I apologize for the fact that there was no MTT post last week. Actually, it was one of the busiest and hardest working days of my life … the last full day living in my Lincoln, Nebraska, home. I had to prepare to turn over the house I’ve lived in for 38.5 years to new owners. And for the second night in a row, my wife and I slept on the floor of our bedroom because on Wednesday the movers took away all the beds in our house. My back, my hips, my feet, and my head all ached at the same time … more pain than I can remember. There was very little sleep; and the emotional pain of leaving the house where my three daughters grew up and where my wife and I spent well over half our lives was apparent.
I am now officially a resident of Rochester, Minnesota. The house we bought is very nice. The purchase price was over $100,000 more than the selling price of our old house. So we are experiencing some pain in or bank account too! The new house backs up to a small 9-hole, par-3 golf course. So we are assured of having a well-groomed back yard (the fifth green is right behind the house), especially since the part on our side of the property line is fully managed by an association. See the accompanying photo.
So far, we’ve been to Mass here in Rochester twice, in two different parishes, since arriving on Friday night, January 15. Once on Sunday morning, January 17, and once yesterday, January 20. Of course, we’ve been to Mass at many parishes all over the country in our lives, so this is not big news. But today, where are my thoughts? Well, I observed once again that the Mass is the Mass no matter in what Catholic Church it is celebrated. There was a penitential rite in which we recalled our past sins and once again felt remorse because we offended God. There was the Liturgy of the Word, the Scripture readings, in which we once again listened to the Word of God from both the old and new Testaments. There was the recitation of the creed, in which we expressed, once again, our belief in the Blessed Trinity and the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic church, the Catholic Church. And there was the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the bread and wine were transubstantiated into the body and blood of Jesus Christ and distributed to all faithful Catholics present to eat and drink as directed by Jesus himself over 2000 years ago.
But what especially struck me was the apparent holiness and devotion of the people here. For example, we arrived twenty minutes early for the Mass yesterday. There were already about 25 people present praying the rosary. Shortly after this was completed, the bells rang out above the church and the group immediately began to pray the angelus prayer. People entering the chapel genuflected or bowed before the Blessed Sacrament. Ten minutes later, the Mass began with the opening hymn, complete with an organ accompaniment. Remember, this was a week day. All sung the praises of their God. Yes, I felt quite at home.
My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for bringing me to this beautiful city, to its beautiful Catholic Churches, and to our beautiful new home. Amen.