Shortly after we moved here four years ago we began to attend Mass on Wednesday evenings. It was an incredible blessing. There was something so special about sitting in the church surrounded by many of the people that were essentially the core of the church ministries. It occurred to me one evening sitting there with my husband and children that we were part of the church’s future. We were going to be the next generation to help fill the positions in the ministries that serve the community. The idea scared and excited me all at the same time.
When chaos entered our lives and my husband left, Wednesday night Mass did too. It was too painful to sit and watch the older couples I once thought we would become hold hands and pray together. The reminder of the empty space in the pew and our family was too much for me.
Last summer the kids and I went to daily Mass while a visiting priest was here and able to offer the opportunity. The effect of those Masses profoundly changed me. In many ways it was a peak of spiritual battle for my family and I already see just how important it was for the children and I to take part in the blessing. Even though daily Mass was positively changing my family I still couldn’t bare the idea of going to Wednesday night Mass without my husband. Until Father Arnaldo returns this spring we won’t have daily Mass and I have become more and more aware that I need more time in His presence then just Sundays.
Last Wednesday with what I can only assume was the Holy Spirit’s prompting I decided to symbolically reclaim my family’s role in the future of the church and take back a bit of my life that satan tried to destroy. We went to Wednesday night Mass. It was wonderful even if the babies made it exhausting. It was a very real way to tell evil it wasn’t going to take the faith of myself or of my children in its attempt to destroy our family. Later that night I told a friend my thoughts about the Mass situation and the wanting to still have my kids know they were the next generation the church was depending on.
On Saturday the babies were very fussy and a couple of the kids were complaining of stomach aches. I told the children we were not going to be able to make it to Mass on Sunday. They were disappointed and Paul told me he had been asked to light a candle during Mass (he couldn’t remember why and I didn’t even know he had been asked). I felt bad, it seemed important to him and he has been especially struggling lately with feelings of loss. While I would miss it, I was determined to somehow get him there. My wonderful older children came to the rescue of their brother. Lucas and Amelia both said they had no problem being dropped off at church so I could stay home with the wee ones and Paul could still light his candle.
Sunday morning I woke up to a lot of laughing and running around. If the kids felt well enough for all that raucous then they were well enough to attend Mass. So off we all went. Woohoo! Turns out that Sunday was the ministry fair. During Mass a candle was lit for the past members who served in church ministries by one of the original members of the parish. A second candle was let by a current ministry member for those serving now. Then, by name, my son Paul was called to the alter to light the candle representing the “next generation” to serve in the ministries.
Of course I cried.
God is good!