When in Rome I stayed at Collegio Sacerdotal Giovanni Paolo II, (housing for priest from all over the world who come to Rome to get higher education). My friends from Rome whom I met working with the poor in Malinalco Mexico, (Oreste and Adriana Restaino) paid for myself and Fr. Carney to stay here. Every August they spend nine days in Mexico building houses and helping people get the sacraments they need. They belong to the lay part of the Legionaries of Christ (Regnum Christi). .
Adriana told me that laundry was included in the price. But I had no marking on my clothes so I just gave them my cassock and pants to wash. The rest I washed everyday by hand. The day before I returned to California, I went and got my clothes. Right next to my cassock was a pair of black pants. I assumed that they were mine. When I got back here to Phoenix and tried them on, they were large around the waist. I had by mistaken taken another priest’s pants.
It took me a while to get the address to mail them back. So today I went to mail them at the Post Office. While in line I had to look at women who had all sorts of immodest clothing. Since it is so hot here in Phoenix, women really dress without much clothes. There also was a very young mexican man who had a tattoo behind his ear of a cross and tears which before was tattooed under an eye to show you had been in jail. Another young man with him was looking at a poster about mail theft. They noticed me watching them and they moved away from that poster to one about cool car stamps.
I opened the door for an immodest woman and said good afternoon. I said hi to several people, trying my best to be kind to all these strangers. While waiting in the long line I prayed the Rosary. (I want to encourage all of you reading this to always carry your rosary on your person and take it out when you are waiting in line). When praying the Rosary I never feel like it takes a long time to get through the line and I feel I am using my life well.
After this experience, where I feel like “a duck out of water”, or a foreigner in a strange land, I started to drive out of the P.O.’s parking lot. Just then I notice a Suburban with the double hearts (Jesus and Mary’s Hearts) on it. Immediately I felt the huge contrast of “being in the world but not of the world”. I had no idea who’s Suburban it was, but I decided to stop my car and connect with people from my planet. It was such a shock to see this in the parking lot.
When I approached the Suburban, to my surprise it was a very kind mother of six, (expecting the 7th) whom I was blessed to meet when I was here in May. They only go to the Society of Pius the X church because they have a solid catholic grammar school. There oldest girl goes to an independent dominican girls school back east and loves being in that school and is being taught catholic truth with out all the other non-truths mixed in.
While I was visiting with the mother, the children, ages (I will guess) 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, & 15 were so well behaved and attentive while we talked. The mother is full of joy even though she has the huge job of taking care of all these kids. God bless all you wonderful mothers that have all the children God sends you. I know it is a great sacrifice, but it will pay off in the long run and even into eternity.
An example is this: On 4th of July I went to visit friends. A mother of 5 also came who needed to talk with me. Her mother has a serious case of Alzheimer’s. My friend was crying to me about how she is having such a difficult time helping her dad and mom in this horrible situation. I asked her how many brothers and sisters she had. She said she was the only one and that is why it is so so hard on her.
May we please get it in our heads, God is more loving and intelligent than we could ever imagine and knows what He is doing. The greatest material gift we can ever receive from God is a child. And the more gifts the better. It’s like saying I am satisfied with $20,000 when you could receive another billion dollars.
Back to the mother and kids in the Post Office parking lot. I am sure many of you can identify with me how you feel so out of sync with the way the world acts, prays, dressed, shops and speaks. (You probably feel that way with mosts catholics too).
We are seen as extreme, scrupulous, old fashion, out of touch, prudish, and some time even talked about as mentally ill. But we do know what God wants and Mary wants.
I read a great book on the correlation of mental illness and correct catholic morals written by a FSSP priest. In it, he explains that to do anything immoral, causes mental illness because we are tricking our conscience into doing something it knows is wrong, just because we want to. And this causes mental illness. When the subconscious has two conflicting truths, it copes by becoming ill. The priest also said that in Hell everyone is mentally ill and their mental illness even gets worse for all eternity. Better to be called mentally ill here for Jesus and His church and for what is right, than to actually become mentally ill, especially for all eternity in hell.
Anyway it is such a joy to be with wholesome catholic families. It is a terrible tragedy that these families have to seek good schools for their kids out side of the church. May the Holy Spirt lead the church back to holy catholic schools that only teach the catholic faith. One comment I received on this blog was from Modesto California, where a dad sat in on a catholic elementary school’s religion class and had to listen to false catholic teachings from the teacher.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.