Question: is one day with no major trial to much to ask for? One suggestion is for me to stop answering the phone, checking emails, or talking to people. That just does not seem very practical. I have to remember that God gives us all the grace we need to take care of our trials.
Tuesday morning at the most terrible hour of 6:00 am I and a friend drove my daughter to the convention center to her graduation. Then we waited on line until 7:00 am to get into the hall and save seats for the rest of the family for the big event. Promptly at 8:00 am the procession began and by 9:10 am all had left the room. I think it was a record time for about 400 students to have their names called, shake about 7 people's hands on stage, take a picture with the principal as he handed each their diploma case. This was in addition to the speeches by the superintendent of schools, principal, valedictorian, salutatorian, and class president; a song; and moving the tassels from one side to the other. Our daughter graduated 9th in her class and had more cords then she was permitted to wear. Now, we have to get ready to leave for college in a month.
So, last Saturday we made the hour trek down to the Convention Center and watched our son walk across the stage for earning his Associate Degree in Culinary Arts. Peter graduated Cum Laude and is now a member of the American Culinary Association. And, most importantly, he has a job! The behavior at the event left a bit to be desired: air horns, people leaving before it was over, not standing as faculty processed in were a few examples. What is the problem with people acting properly in public? I felt better though about the fact that poor behavior does not seem to be limited to Church events, it's everywhere!
In ten days we will celebrate the birthday of the Church. The coming of Pentecost is a great time to pray the novena to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gifts we all need to navigate this world we live in. The link will bring you to a printable version from EWTN. http://www.ewtn.com/Devotionals/pentecost/seven_tx.htm The Descent of the Holy Spirit is my favorite mystery when praying the rosary. I can see the Spirit rushing forth with a great wind, and then each disciple being so filled with the Spirit that the only possible reaction is to go forth and tell the world about our Savior. The courage and wisdom they received is for what I too pray. Imagine if every Catholic in the world prayed for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit and then acted on it. We would truly see the Kingdom of God!
When you are a DRE the end of the year brings First Communions. In my case, for 177 children, at three different masses, on two different days in two different languages. I think it is all ready to go for Saturday and Sunday. And I will not tire of answering questions that I find totally irrelevant and superfluous, but are important to parents. What kind of questions, you ask, how about this,"Are flowers in my daughter's hair a problem since they cannot carry flowers?" or "Is a tiara okay if is not too big?" or the favorite this year is "Can my daughter, who has never sung in public before, sing a solo at First Communion?" The last one from a mother who does not even know who is in charge of music at our parish and wondered in the email if, "you, (the music minister) ever see or talk to the lady in charge of Communion, because I don't know who it is." The answers are, in order, flowers in the hair are fine; yes; no. I have learned to make no other explanations because if I do I may be a bit caustic or even border on the condescending. I just deleted possible responses, too ugly, even for me! Alas, the weekend will bring stories, I can promise you that, and they will make me want to laugh, cry, scream, and wonder. I just pray, so I can keep my tongue under control and it all seems to work.
So, this past Tuesday, 9 of us who have been studying together for 3 years graduated from our diocese's "School of Christian Formation." We were awarded certificates which state we are now an "Agent of Evangelization" and well equipped to teach all whom we encounter. We also got to shake our Bishop's hand when he gave us the certificate at the Mass. I hope the pictures we took come out so I can put them in our parish newsletter. The saddest part now is that we won't get to see our wonderful instructor every week. We were so blessed to have him for every course. He is by far the most intelligent man I know, as well as a great priest and canon lawyer. Now I am on to the next graduation... my wonderful son's on May 19!