I am linking up with Tiffany over at Life of A Catholic Librarian. If you don’t know, you are missing out.
She is a mom, a wife, a librarian (obviously), a Third Order Dominican, a belly dancer, devoutly Catholic and a wonderful friend. She created this linkup to celebrate this Catholic community that is just so rich and vast and real! Link up, won’t you?!
My beloved priest, Father Kevin, was reassigned to another parish and school in my Diocese. I had mixed feelings; I was happy that others would get to receive his wonderful teaching and especially to know how honest and knowledgeable he is, but I was sad that I wouldn’t have that access to speak with him when I felt a little lost or needed guidance. During that time, I was a little lonely in my faith. My husband is an atheist. I am a convert. A crazy, ginormous Catholic convert. The more the Holy Spirit consumed me with faith, I consumed the teachings, the tradition, books, blogs, devotions, radio, television, podcasts, all of it. My husband and I share everything. I can go on about interests for hours with him and he is always there to listen and contribute. But this, this was different and I knew that. He knew that. We love each other and support one another, but we both knew I couldn’t about this. Even if it was unspoken. Not at the rate I was being loved by God in my new home.
If I need to speak with Father Kevin, or Fr. Heaven (as my youngest has dubbed him), I was able to speak with him and he would “get it”. He knows my husband and knew the approach to take with him always – with sarcastic humor. He knew to cut through the layers and get to why sometimes, I couldn’t understand the whys of difference in our individual growth. I didn’t have to explain. But, I think, that God was stretching me as much as it hurt at the time. I remember Father Heaven standing over to the right of the altar, waiting to assist the Monsignors and other priest in the celebration of the Eucharist. We all responded “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed”. I responded those words through choked tears.
You see, it was Fr. Heaven that married us a year ago. It was Fr. Heaven who worked so hard for my annulment, who spoke with my husband, and would reassure me and jokingly repeat to him “I just give you over to our Blessed Mother, you now she wants you too and no one can deny her. So I know I’ll baptize you sooner or later”. I thought, if anyone can help me meander through this, it’s Fr. Heaven and now he’s gone! What happens now?
When Fr. Heaven told me he was leaving he said, I not leaving you, I am leaving St. Joe’s. I knew he was right, but it didn’t make it any better for a time. I am human and can be selfish! Ultimately, the Holy Spirit moved me to action through prayer. If I feel like I could have an immediate understanding of where I was on my faith journey I would begin to communicate to the vast abyss that is the internet and hope that my voice would find another. I prayed that my love for Mother Church would be shared by others. Simultaneously, CatholicMom.com was hosting a summer reading online series and I thought this would be the perfect way to get my feet wet and find others who were on fire for their faith. Others who weren’t afraid to be vulnerable, who couldn’t wait to share about their faith journeys. I have found that in spades. I have made friends, instantly, who set about their day praying for others. Who listen and try to find Jesus in everyone, even me.