This weekend has fitted together rather nicely from a 'God' point of view. First I got the out of the blue opportunity to go to adoration for a few minutes and actually pray without distractions and then we found a church that does evening Confessions on a Saturday. So as soon as the Artist got home from work we piled into the car and headed off. We got the times wrong and arrived when Mass was on.
We slipped in at the back.
The church is HIDEOUS. It's one of those in the round, plain brick, things with tiny (and rather ugly) windows high up under the roof. The Tabernacle is hidden away so you can't see it. There's a huge and really horrible iron swirly statue of Jesus behind the altar. But in contrast there was a simple and elegant wooden carving of the Madonna and child and an equally beautiful wooden carving of the saint of the church.
The side chapel is of glass with each panel etched with a scene from the life of the saint, done beautifully and this chapel where the tabernacle would otherwise be hidden they hold perpetual Adoration!
Up on the altar the priest was dressed in traditional vestments and saying the NO Mass with deep dignity and respect.
Here was living water in the desert.
After Mass the same priest came to hear our Confessions. We were the only ones this time but a lady from the Church had advised me to get in quickly as there is usually quite a queue. This means we were there on a quiet night; people DO receive the Sacrament there.
After Confession I went into the Adoration chapel while the biggies looked after the smalls and had a couple of minutes before I was needed by a hungry baby.
So there I was, for the second day in succession-staring up at Our Lord and He stared back. This is a church that has produced a significan number of vocations for the priesthood and religious life.
I am looking forward to going there again and sitting there in the ugly dry desert with the Living Water.
Then when we got home there was a message on the answer machine from Sr 'Mary Kate' saying she had some help for my oldest.
Then the readings yesterday were about Christ meeting the Samaritan woman at the well of Jacob and offering her living water. I felt like that woman. I feel I have been offered a mini-retreat when I otherwise couldn't have hoped for one.
Then we got another call from Sr 'Mary Kate'. A lovely, holy priest I knew as a child is offering my big lad some money towards his hope to go to Franciscan University Steubenville.
Keep praying my friends. I am beginning to see a glimmer of hope there!
God bless you all through Lent.