We are in the 4th week of Lent and I am really trying to figure out what message God is trying to send me, because this has honestly been the toughest Lent I can remember. Here are the damages so far:
--Water leak and damage in our kitchen island and basement ceiling. The insurance company and contractors are negotiating what needs to be replaced and who will pay for it all. The kitchen island is the sticking point. The particle board base is destroyed. It definitely needs to be replaced in total but the contractors are unsure if the insurance company will completely agree with that assessment. Meanwhile we are held hostage with a single sink and no disposal or dishwasher indefinitely. The family is under strict orders to not request or make elaborate multi plate meals and we are eating off paper products.
--Several months ago my dearest friends asked for prayers for a family back in MD. The father had suffered from extensive, irreversible lung damage from childhood. He'd been on oxygen 24/7 for the last several years and even a cold could mean fatal damage to his lungs. In October his wife's doctors discovered she had Stage 4 Hodgkins Lymphoma, not long after the birth of their 4th child. Last week desperate prayer requests were received for the father who had ended up in the hospital and was put on life support. He was declining rapidly. After just a few days, with no improvement, his doctors, wife, and family were convinced he would never recover and it was definitively determined he was not a candidate for lung transplant. On Thursday his life support machinery was disconnected and he died shortly after as his loving wife sang the Divine Mercy Chaplet. My friends are heartbroken. From everything I've heard and read this is a lovely, faithful, joyful family who has born their sufferings faithfully and patiently for the greater glory of God. May David rest in eternal peace and may his wife and four children find consolation in Christ. In your kindness, please keep Karly in your prayers as she prepares for a stem-cell bone marrow transplant on Good Friday.
--Our devoted priest announced he is being moved to another parish in Salt Lake. This is completely new ground for us. We've never been in a parish in which our priest has been moved (other than the few military parishes we belonged to and expected frequent turn-over). Father Erik has been our priest for 7 years and we consider him a dear friend. I've actually never had a relationship with a priest like I've had with Father E. He's been a wonderful priest and confessor, but also a frustrating big brother who enjoys teasing and annoying me. Not only do we lose his leadership, but it means the loss of the Traditional Latin Mass we've come to love. It's a very difficult loss. Our new priest, Father Rodillas, is highly regarded by our daughters who attend his current parish. I have high hopes that while change is not easy, we will all settle back in and learn to love our new priest. I am praying and hoping he will agree to continue the TLM tradition in our parish. It would be an enormous shame to have it disappear after so much love and work has gone into having a TLM, training altar boys to serve, and training a schola in chant.
(Father Erik and Benedict after Benedict's First Holy Communion)
It does seem like a lot of struggling and disappointment for one Lent. I'm trying to stay positive and I'm really trying to place all my down-heartedness in His hands. These final days of Lent let us continue in prayerful confidence of His mercy and love for us. Pax Christi.