We begin at the vigil for the 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Mike and I attended Mass without the kids because we were going out for dinner alone together, and the kids were with their grandparents (God is good :)). All day I had been thinking about Channing, entering a Carmelite monastery that very morning, and let me interrupt my story for this very important announcement:
(a different) Mike over at Distracted Catholic blogged about Channing's entrance ceremony, and you simply must read it. Click on the link, and do it now. :) You can come back to me after you have read it. LOVE.
Ok, so Mike and I at Mass. We walk in, me in my veil and Mike dressed very nicely, and within moments, as I kneel praying in our pew, I feel somebody at my elbow. It's the usher.
"Would you folks mind bringing up the gifts?"
I quickly checked with Mike, and we both agreed happily to bring up the gifts.
Mike leans over.
"I think it's your veil. That's why he asked us." He looked amused. :)
However, when it came time for the gifts to be brought up, as Mike and I waited excitedly in our pew for the usher to come get us...he didn't. I could hear the ushers still walking down the aisle, and the couple two pews ahead of us were making movements like *they* too were awaiting the ushers' approach. I eyed them suspiciously. Suddenly, that couple stood up and the group of ushers went with them to the gift table. Mike leans over:
I furrow my brow underneath my veil.
"I don't know. Maybe two different ushers made two different arrangements? Must have been some sort of misunderstanding."
We agreed that we were both disappointed. I mean, it's not a big deal, but I'm always looking for little ways to spark Mike's faith, and he had been looking forward to this. Bummer, but God works in mysterious ways.
Over dinner and wine, he agreed to accompany the kids and I to a local Marian shrine the next morning, since I had already gotten to Mass. See the God/mysterious ways thing? :)
The next morning dawned with a temperature somewhere in the neighborhood of the surface of the sun. Or at least that's how it *felt*. We don't do heat real well here, and it was HOT. Mike gamely let Henry lead him to the dome of the church and the Mary statue up there, while Anne and I ran around in the saint garden area. Anne picked up a bunch of stuff that she favored highly (weeds, sticks, crab apples, Read: CRAP) while I pointed out the various saint statues to her.
By this point, about 10 minutes had elapsed and Mike and I were already melting. We spent a little time in the side chapels of the church (one devoted to Our Lady of Fatima, the other to the Blessed Sacrament) and herded the kids to the religious goods store.
Henry and I have a field day in places like this. It doesn't matter what we buy, we always spend $50. It's sort of like when you take your car to the mechanic. You're not getting out of there without forking over what you paid for a month's rent in college.
At any rate, this trip yielded:
1 St. Patrick saint statue for Henry's collection,
2 holy medal bookmarks for me, one of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, the other of St. Therese of Lisieux,
1 St. Michael/St. Christopher visor clip for Mike's car, since his original one just broke, and
1 awesome book for the next installment of the Catholic Book Club, title to be unveiled soon! Let's just say that the spirit of the weekend led me over to the "religious life" section, and really good things happened.
Though hot, it was a lovely outing. And I'm ridiculously excited about those bookmarks.
In my excitement to start my new book, I finished Mother Hart's The Ear of the Heart, so you'll see the review up by the end of the week. :)
I hope that you all had a great July weekend!