I have had a VERY remarkable morning in regards to trying to get to Holy Mass. I had today off of work, and being that it is First Friday, I wanted to get to Holy Mass and be with our Lord. I wanted just to spend some time with Him, knowing that today was going to be slightly busy.
My girls started school at 8 AM and I already had an appointment after the * AM Mass with someone who needed to show me things in the Sacristy that were needed. As I met with them after the 8 AM Mass, keep in mind I have known them for some time, they began to tell me a story about someone who was truly not pleasant to hear. It was information that I really did not need to hear and upon hearing what they were telling me, I knew it was quickly going to turn into gossip VERY quickly. I stopped the conversation DEAD and told my friends, I no longer wanted to hear about it, but I would pray. It set the tone for the rest of the morning. I wasn’t to thrilled to be included in this story, and quickly looked forward to attending the 9 AM Mass with my daughters school.
As I looked forward to the next Holy Mass, and hopped it would be a pleasurable experience with my daughters, as this would officially be our last mass in this Church and School. We are moving into another school next year and it would have been nice to be able to say good-bye, as we had spent many years here. I found out moments later, the 9 AM Holy Mass was moved to 10 AM. I returned back home.
As I spoke with my husband, I learned that the 10 AM Mass was for the 8th Grade Graduation, on top of being the School Mass. I sighed a heavy sigh because I KNEW this was going to be crowded. I left my home and made it back to the Church and began to see right away, it was going to be anything BUT pleasurable this morning. People were already packing into the church in scantily clad outfits beholding their Starbucks Coffees in hand…
As is the way it is at this Church with ANY School celebration where people come for the “Party” and not the Holy Mass. There were not many spots available and the school children had not been let into the church yet. I seen one of my daughters who was going to be singing in the choir and told her that it was the Graduation Mass and that there may not be enough room for me. She was fine and we agreed that next Friday, we may attend Holy Mass together before I go to work, for the final Mass. I was not happy leaving unable to spend this time with her and my other daughter with our Lord. But I left, wondering about the next Holy Mass I may be able to make today.
I returned back home and my husband advised me to go to the girls NEW school and get squared away with the Summer School information and when they would be attending. I left again, this time heading for the NEW Church and School. I entered the parking lot and quickly remembered they had Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on First Friday. I was trilled and told myself I waned to spend sometime, if only a few moments, in front of our Lord today. I entered the School Office, took care of all I had to do and left, heading to the Chapel. As I walked out, the Pastor was leaving along with many school children. I asked them if Exposition was over and they said yes. I crinkled my nose at the thought and got into my truck.
There was no doubt today that someone did not want me to attend Holy Mass at my normal places of Worship. I would have gone to Mission San Diego tonight at 5:30, but my husband was working late tonight and struggling to get the girls to come with me, after they had attended Holy Mass today, was not something I wanted to do today.
I headed to St. Joseph Cathedral. I had spent many years attending 12:05 Holy Mass there. As I got close to the Cathedral, I noticed all the parking spots were taken. I knew spot on, it was going to be the parking lot across the street. I don’t like parking there because its expensive and Mass is less than an hour. Your charged for Four hours in the lot. I pulled in the lot anyway, and walked down to go pay.
As I was heading to pay, out of the corner of my eye, there was a group of men. I wasn’t paying much attention to them as the language was not the greatest and I just wanted to do what I needed to do and go spend time with our Lord. I got to the machine to pay and inserted my debit card to pay. With that, one of the men in the group I had seen, was standing directly next to me and asked me if I had used a card or cash. EVERYTHING told me, this man only wanted to know because he was about to rob me. I grabbed the paid ticket and told him “Card”. With that, another man approached me and it was the Parking attendant. The man who asked me, became VERY suspicious and told the attendant my card wasn’t working and began to make up a story about it. I looked at the Attendant as said its WORKING FINE! I showed him my ticket and began to walk to our Lord.
As I began to get further away the spooky man began to yell things at me. I’m not sure what he was saying,I know they were not nice, but I just kept walking to our Lord’s house. Ignoring everything he was saying. As I got to my truck, I placed the ticket in the window. I noticed a homeless man in a wheelchair. I walked up to him and asked him his name. He told me his name was Joe. I told Joe I was heading to Holy Mass, and would pray for him. I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the change I had and handed it to him and began again to walk to our Lord.
I don’t normally enter the main entrance of St. Joseph, but today and the circumstances that arose, gave me room to do just that. As I entered from the back of Church, my eyes directly were focused on the Monstrance, containing our Lord in Exposition. In that split second, seeing Him, nothing mattered but Him. I was at total peace. Nothing in this world has ever given me this peace, but Him.
I was in prayer, and then Benediction, and Holy Mass. It was then over and time to enter the world again. I left out the side door, that I normally would use to enter. Immediately my eyes were drawn to the “Gate”. A gate that since my moving to San Diego, discovering St. Joseph and attending Holy Mass, I have NEVER seen open, nor left open but only locked.. In that split second, I heard words from the Divine Mercy prayer.
“For Jesus is our Hope: Through His merciful Heart as through an open gate we pass through to heaven.”
It was as if our Lord was telling me, you did it.There is a lot more to this story, but no way for me to write about it without His grace to do so.
Glory to God..