While I was extremely ill, and pretty much in bed vs. out of bed in the fall of 2008 through the summer of 2009; I began watching EWTN more then I had ever done before since it’s existence. In the past, I would watch Mother Angelica, catch one or two saint movies, beyond that, not too much. Then as I began to delve deeper into my spiritual life, all due to God and this absolute amazing miracle he performed on my girlfriend’s husband in the first half of 2008 (that’s another blog). I became more interested in watching EWTN, and began to notice I was watching less “mainstream TV shows and/or movies”.
During the time of Tom’s miraculous healing, I was in the presence of very strong prayer warriors, and began to hear, listen and learn more about our faith. My very slow conversion began in 1996, in 2006 it picked up a level due to life experiences, and a very religious book store in Newtown, PA. You walk into the store and can feel the Holy Spirit throughout the entire store. The employees are filled with the Holy Spirit, it is a beautiful book store, and I have found more gems in that store then any bookstore I have ever been in! The Salve Regina Bookstore is where my dream of visiting Medjugorje became a reality for me. The owner, and her husband have been there, last count, I believe is 28 times! Believe me when I tell you this is a Holy Spirit inspired bookstore, it is faith filled, infused with the Truth of God, and energizing! In 2008, my conversion entered another spiritual level, that even I was blown away. I sure wish they had names for all these levels, they probably do, just haven’t found the correct book yet! Never fail, I will continue with that quest! This way, one day, I will be able to label each step of my conversion story!
One of the EWTN shows that caught my fancy was, Threshold of Hope with Fr. Mitch Pacwa. At the time, he was reviewing and speaking about the writings of Pope John Paul II. I enjoyed how he took the time to explain his works. I noticed I began to take notes, I began saying out loud “really? really? REALLY?????”, that’s when I began working towards another spiritual level. The desire of learning theology. I noticed I began watching the clock for 10 p.m., on Tuesday nights, so I would not miss the show. I would make sure the children were ready for bed, run into my bedroom, close the door, hop in my bed, pull out my notebook, get the remote, make myself comfy, and I was set! The beginning of the music would start, I would be waiting to see the lovely film of JPII entering the church, and then I would hear “knock, knock” on my bedroom door, and one of the children would have a question, or decide they needed to talk. The dilemma! What do I do? I absolutely love this show, and Fr. Pacwa, and yet, here are my adorable kids looking at me for kisses, hugs, talking, or helping. I sometimes, not so graciously, I must admit, would turn off the TV, put down my notebook, and attempt to give my children the best attention I could, and I’m sorry to say, sometimes as fast as I could, so that I could return to my “class”.
I soon discovered that “missing my class” was not the end all or be all of life, and that my calling is to be wife and mom to my family, even the dogs……….in their times of need. I noticed if I rushed my children, I wasn’t happy with myself, and I wasn’t useful to them, they obviously didn’t get their “need” fulfilled, so they would only return with the same issue/request or a new one, because what they wanted or needed from me, they did not receive the first time. In retrospect, I can see that and understand it now, and hopefully, have learned from it. Nonetheless, I didn’t see it then, so even as I strive for that next spiritual level, I was missing the steps up the stairs to get there.
Then the Threshold of Hope season ended, and so did the teachings of JPII. At first, I thought, “always a day late, dollar short”, and the “pity party” began for missing my Tuesday nights and Fr. Mitch Pacwa.
Next thing I hear and see, for myself, the series is returning with the teachings of Pope Benedict XVI. I’m ecstatic, absolutely thrilled! At first I believed my children were now “old enough” to understand, and to be given a little more freedom with their bedtime routine. Early in the year, I discovered, I was so very wrong!
When Fr. Mitch stated he was going to be speaking on Verbum Domini, The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church, I was speechless! I had the book in my possession! What are the odds of that happening? I was a very happy peacock, my smile was as wide as a peacock’s plumes when in their glory! I shouted out with glee, and said “thank you Lord! I’m taking a CLASS!”. I love school, I love learning, I love absorbing as much information into my brain as I can, and being able to share it with everyone! Believe me, just ask my family and friends, and they’ll tell you how many of the things I learn, I love to share! Sometimes, my kids put their heads down, and say, “oh, nooooooooo”, my response, “but you brought it up!”. Then, of course, we laugh, and yet I still attempt to teach them something, and even though they won’t admit it, they don’t walk away, and I have to wonder…….if they aren’t just a tad bit interested to begin with……..I pray they are hearing the Truth of God in the words I speak, so they can stay on Jesus’ path vs. having to get back on it the hard way, as I did.
Thankfully, with God being so merciful, he doesn’t really care how we come back, as long as we come back to Him. I am always grateful to Him, and I love seeing how, and also realizing His hand in a situation with the people He places into each of our lives as we each, in our own way, slowly, make our way back to Him.
I immensely enjoy listening to Fr. Mitch speak regarding the teachings of JP II and Pope Benedict. I also enjoy watching the joy in his face, and the passion he has for the Catholic faith. He is also world wise, so no one is going to pull a fast one on him. As he stated, he lived in Chicago, he knows the ways of this earthly world. He so easily is able to be in the world, but, not of the world, and I admire that quality of strength he carries. Of course, by God’s grace, he is very blessed. As we are blessed to have him be on TV, teaching, and preaching his homily’s to us, when he performs mass on EWTN.
I hope and pray, one day I will be able to meet Fr. Mitch Pacwa, and be on one of his pilgrimages to the Holy Land. I love watching his Rosary from the Holy Land, and the stories he speaks about regarding it’s beauty. Today he spoke of Israel’s museum, I was stunned and astounded by the fact that there are artifacts still around from the time of Jesus.
I am very grateful to God, for allowing me to be aware of my steps of conversion, sometimes big, sometimes small, sometimes standstill, however, He never leaves my side, and I may not understand something as I am living through it. God still blesses me with the knowledge afterwards of why I had to live through it, be it good or bad. Always, it is for the purification and sanctification of my soul, and sometimes for others, and that is a beautiful blessing and gift to receive. Especially, during the tougher times of staying on the path of Jesus and one’s conversion, it is always easy to say thank you, and praise during the good times. The hard times, it takes many prayer warriors to hold you up to God, and to remind you, “this is a great time to be saying thank you and praising”. All praise and glory to God for him allowing me to take another step up that spiritual ladder. Amen!
As for my facebook friends and family, they can expect to see on my facebook status “class time”, on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m.!