. The Masses there are extraordinarily beautiful. It seems that everything there is extraordinarily beautiful, except for the woman who yells at me in the chapel.
There are no words to describe the beauty and holiness of Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Corpus Christi, Pentecost, and the Tridentine Masses, except to say that they were heavenly. Eucharistic Adoration is so powerful. And always Jesus is there, waiting for us to accept His love so that we may exist in union with Him.
Being at our new parish has been of incalculable spiritual benefit to us, and is of vital importance to the mission that God has for us to accomplish. The fact that God led us there makes us feel very loved, valued, and well cared for.