Last Wednesday our house officially went on the market. Thursday we had our first (and so far only) showing. From what I’m told it’s great we’ve had a showing in our first week (officially our first 24 hours) on the market. We have to sell this home before we put in an offer/move, so here’s to hoping! It’s in God (and St Joseph’s) capable hands.
A lot of change has gone on in our lives in the past few months. Not the least of which was that Shelby’s Godfather was assigned to a local parish. Over the past 2 years, I have felt that perhaps my parish was no longer where God wanted me to be. Nothing dramatic happened, it was just various little things and nudges. And Shelby’s Godfather being so close kind of prodded me into action. I began praying and talking a lot more to Jeff about it. Well, we figured, if we move, the whole point is moot as we will be too far to regularly attend any of the current local parishes on a weekly basis, and will have a parish in our new town. One of them. So, you know, not this conundrum any longer. But, on the other hand, if it takes a while for the house to sell, well, then is it worth waiting it out because we can’t predict the future?
This weekend, the boys went with my parents for a fun weekend and we decided to take Shelby to mass at her Godfather’s parish. Shelby and Jeff sat out in the vestibule while I was in the sanctuary which was not ideal, but it was 7:30 AM mass and quiet and a new place for Shelby. She’ll probably spend a few weeks out there.
After mass, Jeff talked about how nice it was there and how great it was to see Shelby’s Godfather. The associate pastor, a newly ordained priest, said mass. He did an excellent job and his homily focused on the Gospel reading and how each of us is a mixture of the soil described. He also talked about how closeness and familiarity with Scripture can help our souls be the more fertile soil. Now, if you’ve read the blog recently, you know that was like my patron for 2014, St Jerome, grabbing me up out of my seat! I looked through the bulletin and found the director of music and liturgy had written something about what a “typical mass” is. Reading it I could feel my heart opening up. We live in a country with the first world problem of having too many parishes/masses etc to choose from. And while most of us are grateful to be able to take part in the sacrifice of the mass no matter where, there are people in our pews each week there solely out of obligation. Their hearts are not filled with joy but with contempt for the music minister because On Eagle’s Wings is being sung, anger toward the priest because he didn’t chastise something harshly enough, or resentment toward the family in front of us with the toddler babbling happily interrupting “our” mass. Is that any way to receive the Body of Christ? Honestly, changing parishes won’t change your attitude. No parish is perfect. There are things at all parishes that need improvement. And while it is certainly one thing to point out liturgical abuse, there are a lot of complaints that are just nit-picky. I have resisted changing parishes because I don’t want to go to a new one because there are no drums or electric guitars at mass (a pet peeve), or the lack of a Catholic based VBS program, or anything like that. No, even with the annoyances I felt at my parish, I was determined to present myself to God with a joyful and gracious heart and receive Him in that state.
But at Mass this morning, I felt something. Something moved deeply in me. Something that said, “This, This is where I want you. This time, this place.”
So when I casually mentioned to Jeff that I was considering changing our parish registration, and he said, “It’s time,” I felt waves of peace. I wasn’t “parish shopping” or fleeing an “ugly” church. I wasn’t even switching because the priest is one of my oldest and dearest friends and the Godfather of my only daughter. This morning, I only went because I wanted Shelby to see him, I intended to remain at my current parish. But when the Holy Spirit grabs you and convicts you, you know what you need to do. I went online and registered us.
Now, why would I switch parishes as we are trying to sell our home? Well, as I already pointed out, we could still be here a while! And on top of that, I’m not in any position to argue with God about this. Okay, I’m never in any position to argue with God ever, but this was a message both Jeff and I felt convicted about in such a way it was undeniable. There was/is no ambiguity.
So, regardless of the situation with the house at the moment, we’ve changed parishes. I submitted our registration online. It’s done. It’s all in God’s hands.