Yesterday Scott and I took a day trip to find a retreat center at which I'll be leading a retreat next month, and visited two parishes that we came upon on our way home. We do that a lot, I'm sure you know, stop in to visit churches that we find in our travels and see what their bulletins say, what their architecture is like, and peek at their Youth Ministry presence on the bulletin boards and in their halls. But now as we're in the midst of worrying about changes that we can't predict, these visits have a different feel. Now we look around and think "could I be working here a year or so from now?"
I'm excited about the new pope. I love that he keeps using the word "poor" which seems to have been spoken only by the "liberal" Catholics for so long. I see signs of hope in the spring of this pope's leadership, small shoots of green goodness that I hope will flourish. Watching the proceedings on that day was so fun and I felt like part of a great church full of excitement, even if we had no idea who (or what) we were going to get.
On the local front, we're five weeks in to Lent, and I'm exhausted, and it only grows to more of a fever pitch from here, peaking at Easter Sunday, the best day of the year, when Scott and I crash and revel in our co-survival of the craziness. As we like to remind each other, it's not like we're ditch-diggers; our work is luxuriously indoors and warm and personal and gratifying- but it's still work and still wipes us out.
And, as I mentioned, there's an undercurrent this year of anxiety and sadness that this time in our lives may come to an end at any point-we're in perpetual one-shoe-has-dropped mode here. It means we have to Be Here Now AND get ready to go somewhere else.
I read this about our new pope and his Jesuit-ness, from Fr. James Martin:
Jesuits are asked to be, in St. Ignatius' Spanish tongue, disponible: available, open, free, ready to go anywhere. The Jesuit ideal is to be free enough to go where God wants you to, from the favela in Latin America to the Papal Palace in Vatican City. We are also, likewise, to be “indifferent”; that is, free enough to flourish in either place; to do anything at all that is ad majorem Dei gloriam, for the greater glory of God.
Remember, my New Year's Resolution was to be RTG (ready to go)? If I'd known the word "disponible" I would have said it that way. Now my prayer is asking God to help be me disponible, and to help me to wait until I have to, to start mourning... and to allay my anxiety about being in this state of limbo for however long it lasts.