Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

Today was the day of the Chicago Young Republicans Grand Old Party - but I didn't go. In fact, as much as I would have liked to go to it (not to mention the meeting of the township GOP of Berwyn, my hometown), I found myself doing things here at St. Ben's that really clarify the vocation I am currently discerning and the deep sacrificial meaning of the priesthood.

I didn't make 6:30 Mass, and I got a late start after that, as well. By the time Ihad finished breakfast/lauds/Divine Office it was a quarter till 10:00AM, and I rushed over to the school only to find out (as expected) that I was not going to help anyone by hanging around there. Content to know that I had at least tried my earnest to make myself useful, I checked back at the rectory to see what the others were up to. I found a note in my mailbox - not exactly typical of a Monday morning, so I promptly opened it up to read it. Turns out that Anne, the parish grounds gardener, is out of town. She wants me to water the garden for the next two weeks! So much for lazy mornings - Mary Sue, the receptionist on Mondays, remarked that I had quite an easy job if my chief concern for the morning is flowers! I gotta admit, she's right. Anyone reading this blog knows that, too. For crying out loud, I actively lament the lack of activity at the parish to parishioners, too, so I'm sure they're getting quite sick of my complaints, as well. Time spent complaining is time not spent praying - or is it? If my 3:00PM Holy Hour is any indication (not to mention numerous psalms, the book of Ecclesiastes, etc.), "complaining" IS prayer, and perhaps some of the best prayer we can offer to God. Maybe if I did a bit more of that complaining to God instead of directing it at parishioners, I'd actually develop a deeper prayer life worth bragging about, not to mention writing about. Pray for me, everyone!

Anyone, Fr. Steve graciously invited me along to his errands for the day once he had finished checking his e-mails. By 11:30, we were off to my favorite little religious goods store (and, from what I can tell, something of a "best-kept secret" as far as lay Catholics are concerned) - House of Hansen, just a few miles west of St. Ben's on Irving Park Road. It is renowned amongst seminarians and priests for the handmade liturgical vestments; Fr. Steve was just getting his own refitted in time for his new assignment, which, if he is to be believed, starts in only a few days!

After Hansens' (I bought a book on the Latin mass! w00t!) we went to yet ANOTHER religious goods store - Morrow's, which offers a bit more in the "non-vestment" category of religious goods that Hansens' generally lacks. Didn't but anything - nor did I buy my own lunch at Panera, because Fr. Steve absolutely refused to let me do it! "You can repay the favor when you pay for another seminarian's lunch after you're ordained." Well, ok...

Our last stop of the afternoon was St. Alphonsus parish - about 2 miles south of St. Ben's. Turns out Fr. Steve is MOVING IN HERE. It's apparently the only location that "works"; I can certainly say that it terms of his living arrangements, he's got something that "works" (understatement of the year!). He's going to be living in an old former convent with all the comforts of home; let's just say that "opulence" doesn't describe it. At least he's got a beautiful chapel with a high altar and icons EVERYWHERE. He's got it made! Lucky guy...

Anyway, I also found out that a soon-to-be St. Joseph's seminarian is working at St. Alphonsus, though I didn't get to meet him. Alex, if you are reading this, good luck and God bless!

We got back to St. Ben's in time for me to finish a Divine Mercy Chaplet and a rosary before dinner; Anne, the cook, also had us help out with the leftover cake from yesterday's reception. Note to self: never trust Fr. Steve with cake. He placed the box lopsided in the fridge and the whole thing collapsed in on itself! At least Anne salvaged it; heck, I'll probably grab some before I head off to bed tonight...

Monday also means Benfest meetings, and tonight's was a doozy. Over an hour of chitchat on topics in which I can offer nothing of use; even when I try, it turns out I'm better off staying quiet (it's a good exercise in humility, though!). Dear Lord, keep my humble throughout my tenure here. Let me honor and respect the Way, the Truth, and the Life that has created all things, including ME! AMEN!

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