I want to thank you all for your prayers this past week.
I had a really interesting trip to see Ryan. Interesting in that, I have this feeling in my heart that eventually he will be coming into full communion with Holy Mother Church because that is where his heart lies. He has not really done anything yet about completing his Sacraments of Initiation; however, Basic Training is more than a full time job and the fact that the kid ended up with close to 7 grand in his bank account shows he has not had much time to do ANYTHING. Ry has had to go through so much in his personal life - he has only had two truly solid anchors in his life and they are both Catholics - that I know he has a ways to go before he understands how important the Sacramental Life is in order to have a good life. However, I also sense that he is being lead to Truth by Our Lord and he will get there. My prayers are that he gets there before my Mom enters into eternity so she can receive The Eucharist with one of her grandchildren.
He has grown as a person but in many ways he is still goofy Ryan with the winning smile. Ryan has 2 weeks of 'hold over' and then he will be going into Airborn training for about 3 weeks. Then, according to his recruiter, he should have anywhere from 10 days to 18 days leave before he gets his orders.
I sent a Living Appreciation card to Father Tom Weise of St Patrick's Parish in Phenix City. He was the priest who picked me up and took me to Mass at Mother Mary Mission. The Mission is over 100 years old, has its own school (kindergarten through 8th grade) and is predominately African American. I was woefully underdressed even in my 'traveller's finest'.
Father Weise was a kick - I think he would probably think all of us are a little too conservative in many ways BUT this is a 74 year old man with Hep B (he got sick trying to rescue things from a fire at another Catholic School and ended up with chemicals in his liver) who refuses to retire until at least two priests are available for 'his flock'. He doesn't have a proper RCIA program, is not great about following the proper rubrics for the Mass (he kept forgetting stuff and going 'oops' to the consternation of his flock - a tiny, ancient Black lady in front of me whispered to her tiny, ancient husband 'that man is a little old sometimes') but he was there to pick me up at 9:45 in front of my hotel because I needed a ride. How can I complain too much about him?
As I previously mentioned, I went through the National Infantry Museum while at Ft Benning and it brought a real lump to my throat. I thought of my Dad. I thought of my cousins who have served in the War on Terror. I thought of my cyber nephew in the Marines and my baby-man about to learn how to jump out of perfectly good airplanes. I was hit hard with the realization that the sacrifice they make is much more than a political ideology or some sort of 'American Agenda'. These guys are simple and true, they are working and struggling and putting their lives on the line as a way of being of service to their country and fellow Americans. It is not about who is in the White House - it's about the fact that there is a White House.
In the museum they have a plague praising the infantry for taking the 'last 100 yards' of the battle...and I just keep praying that at some point we will only need our soldiers for parades and historical exhibits.
The stalker I was dealing with has been confronted by several of the men in the fellowship....and of course he denies everything which I expected. However, as my wise sponsor pointed out to me, now that he has been put on notice there will probably be a general 'backing off' of the harassment and threats. That horrible man who ran for city council in Modesto and kept trying to 'date' me has made vague threats about coming to the stalker's defense. However, if the harassment starts up again there are two more steps ready to be put into action that will keep me and mine safe. And the ModPol will have a big flipping surprise. I am a Catholic Christian - I am not a candidate for martyrdom at this point. In fact, I am probably more in line with the Jesuits than the Dominicans. Start pushing me around again and this time you are going to be on the receiving end of Catholic Action - and I mean action.
Which brings me to my prayer request. Please pray for me that I may discern which third order to join. I am attracted to so many...but I seem to keep running into Franciscans or Dominicans wherever I turn....
I am blessed that I do not have to decide anything NOW. I am also blessed that, no matter what, I belong to Holy Mother Church and for that I am forever grateful!