Well my friends it’s happened once more! After a two year hiatus I have returned to church! It seems my on again, off again relationship with the Catholic Church has begun anew. Actually I returned back in November of 2017. November is never easy for me as it is the month that my mom, dad and close friend passed away. In addition to the sense of loss I experience in the autumn, I was also in the midst of a life changing event, one of those curve ball life throws our way from time to time. Suffice it to say I was at a very low point in my life.
One Saturday afternoon I was out running some errands, when quite by chance I ran into my cousin, Charles, a Catholic priest and the pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption in Claremont. He was aware of what I was going through and we talked about it for awhile. When we were saying our goodbyes he told me that he was the celebrant for the 9 am mass the following day and invited me to attend. At that point, I had no intention of going to Sunday mass so I put him off by saying something like, “Yeah, okay, sounds good, we’ll see what happens,” and went on about my day. It wasn’t until much later that evening that I thought about his invitation again.
Around 10 pm my oldest son called. It seems they’d lost their Sunday sitter and were in a real bind. They had business that had to be taken care and wanted to know if I could watch the boys. He wasn’t sure for how long it would be. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my grand kids, but the way I’d been feeling, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to watch them. Funny how the mind works, it was that exact moment that I thought of my earlier invitation to church and told my son, “well I had planned on going to church at nine so I’m not really sure.” My son quickly replied “Church! That’s great! I’ll bring the boys about 8:30 dressed for church then, yeah that works, what do you say?” What else could I say, I was going to church with my three grandsons 5, 8 and 11!
Our church adventure went well, much better than expected. I’d figured the two older boys would be fine, but the 5 year old is another story. He’s a very active child and therefore a potential problem. But I couldn’t have been more wrong. Surprisingly, he sat quietly throughout the entire mass. Of course his good behavior came at a price. I should have realized he was up to something. Apparently he’d found a pen on the floor when we first arrived and quietly entertained himself by drawing on his arm for most of the mass. Oh well, I guess it could have been worse.
I’ve got to tell you, it felt really good to be back at church. I was wholly aware of God’s presence and filled with a sense of inner peace I hadn’t felt in quite sometime. I’d almost forgotten what it felt like. I don’t want to forget ever again. I’ve been going to church every Sunday since.