~ I was very, very moved by the many FB messages and emails from Catholic women friends offering prayer the night before my candidating sermon. I am talking about women deeply faithful to the Catholic Church. Some of them certainly experience major frustrations and disappointments in their church lives, but these are not women on the way out the door. I felt as if I were carrying something very precious in my hands.
~ I also felt very calm. It was an exciting and joyful morning, but inside I felt very much at peace.
~ Not sure about the sermon. The original version contained some humor, which in retrospect I think would have been appreciated and not out of place. But as I made the hour-plus drive in the morning, listening to the memorial event in NYC, humor was the last thing on my mind.
~ I loved having my family with me. That doesn't happen too often, and it was a real lift for me.
~ Today, despite a humorous conversation on FB about ministerial titles and forms of address, I have been intensely aware of the one family member who was not with us. And I have been thinking all day about those of my friends who, like me, are forging a path forward in the absence of beloved and precious children. I feel as if we ALL carry the memories of one another's children whom we never met, along with our communal hope for a future in which every tear will be wiped away ~ and for an immediate present in which each of us will find ways to give ourselves away despite all that we have lost.
As I look back over this post, what strikes me is that it begins and ends with communities of women ~ women who are beautiful and amazing and courageous in challenging circumstances. Not a bad foundation and source of energy for ministry, I think.