Wishful surprises. That’s what I received in Wednesday afternoon’s mail this week.
In the nick of time
I’m reminded of the opening scene from It’s a Wonderful Life during which lots of prayers are being offered up to God on behalf of one man before Clarence, a simple though caring angel, appears to George Bailey in the nick of time.
God does listen after all, doesn’t he?
I was immediately overcome with emotion even though Sister had emailed almost three weeks earlier that a parcel would be arriving through Maria in Seattle. My heart was pounding; my gratefulness, over the moon.
God still believes, even when I give up. He knows my saturation point; so he distracts me, amuses me, consoles me, and shares other kinds of information through well-placed messengers along my path in life.
God eases my burden with his lovely treasures, that I may have light through the darkness. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Proverbs 119:105).
Thanks to a text message received Monday afternoon, our hopes for a long-awaited visit from the grandkids once again evaporated. My heart hardened as I told Steven that I was throwing in the towel.
Not having a mountain from which I could go scream to let out my frustration and disappointment, I had a heart-to-heart with God. “I succumb to your will. Give me the family you want me to have, not the family I pine for.”
Having resolved to wait patiently for God’s response, I felt at peace and immersed myself in cleaning house.
I also looked forward to Tuesday evening, since our dear friend Sam had invited us to Father Frank’s talk on prayer at St. Paul’s.
Although we hadn’t been to St. Paul’s in about two years, our quiet drive there felt like the many trips we’d made for Mass, meetings, and so much more as parishioners.
On arriving, we walked to the adoration chapel, entered, then exited, taking a chance on the church being open early for that evening’s vigil Mass.
We peeked through the windows and saw movement within.
“Oh, my gosh!” I enthused smilingly.
Stepping into the foyer, I was enveloped by the heartwarming memories of times past. I looked around wordlessly with reverent excitement.
“Are you going to visit with the Infant?” Steven asked, bringing me back to the present.
I’d been so glad to be there that I’d momentarily forgotten all about him.
Thanks to Sam’s invitation, the Infant had beckoned me home for a visit. Moreover, brief as our time in church may have been that evening, the Infant tenderly energized my spirit the way he did our first time there early in 2006.
What a joyful reunion we had!
On our way home, we stopped for groceries at HEB, which is down the road from church.
Surprisingly, we spent more time there than anticipated because we couldn’t find the sesame seeds; so Steven and I split up to look elsewhere.
Having checked in this and that aisle, I finally asked one of the store clerks who happened to walk by.
As I turned to go look for Steven, he was already walking back toward me; and who should we bump into at that moment? None other than Junebug and Gary!
Our trip to Flour Bluff that evening was complete!
We spent time with the remainder of the gang, our extended Why Catholic? family, for the first time since Valentine’s Day 2009 and reveled in each other’s company as if we’d last been together just the day before.
I smiled all the way home.
Except for the one lamp that Steven had left on in the living room, the house was mostly dark when we returned.
I was reminded of the not yet fully lit church we’d entered earlier as well as the cathedral back home.
I’d visit Immaculate Conception at odd hours during the day when the only light source was that of the sun filtered through the stained-glass windows. Quiet and awe-inspiring, the cathedral always embraced me with its scent of times long past mingled with the present.
I felt very much at peace there, which is why lifelong memories of that sacred space come alive each time I enter a dimly lit church, although the feeling is also replicated toward the end of the year when the rooms in the house begin to darken earlier than usual in the evening.
Autumn, my most favorite time of the year. Such wonderful recollections!
I thoroughly enjoy the coziness of a candlelit room during the harvest season.
Steven bought it for me at the Fredericksburg Christmas Store in 2007, but we’ve never used it.
“I’d like some really nice candles for this,” I said, hoping for a worthwhile dialogue.
“You know there are plenty of tea lights on the pantry shelf.”
“Yes, we have lots of those, but I want special candles. Some that will match the big yellow candle that Ricky, one of my fifth graders, gave me for Christmas 2005.”
And that was that. The topic was dropped.
Burst of sunshine
Thanksgiving Day, Sister emailed from Australia.
Thursday, November 25, 2010 5:27 AM
Dearest Deli and Steve,
Praised be the Holy Child Jesus!
I do hope you and your family are well.
Today is the 25th, a special day of the Incarnation. I prayed for you and all your intentions in a special way and am continuously asking Little Margaret to help you.
Also, our friend Maria (who lives in Seattle) will be posting a small parcel, which she carried for me. [It contains six] Holy Child Jesus beeswax candles, which I made, and a chaplet for you.
Thank you, and may the Holy Child Jesus bless you with his peace in abundance.
With lots of love and prayers,
Gratefully in the Holy Child Jesus….
Oh, happy day!
Wednesday, December 8, 2010 2:43 PM
Dearest, dearest Sister,
It’s 55 degrees, and the wind’s somewhat blustery; but the sun’s out, and it’s a gorgeous day….
And… because I saw the mail carrier at the mailboxes across the street a while ago… I just got back from walking over to see what’d come in the mail… wondering if maybe we’d received another Christmas card for Steven’s reindeer.
And… surprise, surprise, surprise!!! Your parcel arrived. OMG!!!!
It’s here on my desktop… waiting, waiting, waiting. But I’m sooo excited that the only thing I could think of to do was email you right away to thank you.
Thanks sooo much!
And I’ve taken some pix from our front porch, so you can share in the day… since you’re here keeping me company as I work.
Again, thank you so very much!!!
Love & hugsss….
Even though Sister had emailed almost three weeks earlier to let me know about her parcel’s contents, I was filled with immense gratitude and awe.
The box was brimming over with messages of love and heartfelt support as I pulled out each delightful surprise and savored it thoroughly, tearfully.
Sister’s thoughtfulness included laminated prayer cards and information on Venerable Margaret; both a chaplet and its small pouch for our daughter; and, best of all, her message of prayerful blessings and hope.
We are praying for you….
A lamp is lit daily, and I continuously ask Little Margaret to help you and to intercede for your intentions.
Wishing you and your family a holy Advent and a happy Christmas!
God bless you with lots of love and prayers….
Again and again, we’re reminded— as I was this past week— that everything is relative no matter how disconnected our thoughts, our prayers, and our heartfelt wishes may seem.
God is so brilliant that he employs creative measures to let us know how much he cares, especially when we need his consolation and his tenderness.
God is the constant beacon in one’s stormy life. He alone gives meaning to one’s existence.
My dear friend, Rose, said it perfectly in her email today.
Received a Christmas card from Sister for my whole family. Made my day because she sent me [a message] in her own handwriting wishing me love and prayers.
Deli, this is God’s way of telling me he is in charge, and I just need to love and praise him.
Filed under: chaplets, Child Jesus, prayer, spiritual gifts, thanksgiving and praise, Venerable Margaret Parigot | Tagged: building community, Immaculate Conception Cathedral-Brownsville TX, overcoming adversity, St. Paul the Apostle Church-Flour Bluff TX | Leave a comment »