I tried to remain optimistic about our new parish and the fact that we could no longer afford Catholic school. After a few months, we returned to our old parish’s harvest festival and while I enjoyed seeing old friends, the pain was greater after we left than ever before. I felt like I was truly grieving. I mourned the loss of our previous community. My heart physically ached. I knew that there was no turning back, but I felt very critical towards our new parish. Even though in my mind I knew that the Eucharist Itself alone suffices, I still compared the priests, the décor, the preaching…etc.
At my old parish I was able to drop my older kids off at the Catholic school and cross the parking lot to attend daily Mass with my two youngest children. We were able to sit in the cry room (remember this is Control Freak who becomes very tense by her children’s disturbances during Mass!) and celebrate the Eucharist with our fellow daily Mass regulars. I tried attending daily Mass at my new parish, but there is no cry room and my youngest son was all over the place (age one and just discovered how to walk!). I would become quickly worn out chasing him and quieting him, and of course worrying about the (negative, in my mind) impression we were making on the other parishioners. I started skipping days, rationalizing in my mind why we couldn’t make it. I soon was only going on Sundays. Although skipping daily Mass is of course not sinful, I feel that I have been graced to have learned just how significant the Mass truly is. My soul was missing it. It became evident in my feelings and behavior. I started to think of St. Faustina’s quote about fearing her own self on days she did not receive Holy Communion! Then one morning I chose to go because of how much I desperately needed it. In my loneliness I knew that only the Eucharist could comfort me.
“In these moments of utter helplessness, He attracts me by grace because He wants me to discover His pouring out of Eucharistic love. In every Mass You seek me out. It is You who are, not I. You are always the first to make the move. When I am lost, worrying that everything has already gone and I can’t get back, You find me and say: ‘Look, I am here on the altar.’”
Since that Mass, I have been comforted with where God has placed my family and me. Blessed Mother helps rescue me from my negative thinking and reminds me to trust in God’s loving presence, regardless of where I am. I am so grateful that the pain is diminishing, and also so very grateful for Blessed Mama’s arms when I am tempted to cling to the past.