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2018-04-01 - 7:41 a.m.

Lovely day yesterday and so happy that we both got some things done and that I managed to bring all my girls out to dinner.

With four teens believe it or not that itself is no small feat.

Seriously, there is always one resistor that doesn't want to come out and do something as a family. It is not always predictable which one will be the resistor for a given activity.

If I had just asked the girls to come out to dinner to hear some great jazz there is no way they would all have consented!

I really wanted the two singers to hear the excellent jazz singer.

I also did want to take the whole family to church of course! That is important to me to honor Easter. Two of my girls are singing at an Episcopal Church so of course going there this morning will be just lovely.
But I have one who is to be confirmed so needs to go to the Catholic celebration and for the sake of her and her Dad and for my own enjoyment (as I would enjoy celebration of Mass at the Easter Vigil)
I thought I would find an Easter Vigil that we could all go to and THEN go to dinner to hear the jazz music on Sat night.

Well I thought I had the plan perfectly laid out..

but there we were at a church at 5:20 intending to go to an Easter Vigil mass to realize that there obviously was not one based on the # of cars in the lot!

I had looked on line and somehow I think I forgot there was a different schedule than the normal parish schedules. I had looked a couple days before... but then just Sat morn looked again and planned my day.

Ce la vie... at least I was able to leverage the fact the girls all DID get all dressed up to go to mass with me and although we did not do that, we WERE on time to then one hour later pick up a dear friend I had invited to come out and then we did get a table and enjoyed a wonderful meal while hearing the terrific music.

While I picked her up my friend made a call to another dear friend of ours who I think would have joined us had we been even more organized. I am just not good at socially organizing at all. After I got home I found my cell phone which was in my purse to see a call came in yesterday from a friend from work I had invited to meet us there. I told her mid week we definately were going out Sat night but I was so busy it didn't occur to call to confirm.

I find in this day and age if one does not call to confirm then people are not confident anyone will show up anymore.

I preferred simpler times , old fashioned times when you could make plans a week or two ahead of time and then not have to think about it for the interim- not have to manage with check ins and check ups and double check ups "Are you going"?

I am just not very organized with all that I suppose.
Or else slow to recognize this , even when I realize it after the fact that I have been slow to be conscientious in trying to create habits that work with the world of cell phones.

I never created those habits. I invite people and kind of figure they will show if they can, and then always realize I could have reached out or perhaps should have reached out again AFTER I see a phone call or message missed.

So likely my work friend and the other dear musician friend of mine would have joined us and so loved the music last night as well.
Missed that opportunity....

It was not a night of intently listening to the music and I would have preferred to stay later to do so , after having socialized and enjoyed the meal, however one of my girls was at her limit...
she was getting cranky and as she was one singing at the church who had to be there at 7:15 this AM we had to leave at a reasonable hour to get home and in bed !

So we were home and asleep by 11pm.

Now I am up and will try to figure out the plan for today how to get the one girl who it is important to go to the Catholic Mass there, and the rest of us to the other church. The funny thing is I got them all to church and the one who typically doesn't go was energetic and positive and happy we were going to a Catholic church without the priest she takes offense from. This was the non practicing Catholic child. One of the so called practicing Catholic teens was absolutely resistant about going to church twice as she is singing today, but came along and has been saying she was just going to sit in the car-

basically being difficult about just going together as a family. She was arguing she had a conversation with our parish priest and he said it was fine for her to go to the Episcopal church. Theological argument ensued with the other sister trying to clarify the position of the church and the priest on how yes of course it is fine to attend any Christian church, but that does not fulfill the religious Catholic obligation of attending mass if you MAY and can. The whole discussion was trying to me...

It was not worth aruging finer points of theology. I just don't have energy and interest in that at this point in life so let the teens go at it and stayed out of the conversation. (One covered the theology of the church spot on actually.) I was more concerned with tying to share why I go to church and how I hoped we as a family could all joyfully go together and experience together the kind of experience I have had and wish to share. I simply reminded them that said
I was HAPPY To go and enjoy celebration of the mass on Easter with my whole family and it is something I ENJOY The actual engaging in prayer and meditation and spiritual connection with God within a community who want to pray together and I thought they might also find some delight in that together.

TO me it is really simple.
Awareness of something greater than ourselves , whatever you call it
is truly important and we then tap into our spiritual selves and we tap into this collective consciousness or the great being or connect with God

SOMETHING happens when we pray which causes a shift in our being and in our awareness

I don't need to understand it
I don't care to cognitively get caught up in analyzing it
I just want to EXPERIENCE that deep sense of prayer and TRY To share it with my girls.

Its so astounding to me that when trying to bring them to church they often FIGHT and get angry and have this negative energy when I am trying to expose them to those deeply soulful moments of peace and awareness of things greater than ourselves.

Not sure why that is so hard to share with another successfully.

I brought them to the Holy Thursday Mass and it was lovely, but for at the very end just disrupted by their Italian Father getting hot headed and having an outburst in the middle of the foyer of the otherwise silent lobby

WHILE people are leaving the church in reverential silence and walking to the chapel to commune with Christ

literally during the adoration of Eucharist which is exposed and open and there for all who believe to share the moment of prayer

in a 24 hour adoration of devotion

(Oh and lets not forget there is of course a need for someone to be there 24 hrs as its a gold monstrance which holds the Eucharist... LOL but I will not be cynical and practical about that... just kinda throwing out the ironic reality of it)

AND Then this Hot headed Italian Father is yelling at his daughter (OUR Daughter) disrupting the prayerful moment and oblivious he is doing so-- I mean completely self focused and self absorbed and unaware of the social nuances all around him. Completely OBLIVIOUS to the fact he is making a scene in the lobby during Eucharistic Adoration ....
the strange irony as what he is yelling about is that she is short on "Required" Service hours to be logged in order to confirm.

Lord give me mercy in moments like these.

Moments like that are why I got disenchanted with going to my own Catholic parish

I just don't get the sheep coming in who are not only not THINKING but not even FEELING ....

I don't get an empty following of tradition without THOUGHT and without Meaning

For me church is deeply sacred or should be. I feel like when it is cheapened then I need to find another place of worship with reverence

so I go to the mountain top.


or to the monks , the Trappists

I just have such trouble getting out of my OWN head at time to enjoy mass so I get the challenge. I get distracted by things like the not very bright priest in my local parish who not only is not very bright so when he gives a sermon on a given biblical reading he has NO Added value... its almost comical... so I sit there and envision a SNL Episode of the exaggeration of the simplicity of his misguided messages ....

but that is so unkind

I mean he says things so basic with this really slow delivery as if the slow delivery will infuse some great meaning we will all extrapolate .. but he does it in this really .. I don't know... genuinely faith filled child like way with such an attempt at trying to be inspiring alternating with messed up moments of clear cognitive dissonance and anger when he interjects the barb of attacking anything threatening his simplistic view...
that I just pray for my own patience and forgiveness of my intellectual elitism the guy
is not so bright and doesn't actually understand Catholic THEOLOGY all that well either.
(He gets it just flat out wrong time and time again... infusing thing that are not there in the theology to support his own agenda of anti homosexuality )

Anyway I find our parish priest so non inspiring and then the disruptions of the Italian outbursts also not conducive to a prayer filled moment of actually forgetting myself and connecting to God that it is hard to have a positive spiritual experience at what was my own parish.

So I seek places to worship and pray that work for me and try to foster a real sense of learning how to pray in my children.

Its a challenge.

So this morn I will ,despite it being almost nonsensical, facilitate shuttling kids to the Catholic church who want to go (or who are to afraid of their Father to articulate they don't want to go), and carving out time for myself and the others who actually want to pray to go to the other Church.

I also respect that some parents bring kids to church dragging them through their resistance to develop respect for family , authority,institutions and tradition that serve us well.

I suppose I just think it has been the dissenters ,the thinkers, the real feelers and healers of the world who all go through phases of questioning and then emerge with strong beliefs to CHANGE paradigms and CHANGE this world for the better.

SO I want to nurther a spirit of wanting to do valuable service for others

MORE than a sense of loyalty to a given set of beliefs, rules, paradigms

I want my kids to grow to be really secure and strong in who THEY ARE and in THEIR beliefs

but I don't think forcing them to accept all mine is the way.

For me, I was looking FORWARD to the Easter vigil as for me I would have enjoyed it!

Theology aside (as I understand it exceptionally well but don't think it all that important in the end... difference between Catholic transfiguration of eucharist..)

I think it MORE important to go to a church where I feel I have experienced the presence of God.

So now, to look up time of the service the girls are singing at and rally the troops who will come along to enjoy it as We celebrate the resurrection of Christ

I believe he was incarnate God walking on this earth

Even those of deep non Christian Faith respect him as a great prophet.
For me I think it not all that important if I know any ONE TRUTH or if there is any one truth out there.
I know Jesus was a gift to this world who changed it by being open and in his prayer

"Thy will be done"
In fact did save us

Whether figurative or literal

He was and still is a savior to many

If it is by the redemption , through grace alone , of his crucifixion that we can enter heaven free of sin

OR By the simple fact that those who go to AA and believe and recite the serenity prayer and find there is something greater than themselves some know as Jesus that helps them be free of their stronghold of addiction to fully live life again ...

Jesus is a true savior of many, many souls.

And that is to be honored as so incredible to think about, with great gratitude and respect and reverence.

So now, to our start to our family Easter with the one tradition in my household that does not vary. We may be missing what had become a traditional Easter hike on the mountain today (as we are going to cook and join a friend of ours who would otherwise be home alone who can't get out to hike- she is on dialysis so I was happy a mutual friend suggested she call me when she said she has no plans. ) But the one tradition remains I am putting on the musical Godspell as we eat Easter Candy prior to going to church. Oh came back for one more detail to be captured. A few I have not written about like the smile that emanates from my face uncontrollably and likewise it appears from the bass player when we make eye contact and it really just feels magical in that moment. Magical moments and then the moment when he came to sit and greet and meet as I called them my whole brood, then we mentioned family and our dear friend who was with us who really is part of our family - yes our nanny of years , talked about such in a way teasing one of the girls who was pointing out who is related at the table ( we also had the lovely company of the best friend of one of my girls who also happens to live in the same town just a few minutes walk away from where the music was who joined us) and my friend looked at me and said "There is something I have to point out to you- but not now" and I only then noticed that literally right behind us , at the table next to us- and I was completely unaware was this darn near doppelganger of my first husband's image or more like his father's image from twenty years ago. I noticed and said simply "I see. Karma I am just not at all surprised Its apparently the good karma of this space." It was just another one of those magical moments. So funny and yet not at all unexpected in the moment. For me it was marvelous as I had not noticed the person, although so close, and for me that was significant as I was rapt with the presence of the bass player who was meeting my girls , in particular in the moment listening and meeting the one who was taken by the green smoothie video discovered and shared with her prior to ever having a conversation with this bass player (when I never knew I would have a conversation with him!). She was so funny when at the moment the band was introduced and she heard his name at the "Ah Ha " moment... "Wait- you are the smoothie guy!" It was funny. This man changed her life for the better. Isn't that what we are all here for? We just don't all get such moments of being aware when we have done so.

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