What a truly Good Friday it was! I'm kind of still processing the scriptures and events of the last few days. But I want to share with you the 'life' part of it.
Last night, we attended Holy Thursday Mass at my 'weekday' parish, and today, Good Friday again at that same parish. It's a traditional Catholic Church setting/architecture, and is so beautiful. We are so blessed in my diocese to have such amazing priests at so many parishes. I have rarely encountered one that wasn't wonderful. But these two priests at this parish; Monsignor is elderly, but sharp as a razor. He just needs help with the steps. His heart must be made of gold. He reminds me so much of my paternal Grandpa, who was a huge influence on my spiritual life. The other priest is younger (yet older than I am), but inspires me so much in his homilies and confession. I also attended the Stations of the Cross, as well as praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet for the first day of the Novena, with the parish. I also had a word with Monsignor afterwards, which is always a delight. It was also delightful to see a hundred people waiting for confessions today, especially since this parish has them daily.
A few fun things happened today, as well.
After the service, I walked with my husband outside as he went back to work. While there, a gentleman was kind of lingering around the bottom of the 10 or so steps out front, looking around. No one spoke to him, until I called to him, asking if I could help him. He slowly walked up the steps to me, and asked if there was a priest....well, 'grunted' would be closer to accurate. I told him about confessions, but that the priests would be there all day. He said that he went to confession 24/7.....but he was clearly wanted a Catholic priest. I said that Father XXXX and Monsignor XXXX would be glad to hear his confession. He recognized Monsignor's name, and said he'd talked to him before. I of course complimented Monsignor. I then asked if I could help him with anything, and he said no. He then kept saying he went to confession anytime, any place; I did not clarify it with him. It wasn't the time. We spoke for another moment or two, and he started to leave. He continued speaking as he walked away, but I don't think he was unhappy with my response to him. You see, this parish has many homeless people around, as well as a nearby 'entertainment' district, and is in the heart of the city. This man had a mohawk with long hair (hard to explain), a leather vest, dark sunglasses, perhaps he was a biker, or had been...basically the opposite of everyone who had just walked out of the church. My point is this: don't judge. People are people. We all have the same basic needs. This man enriched my life for having been in it just for a few minutes. Please pray for him. Let's call him Frank.
As I got in my car, I pondered how if your heart was open to God, He placed you in circumstances, wherever you are. I still ask Him what He wants me to do, but I leave my heart open to Him and His Desires, for the Spirit to move me where He wants me.
Shortly, I decided to take a somewhat different route home, just for a change of pace, for a few blocks. I had decided to do this before I even made the two turns towards the intersection where my route would begin to differ. For the first time ever, I saw a young man with a sign asking for money at that corner. I've been through that corner 50 times (or more) in the past year, and not once has there been someone asking for money. But this time, the time I would need to be in that left turn lane, a young man was there. Well, I'm listening, God! I got a dollar out for him, and decided to do more. I wasn't going just to hand it to him; I knew I'd be at the light for a few minutes since I had missed the turn signal due to the traffic line, and would be there for a few minutes. I asked his name (CJ), and his plans. He told me he had a job waiting for him half a country away, but needed to get there. I asked how I could pray for him; he was caught off guard, and happy to answer that he was needing to get a job and get to his job. I then asked him to pray for me. I don't know that I was there just to give him some monetary help, but perhaps the spiritual support he needed. I knew I should have gotten some more rosaries yesterday, but I guess I wasn't listening very well! Once again, though, people are people. They aren't just homeless or beggars or rough characters........
(PS: I also offered a man and woman a ride the other evening after I had eaten at a chain restaurant; they were walking out of the parking lot, but had been eating in the restaurant. My husband was glad that they declined when I told him this! However, that's the first time in 10+ years I've offered strangers a ride, and do NOT recommend it 99.999% of the time. But perhaps God just wanted me to ask. Yes, God.)