Monday, June 22, 2015

When the Saints Decide to Pop Up in our Adventure

Happy feast of Sts. Thomas More and John Fisher!

Today, we applied for an apartment, so we're hoping and praying that in a few days we get a "you're approved, come sign a lease" phone conversation! Jacob and I are extremely happy and relieved that we found a good, safe, affordable apartment to apply for. There were two final contenders, but as we thought and prayed about it, we both were feeling that this was the place. 

For me, the feeling that "this is it!" wouldn't go away because of the saints. 

I believe it was last Friday that we first attended morning Mass at St. Francis parish. Thanks to Mlada, from Truckin' for the Lord, I knew that the church & grounds would be beautiful. An old lady who was walking towards the church took us to the daily Mass chapel, and we knelt down and prayed. I looked at the tabernacle (which was in the right corner of the front), and then closed my eyes. And when I opened my eyes, I received an incredible, heavenly, epic shock:

Here's a more zoomed-in image, so you can see what I mean (sorry for the blurriness!):

Meet St. Maron, a third-century hermit, founder of the Maronite Catholics, and overall epic person. I have a hugely tremendous love for Eastern Catholicism, especially for the Maronite Church. I used to attend a Maronite church occasionally with my family (when we lived in Oregon). I wrote a research paper on Maronites for one of my last college classes. I love talking with Eastern Rite Catholics and learning about the rich Eastern heritage of the Church. My friends, never--NEVER--in my life have I seen a stained glass window of St. Maron. I've seen pictures of St. Charbel (another famous Maronite saint, and heavenly friend to my family), and when I've researched, I've found a couple images of St. Maron. But you don't just walk into a Latin Rite Catholic Church and see a stained glass window of the guy! With the stained glass window of St. Maron staring at me for all of Mass, I was trying not to freak out. God wants us here. St. Maron wants us here. God will make a way, because this just has to be. After Mass, we venerated a relic of the Blessed Virgin Mary (that just happened to be on the wall next to us, no big deal or anything), and I continued to excitedly freak out. But, I tried to remind myself, so far, the most promising apartments we had visited were down in Norman, about 30 minutes away from Oklahoma City. So, we might be able to visit this epic parish occasionally, but probably not on a regular basis.

For the rest of the day, we visited apartment buildings, called places on the phone, and found yet another promising complex--fifteen minutes down the road from the parish we had visited that morning. Well, I was trying very hard to be fully objective and not let an awesome saint-experience answer the question of where to live. But...I really felt that the saints (specifically St. Maron and the Blessed Virgin. And St. Francis, my beloved patron, who is the patron of the parish) were pulling us to be with them in Oklahoma City. On Sunday, we attended Mass at this parish, and I continued to fall in love with the place. Stained glass windows depicting the life of St. Francis. A super enthusiastic priest. Relics of Sts. Francis, Clare, and Maria Goretti (she's another one of our favorites!). A statue of St. Therese. 
As we drove away, I told my husband: "Those relics were of some of our favorites! I just really feel that the saints are showing us that we need to be at this parish!!!" 
To which my husband wryly responded, "I think you would say that no matter which saints' relics were there." J
This is now my favorite gas station
& convenience store in OKC--
they have a self-serve frozen yogurt bar
inside the store!!!!! It was
quite delicious 
For the rest of the weekend, as we relaxed, hung out with people (the friends that we're staying with had a huge family get-together), talked, and thought through things. Finally, we made our decision. Today, we drove out to the apartment complex in OKC, filled out an application, ate free candy (because they had a big bowl at the front desk), ate at Pho Thai Nguyen (super delicious! I got Hunan with shrimp and Jacob got a seafood soup that had lots of crazy ingredients). We're now waiting on God's affirmation that this housing choice was a correct decision (or else He's better be clear about what else to do!) Whatever happens, I am SO full of joy for the presence of God's grace and the saints in this whole journey! 


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