Sometimes Mass just hits home. Completely out of the blue, you’re showered with the Holy Spirit. That happened this weekend and it was awesome.
During this weekend’s Mass, newly ordained Deacon Barry Cuba gave the homily. He always approaches the pulpit with humility, humor and insight so I was excited to hear what he had to say. Even more so this weekend, as I was down two kids and heard more than usual! He thanked many people who got him to this point in his priestly journey, as he enters his final year before ordination. However, it was something he said that got my attention.
“Our goal is to get to heaven,” he said. “And we can’t do it alone. It requires community.”
It’s not that I believed I could get to heaven by myself, but that comment induced an immediate flood of moments in my life to mind:
- Our wedding ceremony, where the church was filled with friends and family all ready to support us in our new life together.
- The first day of school, surrounded by other Catholic families, as we took the education leap and enrolled our children in Catholic school.
- The day of my miscarriage, when dozens of friends and priests stopped by the house to cry with us, hug us and help carry the cross of loss.
- The day our son was born premature and our home and lives were flooded with offers of help, prayers and generous gifts.
You see, as I think back to the hundreds of life moments when I truly felt the presence of the Holy Spirit, I felt him in community. Whether it was leading songs at Vacation Bible School, praying a rosary with teens atop the hill in Assisi, Italy or sharing the joy at a baby’s baptism, they all share the same two things: community and love. We can’t expect our fallible nature to lead us to heaven, but by surrounding ourselves with other Christians, those who help up carry the cross when it’s too heavy to bear, it becomes doable. Heaven becomes attainable. God’s perfect love calls us everyday to Him. Choosing to say ‘yes’ becomes easier when you have an army of support.
When I’m feeling beat down by the secular media for choosing NFP, I turn to my #cathsorority girls on Twitter for support.
When it appears we’re the only family who cut the cable, I turn to my friends to affirm that life choice. After all, that’s why God allowed the invention of Hulu, right?!
When my friends scoff at our private school tuition payments and then jet off to Hawaii, I attend school Mass and know our ultimate goal is to get our kids to heaven, not enroll them in frequent flier miles.
Every life choice we make has a consequence. I’m hoping, and praying, ours lead the people I love most in this life to heaven.