This post is going to ramble - just warning you.
I've been thinking about Dear Husband's and my dissatisfaction with our current parish. Again, none of this is based on superficial things (we don't like the lady who cantors at 11 o'clock Mass or the fact that there's a Children's Liturgy of the Word), but rather deep hurts and spiritual harms.
Tomorrow is the feast of St. Francis of Assisi. As most of you know, Dear Husband and I have strong ties with an order of Franciscan Sisters, and St. Francis is very dear to us, and has great influence on our spiritual life. I was thinking about St. Francis last night as I was trying to fall asleep after a very long and trying day. After his conversion, he heard God tell him, "Francis, rebuild my Church." Now, ultimately, God meant for Francis to reform what had become a very lackadaisical and bland Catholicism. But Francis - at first - took it to mean that God meant for him to rebuild a tiny stone chapel just outside of Assisi that had fallen into ruin. Day after day, Francis rolled up his sleeves and place stone upon stone until the chapel was useful again.
Are we meant to stay right where we are at and rebuild our parish, stone by stone? Are we meant to set an example in a place we'd rather not be right now? This will take some prayer.
My day yesterday, by the way, started with an IEP for my Dark-haired Daughter. For the uninitiated, IEP is a swear word that stands for Individualized Education Plan. It requires a cadre of people and a mountain of paperwork that asks things like, "What are the child's strengths and weaknesses?" and "Does the child continue to need special education?" The process takes at least an hour and usually longer. The parent is typically politely asked for input, but the IEP can be done without a parent's presence or agreement (at least in our state). On my daughter's part, her IEP hasn't changed in years, but it has to be done every year. Yeah.
Then, I had to get to the federal courthouse for a hearing related to a lawsuit. I've never been to a federal courthouse - just a county one - so I didn't realize getting in was like going through airport security. Shoes off, everything out of your pockets, why are you here, where are you going....and you can't bring your cell phone in. Huh?
Nope, the gentlemen in the blue blazers said, "No cell phones. No cameras. No recording devices." Uh.
"You can take your cell phone and put it in your car." Well, not really an option as I was running late and parked blocks away.
"Is there anywhere I can put the cell phone and pick it up after I'm done?" Not an option. At all. Very serious: "No."
Finally, one blue-blazered gentleman took me aside and said quietly, "Some people just hide them outside..."
So, I put my shoes back on, headed out the door and looked around. I spied some rather attractive landscaping with thick ornamental grass. Saying a quick prayer to my guardian angel (Feast of the Guardian Angels, doncha know!), I shoved by phone into the thick grass and headed back into the courthouse, cleared security and headed to the hearing.
And yes, my phone was still there when I got back out.