When I received an offer Friday to join a parish staff, I did what many church people do: I asked for the weekend to pray about it. I hung up the phone and pondered many options. Taking a few hours for a mini-retreat. Go back to fixing some bathroom cabinetry.
Fasting. Okay: I admit I didn’t consider fasting at first, but it would have been appropriate. I had a few fasting days earlier in my ministry search.
I might have done less praying and more noticing the past few days. I tried to pay attention to things around me. Places I might be visiting for the last time in my city. I observed my feelings and reactions as I went through the weekend days.
I did ask my wife and the young miss, “Is there any reason we would say no to these people?”
My daughter tartly replied, “Only if you were an idiot–no offense.”
Instead of going to Mass Saturday night, I thought I’d take some more time praying with Psalm 104. Since the release of Laudato Si’, I thought I’d “celebrate” with Lectio Divina of one of my favorite psalms. But I had barely begun to open the Bible when my successor came in the library. We had a nice chat for nearly an hour–until Mass was finished. I like this guy. He has gifts and abilities that could take things in a good, new, and surprising direction at the student center. And I found myself in favor of that development.
After 10:30 Mass on Sunday, a retired professor and I discussed geological hazards: Mt Rainier in Washington, some other volcano threatening Naples, the Yellowstone supervolcano. Is it a factor to fret a move to Oklahoma because of tornadoes, or near an ocean because one fears a tsumani? I decided not.
My wife informed me a well-regarded fibromyalgia clinic is near where we will be moving.
I don’t think I prayed as much this past weekend as I took in all this input. I had a fruitful Examen this morning–I fell asleep mid-E last night. And then I had a great conversation this morning when I called the parish and accepted their offer. And I felt relief.
One down, three to go. That means selling a house, finding a place to live, and moving the family long distance. I’ll have to pray about these items.