Saturday, May 12, 2012

To Find The One

Have I mentioned I love priests?  I love priests.  :D

I include a clip taken with my phone of what happened last week Sunday.  I had been invited previously out to lunch any (and every) Sunday I want.  I decided to take my hosts up on that offer last week because I had some news to tell them.  They said we were going to go to some burger joint.  As it turned out, they invited more and more people to the point where we COULDN'T go to the burger joint, there was not enough room.  We ended up going to an Irish pub (owned by a Catholic, Pope Benedict's picture is hanging) and more and more people kept coming (there were over 30?)!!  It was great!  The restaurant had to put tables and tables together.  We had one quarter of the downstairs to ourselves!  Some even invited others, but, I do not believe the other few came.  Almost one-quarter of the parish (one-fifth?) was there.  It was amazing!

Father was there.  The thing is, he couldn't sit still.  He kept getting up and checking on everybody.  I mean he KEPT going back and forth.  Maybe he just didn't like the company he had at the one end of the table (he was at the head).  He kept going back and forth.  Even in the video, he is the shepherd (and this was noted by more than one person) and we are all passive and grazing and bleating.

Forgive for not concentrating on any one person, I wanted to get how many people were there but if I were to take a picture, I would not be able to include everybody and so, rather than take multiple pictures, I took multiple pictures so rapidly they compile a video.  I tried to get the best light.  Forgive.

He ate quickly and as soon as he was done he was back up again.

He also helped me two Fridays in a row after Mass.  In spite of his life and the prayers he must say, he

Speaking of which, St. Joseph's (remember St. Joseph's?  Awesome Stations of the Cross?) has a Mass Fridays at 1730.  If I leave work RIGHT at 1630, I can just make it.  I stopped home first (after leaving work a little late anyway) and got to Mass as the first reading was being read (the Mass is OF).  This time I noticed how reverent everything was instead of sneering at the inferiority of it.  I still hate the Stations of the Cross in that room (it's a small chapel behind the sanctuary); Station Eleven is Pummel Horse Jesus, but, I noticed that the Tabernacle has a Tabernacle Lamp next to it and the priest is very holy.  His homily was on God's Love and how Jesus loved His Father so much He did His Will perfectly and even died because the Father Willed it.  He loved His Father so much that He did all for Him.  I have always heard that God died for us because He loved us.  I've never heard it from this perspective, but, I guess He would love the Father more since it's eternal.

Anyway, in between Mass and Exposition (as he was getting things ready for Exposition), I asked Father if he can hear my confession after Exposition.

And he insists on hearing it then.  He KNOWS the value and wants to reconcile me!  I love priests.

I didn't make an examination of conscience, I thought I would have Adoration to do that!

But, I knew what I mostly wanted off me that was weiging me down.

Adoration was much better.

I love priests.

Also, Father John Hollowell (two blogs:  "On This Rock," and, "I Have A Say") is being transfered.  One of his new parishoners Tweeted him to say she will debate him on everything he says.  She is being given him for a reason and he is being transferred for a reason.  The bones you crush may thrill.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

*Where I Left Creatures

We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, Because by Thy holy cross Thou hast redeemed the world.

Behold Jesus crucified! Behold His wounds, received for love of you! His whole appearance betokens love: His head is bent to kiss you; His arms are extended to embrace you; His Heart is open to receive you. O superabundance of love, Jesus, the Son of God, dies upon the cross, that man may live and be delivered from everlasting death!

O most amiable Jesus! Who will grant me that I may die for Thee! I will at least endeavor to die to the world. How must I regard the world and its vanities, when I behold Thee hanging on the cross, covered with wounds? O Jesus, receive me into Thy wounded Heart: I belong entirely to Thee, for Thee alone do I desire to live and to die.
Prayed my Rosary tonight for my typical Saturday intention.  I decided, because I have such a hard time with these Mysteries, to find pictures.  These are the ones that captured my attention.  I do not own any of these and I hope if you like them, if they are for sale, you will purchase them.

1. The Agony in the Garden
Look at how completely hidden Jesus is.  He is secluded and trying to hide even more.  He is desperate in prayer, trying to shield the world out.  He is prostrate and defenseless.  He could be sobbing.  Desperate, heavy, heaving sobs.  His hair is mussed around his hand.  His other arm is flexing, though.  He's still the God of power and might, no matter that he is, right now, at the mercy of the Father's Will.  He wants to hide so much.  He wants to be in His secluded garden where He loves to pray, but that security, even, is soon to be taken away from Him.  He. Will. Have. NOTHING.  Not even the happy memory of where He used to come and talk to the Other Two Persons and His angels.  Even His happy memories will not be of comfort to Him because they will be flayed from Him so that He will have NO chance of comfort.  He wants to curl up in the fetal position.  What's the torment? -- The Cross?  The beatings?  The souls he cannot save?  His friends not caring?  His friends being cowards?  One of his, "friends," being the one to put him through all this?  That He cannot save THAT soul?  His Mother's anguish?  The anguish and love of his two friends who will be there with Him throughout all this?  He wants to hide.  Anxiety is getting to Him, His Body's reaction is telling Him, "THIS ISN'T FAIR!!!" and He wants to not be here.  Adrenaline is pumping through him.  His Heart is racing, His Body is shaking, He's hyperventilating; His Pride is going to take a beating.  Is the moon lighting the scene?  Is that God?  He wants to hide.  Already the weight of the Cross is crushing Him.  He is fervently in prayer.

And, he is alone.  All.  Alone.  He has nobody.  I saw some pictures of an angel or more comforting Him, and, I know that had to have helped Him, but, no, not yet.  For now, He is all alone.  And yet, he cannot hide.  For 30 years of His Life, He was hidden and even throughout His public ministry, he asks others not tell of His Works.  His Divinity was mostly always hidden.  He wants to hide where He is in His favourite garden, but, he cannot hide.
2.  The Scourging At The Pillar
In all honesty, I wanted something more bloody and flagellated, but, this picture spoke to me.  I see the blood on the pillar, but, I wanted something displaying the Wounds He had.  This portrays the agony better.  He has just been struck and the pain is so unbearable that He falls to His Knees.  His Body cannot support His weight with that pain.  The torment was excruciating even though it was expected; He cannot keep silent any longer, despite Him wanting to.  He has no mastery of His Body at this moment, and no matter how much He has prepared for this moment, it is here; there is no going back, even if He wanted to.
Also, He is almost naked.  He has the undergarment on and we can see how very exposed He is.  This picture captures perfectly the agony married with the humiliation.  The soldiers knew no mercy, they wanted to inflict as much pain on Him as possible.  This picture makes one feel it.
But, if that one didn't, this one does *found a Saturday later*:

Once again, His Precious Body simply cannot support the pain.  His Back is scarred, but, not as bad as His Heart.  He cannot catch His Breath.
3.  The Crowning of Thorns.
It's not just a wreath of thorns like we normally see, no, it is like a three level papal tierra, covering His entire Head.  It is all encompassing and matted into His hair.  The soldiers mock Him and wound His Pride.  Where He was beaten bodily before His pride is now scourged.  He is shaking because of the adrenaline but remains silent and at the soldier's disposal.  I asked myself one day while I was praying this, WHY did You not just get up and show them?!!  The answer I got was: because I knew what it would cost if I did.  He knows what He could do, but He chooses not to do it.  He continues to pray for the souls tormenting Him because He does not want them in Hell. 

Back to the picture: He is crying.  I thought His eyes were closed, a prefigurement of His imminent death, but, no, one is, the other is practically swollen shut and black & blue.
4.  Jesus takes up His Cross
And, again, He is down for the count.  His Back is bloodied and the weakness, hunger, and weight of the Cross have gotten to Him.  Although in reality this would have been compounded by the crowd and the soldiers jeering, antagonizing, and mocking Him, in this picture, we see Him alone and beaten.  Just like the first and second picture, He again, is not erect.  He is crushed.  He is hunched over, helpless; His right hand clutches the cross or makes a fist in helpless desperation. Maybe He is hugging His cross and about to push Himself back up. Just like the first pic, we cannot see His Face.  I read somewhere how hard it must have been for Jesus to see His Mom, heartbroken, because that only made Him Heartbroken.  That's what I typically try to focus on when I pray this Mystery.  That and was Jesus trying to forget about the pain by helping others?  Was He trying to get His Mind off of His imminent Death by occupying His mind by comforting the holy women?  I know that is not true, it cannot be because He knows all.  He offers his visage to Veronica's veil.  He is on the way to His own mortality, His humiliating and painful end, and He still, STILL, ministers to others....I try to remember this in my daily life because I know that when I am judged, there's not going to be any excuses allowed.  God kept His focus on others even when He was most cruelly being abused and when others should have helped Him, He was still going strong, freely giving His love to those who were by Him.  This is something to remember when I am being shamefully selfish.

5.  The Crucifixion
This I know is copyrighted.  I have a copy hanging in the living room.  It's called, "John 3:16," and it is done by Protestant William J. Wallace.  God's Body is so burdened with sin that it forces Him away from the Cross.  This picture is unlike all the other Crucifixion pictures with merely Jesus, or Jesus, Mary, John, & Magdalene, or a centurion or two, this picture has EVERYBODY.  Not just everybody at that crucifixion, but, everybody, throughout history; He saw this.  THIS is for whom this was done.  This is why we have Mysteries 1 - 4 and Stations 1 - 10.  Old Testament priests, the centurion there, those who are junkies, those who don't care, those who are royalty, those who are lame, those who are religious, those without shame (seriously, next to the nun, a TRADITIONALLY DRESSED MODEST nun, next to her, the scantily clad woman).  I also love the two little old gossipy church ladies.  ...And the woman in the back, who has, "Jesus," on the back of her shirt, but, she's preaching this to no one.  In front of her is vastness.  Two people have pointed out that she is in front of the Buddha, but, she's not, not directly.  There is a vast open space, she is saying this to nobody.  I always imagined that woman to be those who are all show.  She has Jesus on her shirt, but, on the back of her shirt, where she cannot see, and, she is turned away from Jesus.  But Jesus still died for her, and the astronaut.  This picture isn't nearly as bloody as it could be.  I do not know if the light is coming down from Heaven or beaming from His Head.  But, anyway, THIS is what the Mass is, it's funny because not only is this what Jesus saw but this is also how some people actually dress to be go to Mass.  In this picture, He is dead.

Again, though, even on the cross, AS HE WAS DYING, he still gives His Love to people and petitions on behalf of them, it is never about Himself.

I used to pray the Fifth Mystery, each Ave, as His Hands (one each) and feet (both) as they were nailed and then the Seven Words from the Cross.

Yesterday (a week later), I found this more traditional picture:
How heartbreaking it must have been for Magdalene & John!  John, a good kid (obviously fearless), the one who really loved Jesus (and was truly loved by Jesus, looked on maybe as a little brother or a son) and probably listened to every word He said, now to see his life, his Master and Teacher and Friend dying.  Same for Magdalene: the one Man who saw her and truly loved Her; she cared so much for Him and not for herself that she was so devoted to Him even at His death.  She finally loved somebody more than herself and he was being taken away.

They cannot intervene, they can only share in His misery and be with Him.

On a side note, a final note, to compliment the first picture in Mystery 2, Station 14: Jesus Laid In The Tomb; there are a few pictures of this Station that make me take pause because there is a burial shroud over His Body, up to His Torso, I think, but, the side of His body is exposed.  One sees His naked Leg.  No undergarment.  He died, pathetically, stripped of everything, and He is interred this way.  Hidden.

Where did you find God?*   Uniformity With God's Will by St. Alphonsus de Liguori

Monday, November 28, 2011

Everybody Having A Good Time?

Hey All!

GREAT NEWS:  I was fortunate enough to get to Mass on Sunday!  :D

BAD NEWS:  It wasn't the EF.  :(

DEPRESSING NEWS:  I heard from three different people the sermon by the Extaordinary priest included death.  :'(

WHY IT'S DEPRESSING NEWS:  I wanted a sermon with death!  >:(

RATIONALIZING NEWS:  Ah well, at least I was able to get to Mass....and assist with the new prayers, both for which I am VERY thankful.   ......Not all like the new translation, but, many do (ehehehehehehe, see what I did there...)  :P

COMPENSATIONALIST NEWS:  I already know that for the next four weeks that the entire Catholic Church will be praying for the end of the world during Advent, so I got that going for me.  :D

GOOD NEWS:  One of the reasons I wanted to go to Mass at St. Joseph's was to take pictures of the Stations of the Cross in the nave. I was HOPING to go to the Vigil Mass on Saturday so I could still attend the EF on Sunday (DEATH!!!!!!!), but, I will accept it as God's Will that it was better I go on Sunday...for the lighting.

IN OTHER NEWS:  I asked the St. Joseph's pastor after Mass if he ever thought about offering the Mass in Latin.  I asked him this because, I don't know how, but, somehow, this church survived the changes of the Spirit of Vatican II; it is very condusive to the Latin Mass.

As one will see from the pictures below, not all the pictures were taken on the same day.  A few were taken when I first moved here, most were taken on 11/27/11.  There have been changes to the church over the years.  I remember when I was younger that the back wall, behind the altar was painted blue with gold stars. It has since been whitewashed.

First and foremost, NO, your eyes do not deceive you!  That IS an altar rail in the foreground!!  ...It's not used, of course...  That would render the Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion out of the sanctuary.  We must keep the EMHC positions safe within the sanctuary.  Kneeling down is a step backwards.

Second, in both the picture above and the picture below, one will notice that there is a door behind Mary's side (the Gospel Side) of the church.  One may even notice that there are two lights, a green light and a red light.  This is the Reconcilliation Room.  If one is in the nave, one has to go up into the sanctuary to get to the RR.  There IS the option of a grille or face to face in that room (so, they do follow the rules).  Again, if one is in the sanctuary, one has to go beyond the Tabernacle to get to the RR.  I mention this for a reason.

Nobody notice that St. Patrick & St. Anthony switched sides.  They just wanted to see if anybody was paying attention.  Just ignore it and they'll switch back.

Sacred Heart of Jesus.  With Stigmata.  In the Orans position.  Would probably be more effective if not everybody in the parish prays the Our Father this way.

Oh look, it's The Last Supper. I cannot think of a more appropriate relief on an altar for the Holy Sacrifice of the Ma...


This is the relief on the front of the altar on the wall.  I happened to notice it one day when coming out of Confession.  I was VERY surprised (pleasantly surprised, but then a little disheartened because is obscured by the free-standing altar) to see it here.  There is nothing that would encapsulate the Faith more perfectly than this just below the altar, just below the Tabernacle, just below the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  One will note the gold flames contrasted against the black background, separated by the wall of roses.  Perfect.  One sees it, one sees Catholicism beautifully.  One sees this, one almost doesn't have to hear a sermon about death.   ...Not hearing about death is killing me. :(

The first third of it in detail.  Agony and petition and shame.  I don't know if we are supposed to imagine the Precious Blood from the Chalice that the angel is holding to lessen the flames or if the Chalice is empty for a reason.

More petitioning.  LOTS more petitioning.  Nothing BUT petitioning.  One may note that Our Lady is holding a Cross.  Seriously, look at this third of the picture -- everybody except one is looking at Her, but, he is looking longingly at relief from an angel.  All others are begging for Our Lady's intercession.  DESPERATELY begging.

Right third.  More naked and exposed petitioning!  Except the guy on the right.  He's looking non-plussed with his whole purgation process.  Apparently Rodin's masterpiece wanted in on the purifying flames.  (Do the flames burn away the black that covers them? Are they supposed to be cleaner the more exposed they are?  If so, the guy in the tunic just got there; the guy mooning us is nearer to Heaven.)

Back to The Last Supper.  Okay, so, Judas is the one leaving, right?  I mean, that IS Judas, he is wearing black, he's not facing Jesus, he has red hair...JUDAS!  But, if THAT is Judas, who is Jesus feeding?  Is that John?  But, if THAT'S John, then who is leaning on Jesus?  I thought John leaned on Jesus.  But, that CAN'T be John leaning on Jesus because John didn't have a beard at this point.  The Disciple Jesus is feeding doesn't have a beard, that MUST be John.  And, hey, there's another guy not looking at Jesus!  And another!  But, their heads are tilted towards Him.  So, is it Peter leaning on Jesus?  ...Wouldn't Peter be the older guy with the white hair?  The full head of white hair?  Wait, no, Mabye St. Peter is the one standing next to St. John because St. Peter asked St. John to ask Jesus something during the Last Supper, ergo, St. Peter has to be by St. John....unless some got up and moved about a bit during this Passover Feast.  And who is the guy who's kneeling and next to St. Jude?  Well of COURSE that's St. Jude!!!  He looks JUST LIKE Jesus!!!  Well, at least Jesus is giving Communion on the tongue.

Wait, what?  Oh.

"We lift them up to the Lord."

AHHHHHHHHHHH  (See?  No ambiguity.  I know what I'm supposed to be thinking when I see this)  AHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.................

Oh, look at that, Jesus is sharing!  See, it's because we are at the Lamb's Table when we go up to receive the Lord in our hearts in the Eucharist!  ...But, seriously, what's up with the visble background?  Wasn't this happening in the evening?  *squints*  Is that....IS THAT LEAVENED BREAD?!!!! 


The message of the first one is, "And also with you."
The message of the second one is, "And with thy spirit."

I don't know how this managed to stay.  Maybe nobody noticed the non-English.  It is still, as one can see from the above pictures, front and center.  I was going to make fun of that fact, but, then I remembered churches in IL that I have been to where the Tabernacle is off to the side and there is almost a blank back wall.  I am so very happy that is NOT the case here.  I almost wish this was my parish for the aesthetics.  I hope the Viewer/Reader opens this to a larger picture and sees how intricately detailed it is.  This is where God SHOULD be housed!  Not some wooden and glass box with an abstract plus-sign.  Gold, with adoring angels.  This is what the laity NEEDS to see.

Crucifix at the front of the church.  There is a life-sized one off to the Gospel side, in the north transept (if I'm labeling that part correctly), but, I didn't take a picture of it.

And, yep!  That's an altar lamp!  Red and everything!

Oh yeah, have I mentioned, this church is shaped like a cross? 

View from the sanctuary.  It's not shaped like a space ship or nothing!  There's NO WAY to have Mass in the round!  And look, there's a chior loft!  And it's actually used by a chior!  And stained glass windows!!!  ...I'm beginning to think this may not be a Catholic church....

Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

 And speaking of Our Lady...

These are done in fairly large reliefs throughout the church.  The reason they are my favourite of all the Stations of the Cross I have ever seen is because the background, the sky itself becomes darker and darker.

St. Mary Alocoque and the Sacred Heart.  As one exits the church, this is on one's left.

Annuniciation.  In the crying room.

I'm guessing Magdalene is the one with her face covered in the following.

In detail: 

Wait for it.....

Look at the background of the First Station and then look at this.  They are inside a tomb after sun-set and it is so dark, it needs to be illuminated by torch.  One can, if one opens this bigger, see the Cross and St. Dismas' cross outside.  Look at the delicately tender and lovingly way the three place Christ in the sheet.  The one woman guides his body and The Beloved Disciple cradles his hand and holds the sheet so as not to let the body simply fall back on to the hard stone.  The Torch Bearer cradles and comforts Our Lady.  And the Stigmatazed Hand is visible for all to see.
If ONLY there could have been a sermon to match this!

No, no, I'm fine.  I'm over it....

And so, this is the church I have via a 5 minute drive, a 20 minute walk, but, because the way the Mass is said, I don't want to go there.

I also do not want any neo post modern abstract pieces influencing feng shui placements creeping their way into this church.

And, to answer the question, yes, the pastor has thought about offering the Mass in Latin, but, not any time soon, as he has to get used to the prayers the new way.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Today's counsel brought to me by....

"Adjure contra."
"Adjure contra."
"What does it mean?"
"Say it."
"Adjure contra."
"Very good. It means 'working against'."
He then goes on to tell me about working against my base passions. He includes St. Paul's mentioning he does things he does not want to do. He tells me to work against my base passions which are a brat, "and nobody likes living with a little brat."
He also tells me to, when I am done with my work ... to ask my boss if there is any other work that I can do.
"For your penance, say 7 'Glory Be's' for the 7 Dolors."
*squeaked*"Yes, Father!"

Now do your best to make a good Act of Contrition.
"Oh my God, I am heartily sorry[.....]and to amend my life. Amen."
"Alright, go in peace."
"Thank you, Father!"
"You're welcome."
He is least like himself in this Sacrament. He is flawed, but, he is very holy, forgiving, disciplined, human, and saintly. I don't want to say he doesn't take this life seriously, because, clearly he does, otherwise he'd not be in his vocation, but, he does have a sense of humour, especially about himself.
My God, I am heartily sorry for having ever complained about him.

[this post is from months ago, but, I don't know when the date was]

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I and the Father are one

I don't remember which Mass it was last week, but, it happened again yesterday.

Typically when the priest holds up the Host for the People's Communion during the "Domine non sum dignus" part, it is typically done in a manner that the Host is visibly seen and I can differentiate it against the backdrop of either the bricks or the color of the chasuble; I want to be able to see Him, but, not last night and not last week.  At either the Friday or Saturday Mass last week and the Friday Mass last night, Father held up Jesus and he wsa in front of the white part (which was pretty substantial) of the chasuble.  I just thought how perfect that was and so I thought I'd share.

Monday, September 5, 2011

"What's a matter Colonel Sanders? Chicken?"

Father Augustine Tolton was the first black priest in America.  There is a story about him that I read (but which I cannot now find reference) that when he was in Rome, studying, the day (night) before his ordination he was told, 'America is supposed to be a tolerant country, let's see if it lives up to that image.'  He was told this because he was studying African languages so he could be a priest in Africa, BUT, at the last minute, THE VERY LAST MINUTE, he was told otherwise.  After years of learning languages and with the belief he would be going to Africa, he was instead told that he would be going back to his home country.

He was needed more in the United States.

I had read this story a few months back and I know that Bishops, the Vatican...I'm not really sure who, but, the superiors of a priest, can, at any time, transfer a priest.  I also know that priests are transferred for the real reason of not getting too attached to any one priest or his personality; the priest doesn't matter but priest matters.  It doesn't matter who is the celebrant offering the Sacrifice because they are all in persona Christi. It doesn't matter who is there because He is there.

Priests are transferred so that we can be reminded of this.

It didn't work this time.

August 4, 2011, 1900, 2000, 2100...something, I'm not sure when, but, I was eating dinner and watching TV.  My iPhone rang and it wasn't the default ring tone.
It was Father McCambridge calling.

I think I wanted to talk to him anyway, so, it was odd that he was calling me, but, it's not the first time I wanted to communicate with him and that happened.

Unfortunately, the news wasn't what I wanted to hear.  He told me he was being transferred; his superior wanted him to report to the new place (he couldn't tell me where because three priests were being transferred, all were to break the news on the upcoming Sunday, that way nobody of one parish could call a friend at another parish and start talking about it) by next Thursday (one week from whence he called).  That Sunday was to be his last Sunday there as Assistant Pastor.

The thing is, he was asking his parishioners to pray for a special intention.  I don't think I particularly did initially, but, when he asked it of penitents in the confessional, I began fervently praying for his special intention, asking God that whatever it is, He grant it.
The last Friday he was there, after Mass, outside, I walked up to him and asked him, "So your special intention was that you would stay?" (I think he told me this the night before in the conversation.)  "No, my special intention was God's Will be done.  BUT, I suggested to him that I would like to stay."  "You should have suggested a little harder."  He didn't look like he appreciated that comment.

So, no wonder he got transferred, he was asking that we pray God's Will be done and I was praying that God grant him the special intention whatever it is.  (Yes, I realize, it's not all on me; he had an entire congregation (at least!) praying for him.)

I also remember that Friday because Father Van der Putten was also there, outside (it was the first Friday both priests were there since Good Friday).  He was talking to a circle of about 8 and saw me and said hi and asked how I was doing.  "I'd be much better if Father McCambridge was staying."  "I think that goes for all of us."  Indeed!  Poor Father Van der Putten!  He has the weight of the parish to support now.  No priest to help.

I am fortunate he called me.  He said he did that because he didn't want the first time to hear it to be from the pulpit.  I think I was one of the last called on his list.  He said that he was calling the husbands to let their families know, and I think he already called an older woman of the parish with whom he may be fairly close.

He did mention how he was going to be a Rector, not a Pastor, because, technically, he was going to be the head of a chapel.  I looked online and saw that there were two places where "Rector" was the title:  Nebraska and a school in Pennsylvania.  I was hoping for NE but, could see him as the head of the school in PA.
So, Sunday 8/7/11, he mentions he has one other announcement, he was being transferred to Nebraska.

I felt better.  Nebraska is drivable.
He also mentioned how he was going to be sad, but, he was sad when he was told he had to leave NJ, but, if he didn't come to Tulsa, he would have never been happy in Tulsa.  He was sad that he had to leave, but, he knew it wasn't the end, and he knew that it was God's Will he leaves.

The last thing he mentioned in his sermon (he was hyping and encouraged us to take a copy of St. Alphonsus de Liguori's "Uniformity With God's Will"), was, "Love the good God" (I think the entire quote, from a saint, was, "And so my children, love the good God."
He took a minute to compose himself, and his voice was higher if it didn't break when he said, "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."  The, "Amen," was not audible.

[Updated 12/3/11:  He puts the maniple back on and continues the Mass.  He is not distraught or distressed as he performs the Sacrifice.  There is no mingling the Mass with the interruption of the Mass.  He says the Mass of the Faithful like he has said every other Mass.]

Afterwards there was his Going Away Party, and, I tried to thank him for everything before he went in (and in true fashion, I was looking down, trying to remember everything), but, Father Van der Putten said he was needed in the CCD building.

I stayed (though I initially had no intention to do so, as a matter of fact, I wanted to thank him before his party started so I could leave right away, but, that wasn't in God's Will....and who am I to argue with God's Will?).

I really didn't mingle during the celebration, as a matter of fact, I remained hidden in the kitchen and the back during most of it (I also met a wonderful seminarian, Joshua Curtis, I think was his name, in his 4th year of seminary, and, so much like a good priest already!).  There is a funny man there who apparently makes the coffee every week, and he was commenting about how he wasn't used to this many people in his kitchen.  Too bad I don't remember Funny Man's name.

When it was time to go, as much was said, and, I mentioned to him that I'm going to mention the words he hates the most:  Father, you're going to get an e-mail.

"Aaaargh!," he played along.

"You know it's going to be long and detailed."

"I know."


My Father knows me.

I remember being inside one CCD room when he was right outside and picked up a box from off the table.  I sheepishly asked for a hug.

He put the box down and we hugged.

It was....unremarkable.  I don't remember at all what it felt like.  He clearly wasn't as bony as I might have thought, or, maybe he is, his clothes just cover that fact well.

The next thing I remember is we were outside, in front of the building, and I was standing just off to the left of Father, who was to the left of the door with his back to St. Augustine's talking to two other men.  He invited me to come into the shade (I kinda didn't know if I should be that close to them), and I was listening to that conversation.  The man directly in front of him said he wanted one final blessing from him before he left.

And Father McCambridge obliged and gave the two men and I one final blessing.

Father McCambridge offered his hand to help me up, but, there was a pillar I used to get up, instead.  I don't want to be dependant on Father, but, I failed miserably with that.

Also at his Farewell Party, which, by the way, started at approximately 1030...and there was beer, he stated to a group that he was supposed to be in Tulsa for another year, and his superior thought he could do that for him, but, as it turns out, he was transferred.

The thing is, as far as not growing attached, it didn't take that long.  I had only been talking to him, for ten months....and he had only been at the parish for 13 at this time.

I remember talking to him on the grass by the CCD building, and, the seminarian was trying to call him away, but, Father gave him a box to take to the car (all three of them were taking Father VdP's car, I think).  I don't remember how we got to this point, but, I mentioned that I thought he wouldn't be sad of the transfer because he would have a new parish and serve new people (or something like that).  "Priest's aren't robot's (Attia)."

No, apparently not.  Priests are human, and thus, sinners.

But, they have God on their side, and they teach us we have God on our side.  And, if God is for us, who can be against us?

(Incidentally, one will note, I did not at any point during this final Sunday, sob hysterically and clutch Father McCambridge's ankle with the grip of death....I think that was pretty stoic of me.)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

And again, my priest...

Fr. VdP said something during the interruption of Mass today that occured to me less than 30 minutes ago.

Some bloke may be dying. The one particular man he was talking about had two(?) blood clots in his lungs. They were in his legs, he was given blood thinners and they traveled to his lungs. He could die if they reach his heart.

We were asked to keep him in our prayers.

But, Fr. VdP began this with something like, "*So & So is in the hospital, I gave him the Sacraments early this morning..."

EARLY THIS MORNING is what just recently dawned on me. He was celebrating the 0830 Mass (and the 1300 one, since Fr. Mc is away this week), and so, "Early this morning" was EARLY this morning. I don't know what time he wakes up, but, he has to get ready for the day and say his prayers and all that, plus, I'm guessing, says extra prayers and such because it is Sunday, BUT, he was called/asked to administer to this dying (possibly) soul. And he did. He got up, drove to the hospital, and took care of God's child.

That's true service, that is charity, that is vocation, right there.

But, the thing is, he COULDN'T go home and sleep, no, he had Mass, and, he had another one later, and, he was just as vibrant as ever during the Homily and all throughout the actual Mass he was manipled to. After Mass, he was outside talking with the parishoners.

These men are really called to be no less than Jesus.

May God grant them abundant graces to be like Him.

It really always amazes me how much Frs. VdP & Mc put themselves out. ...God is not going to accept any excuse from me for my laziness. May God have mercy on me.

God bless my priests!