St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, Bunkie Louisiana
I can’t believe it has already been 2 weeks since Our Lord’s Passion. Where has the time gone? And why haven’t I shared the joy of watching my husband become a member of the Catholic Church?? To answer simply: I don’t know. I hate to say I’ve been too busy, because that would be an affront to all that I love. I hate to say I’ve been thoughtless, although that seems to be the norm not the unusual. 😉 So I guess it boils down to this: I am overwhelmed with so much! ‘So much’ of God is never ‘too much’ of God. There is never too much!
My husband’s anointing is contagious. I don’t know if it is because we are married, or because my spirit is sensitive to his, or what, but I’m tellin’ you, his fresh new spiritual awakening is contagious! Don’t get me wrong, we will never be Ozzie and Harriet, but we love each other. That in itself is an accomplishment considering I waited 20 years between husbands! It’s kind of hard for me to get close to someone. We dated for 5 years and now we are married for 10 years – a long-standing record for me in terms of relationships! Getting married was terrible at first. Not being used to thinking of anyone other than myself took a toll on me. Add to that the fact that I married a man who had a, shall we say, type A personality? And the A stood for anger. Poor thing. But somehow, he saw past my selfishness, and I, his anger, and we worked through it instead of throwing in the towel. Marriage is hard work. But thanks be to God, it is like everything else in life; it changes. If you put good stuff into it, you get good stuff out of it. If all you have is bad stuff to offer, bad stuff will happen. True dat.
If you love God, then you know He has a bigger plan for your life than you possibly could. If you don’t love God – yet – you will hurt yourself trying to work out all the details of your life by yourself. I’ve hurt myself a lot over the years. I’ve always thought I loved God, and I’m sure I did the best I could, considering my snail’s-pace-slow emotional growth. But I have to say, there is nothing like watching God work in the life of someone you love that makes you fall in love all over again – not just with a spouse but with God Himself as well. It’s exciting! It’s beautiful and amazing! It’s the truest of true love! And my husband ain’t bad either! (forgive me for joking about it – I’m just so in love!)
I have watched my sweetheart struggle to come to terms with the decision to become Catholic for more than a year. It wasn’t easy for him. He came from a church-going Protestant family, even had pastors in his ancestry. But, he felt that God was calling him down a different path and that he would not be complete unless he followed that path. It was the biggest decision he ever made, and not being one to sit still for long, he really struggled through the Catechism. But guess what the first thing he said was after his confirmation?
“I’m so glad all of that is over – now, I can really begin to grow!”
Yes, my husband actually said that! Makes a woman proud of her man, don’t ya know?
Anyway, the candlelit Easter Vigil Mass was beautiful, more beautiful that I had ever noticed before. We sat in the front row. He was the only one in our parish coming into the Church that night. We were surrounded by people we love. Our priest let us take communion side by side, just like in a wedding. And it was a sort of wedding for us. We are united, not just in matrimony, but in faith as well. God is so good! Our God does give us the desires of our hearts.
Not Ozzie and Harriet!
Onward and upward. . .
Our parish had a mission this weekend. Enter Dr. Brandt Pitre: Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist. The mission was amazing, can I tell you? Dr. Pitre gave four different talks. If you have never heard of him, or you would like to know more about him, you should go to www.BrantPitre.com. Hear me when I say this man must have God’s personal cell number on speed dial, because he is awesome! He is probably the best speaker and giver-of-knowledge that I have ever had the privilege of hearing. (By the way, he has a ton of cds and dvds and books) You should check him out. Let me give you a quote from Dr. Tim Gray: “In Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist, Brant Pitre pairs together the Jewish Scriptures and the Jewish tradition to frame the actions of Jesus at the Last Supper and to provide a fresh look at the heart of Christian practice – The Eucharist. By taking us back to the Jewish roots of our faith, Pitre gives us a powerful lens through which to see anew the bread of the presence, the manna, the Last Supper, and ultimately the meaning of Christian Eucharist.” This quote is directly from the flyer our church handed out prior to the mission. Also this: “Dr. Brant Pitre earned his Ph.D. inTheology from the University of Notre Dame, where he specialized in the study of Christianity and Judaism in Antiquity. He holds an M.T.S. in biblical studies from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. in Philosophy and English Literature from L.S.U. ” Needless to say, I thought he would speak way over my head. As it turns out, his words were easy to listen to, understand, and actually elicited the desire to know more!
On another note,
just to let you know where I’ve been, Mass this morning was awesome. We went to 8:00 a.m. service and who, but the priest who is a dead ringer to my youngest son, was the celebrant. Love that guy, Father David Basil Burns. We especially enjoyed his homily this morning although he began by telling us that someone (Fr. Jack??) stole his notes and he would have to speak sans script. (get it?) It was a beautiful homily/conversion story. Many, many thanks to him for that. Fr. Basil is honest, forthright, easily understood, and has an enormously delightful sense of humor. I learn a lot from this man, too. He is very gifted and awesome to listen to. I have been to him in the confessional and left feeling healed (Isn’t that the point? So why don’t we feel that way after each confession? It requires gifted participation). He clearly has his heart on his sleeve and it is filled with love. I don’t know if he sees it that way, but it is. So says a person who is definitely on a Heavenly Honeymoon with the Holy Spirit!
It just keeps getting better and better. . .
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be – world without end. Amen.
Pray for peace, ya’ll.