My favorite time of year is upon us. In one short week, Lent will be here, and we get a little melancholy as we make sacrifices and do penance for the continued conversion of our souls towards the abundant and infinite grace given to us by Jesus Christ. Being that my temperment is primarily melancholic, its like there is an entire season devoted to my personality. I love it!
Anyways, Lent is, for me, a reminder of what I’ve been through. For those who are converts you probably agree. Lent is the last leg of the journey into communion with Holy Mother Church. It is the last few weeks before the greatest moment of our lives takes place. Lent, being the barren desert that it is, reminds us of the personal struggle that has taken to get to this moment: the tears, the fights, the loneliness. It channels all of these things into the very heart of the Church’s life and gives them new meaning for us.
I will never forget the significance and the wonder of my first true Lent three years ago. My heart cries a little bit as I look at my beautiful sister who has had her own struggles as she has entered into the conversion process. She reminds me so much of what happened to me, and yet our conversions and journeys are completely different. And now she is about to enter the home stretch, and when Lent has passed and the Sacred Triduum culminates in the Easter Vigil, she will be fully Catholic. I am so very excited for her!
At CatholicNewsAgency.com an article published this morning states that “Tens of thousands of new Catholics are expected to join the Catholic Church in the U.S. in 2009, with many doing so at the Easter Vigil liturgies on April 11.”
Its pretty sweet, especially to know that I am included in that number.
Today was long, full of importance and even had some moments of humor.
We (Megan, Andy, Me, and the other St. Joseph catechumens and candidates) met for Mass at 10:30 this morning. Like most of the Masses to this point, we were dismissed before the Eucharist, but not before getting prayed over by the Priests and the whole parish. Each of us were called forward and it was really important, really significant. But this is also where a little humor comes in (sorry Megan, I have to tell this story). The first six rows were reserved for the candidates and sponsors and they had this little “Reserved” things on the ends so no one else would sit there. Well, when Andy and Megan got called up, it was really quiet in the church, very solemn. All of a sudden there is a crash and I look and Megan had knocked the reserve sign onto the floor. To make matters more funny she then proceeded to kick it under the pew in hopes that nobody noticed. Everyone noticed. I almost was laughing out loud as well as Father Raul and Deacon Tom. I looked at Andy’s face and it was priceless. Sometimes Church can yield the funniest things (shower comas?–sorry, inside joke). Aside from that, this process was pretty significant because we were then being sent off to Crookston, where the cathedral for our diocese is, for the Rite of Election.
We got to tour the cathedral, which for me, is not what I always envisioned the typical cathedral to look like because it is only 19 years old. Anyways, we also got to tour the monastery of some Benedictine Sisters. The important part though was the prayer service in which we would recieve the rite of election and essentially be blessed by Bishop Hoeppner and “okay-ed” to continue the process, changing me from just a catechumen to an elected one. It was pretty sweet, we prayed some psalms, stood before the Bishop and wrote our names in the Book of the Elect, which will be on display in the Cathedral from now until Easter. It didn’t really feel like a big deal at the time, but I know that it was and so I tried to go in with that mindset.
But I am truly coming down to the end, before I know it Easter will be upon me and I will be welcomed into the fullness of the Body of Christ. God is so great.
Went to daily Mass yesterday with Megan, Andy, and Josh. It was interesting, very different (well…not very different) from Sunday Mass. I’m still trying to get the hang of what to say sometimes during the Mass, but I suppose that will come with time, too. I liked the Mass and I like the fact that the Catholic Church has services every single day of the week. God isn’t just a Sunday thing like he is in other churches.
After Mass we went to Applebee’s with Josh and his wife, Tracy, and talked about him being my sponsor, amongst other conversation. He agreed and then we talked a little bit about how my friends have been taking the news and luckily I was able to tell him that it’s been a pretty postive experience, at least face-to-face. I don’t know what they are thinking or what they are saying behind my back, but let’s just pray that it is postive.
Well, it’s friday, and I am going out tonight because this whole weekend is going to be studying for three huge tests I have next week, so I am going to have fun tonight as opposed to the rest of this weekend. But, it is time for me to go join some of mis amigos at lunch now, so….sayonara!
Tags: Applebee's, Baptism, Catechumen, Catholic, Christianity, Confirmation, God, Homework, Jesus Christ, LOST, Mass, Obama, religion, Roman Catholic Church, Worship