For a while now, my husband and I have for several reasons been thinking about leaving the parish which we have been a part of for 13 years and moving to a parish in Memphis. We agreed to pray about it during Lent, and although we had originally planned to wait until after Easter to make the decision, we changed our minds on Ash Wednesday, and started going to the new church the next Sunday.
We love it there. The church is beautiful. The liturgy is beautiful. The pastor is great. We have some friends there, and we have been able to attend a very good class on Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching, about which I have posted a couple of times, before Mass.
The church is also the national shrine of St. Martin de Porres. Anyone who has read this blog for very long knows that I have a great love for and devotion to St. Martin. It has been a blessing to be able to pray in this chapel before or after Mass most weeks.
Still, I have been a bit concerned whether this was the right decision. We love our friends in our old parish and we miss them. I wonder sometimes if there is still something we could contribute there. I worry that we are taking the easy way out. My husband, though, doesn't have the slightest doubt, and I figure this is my usual scrupulosity in action, so we plan to stay at the new parish.
In the new parish, there is a rectangular space that has in the past contained a brass crucifix over the altar (that crucifix wasn't originally there and there is a large marble crucifix higher over the altar) and they had recently decided to change the crucifix for other things periodically during this year which is the 175th anniversary of the church. This morning, we walked in and found this.
You may not recognize that picture, but it's a detail from this.
I wanted to write something about the Feast of the Divine Mercy today, but I wondered what I could possibly write that everybody else hadn't already written, and wasn't writing again today. Then, when I walked into church this morning and saw Giotto's risen Christ looking at me from the altar, it seemed as if the mercy of Christ was granted to me in a very personal way. It was as if He was issuing me an invitation to stay in that parish.
Jesus told St. Faustina to have the phrase, "Jesus, I trust in you," at the bottom of the Divine Mercy painting. I think about this often because I wonder if that message does not get lost sometimes. We pray the novena, and the chaplet. We might take part in a special celebration on the feast day. But maybe we forget that the main message of Jesus to St. Faustina was that He was looking for people who would accept all the graces that He suffered to win for us, and that He wants us trust Him with everything--even the smallest things.