Monday, May 10, 2010

The Neophyte

 "Preach the Gospel at all times.  Use words if necessary" - Inspired by the teachings of St. Francis of Assisi

When I met my cousin, Emily Everett, for the first time, It was at her grandfather's Memorial Service that we celebrated at the "Casa" in Arizona.  Emily and her brother, Matthew, led some prayers during the service and there oratory skills shined brightly.  Young Emily had seen me before, although she did not recognize me until her mother, Debbie, told her I am the one from the "naked cave man" video.

Father Alanso de Blas, a family member by marriage (his sister is part of the "I'm married to a Mulligan club") was quietly preparing for the service when he heard this rumble...a sign that the clan was reuniting.  It was like the 7.2 earthquake we had in southern California on Easter, only louder and it lasted much longer.

Father Alanso used his God-given powers to hush the crowd so that the service could begin.  Appearing in his Franciscan robe, he reminded me of Obi-wan Kenobe from Star Wars. No light saber needed.  He calmed the crowd and then fed them with words of wisdom that come from years of service representing the Almighty One.

The three children participated in the service ensuring that 2nd quarter profits for Kleenex would exceed expectations.

Saying good-bye to my relatives and to the Casa was difficult.  It was a day that I will treasure always.  What an honor to be asked to link this blog to this special man.  Watch out, the Red Sox fans are about to crash the party.  They are about to see just how crazy your relatives are, Debbie.

Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, it did.  I was celebrating Mother's Day with my mother at her home and asked her what she would like to do.  Before I could do that, I had to wait for her to return from her hour long walk that she starts at 6:00 am every day.  She wanted a return visit to the Casa for Mass.

This service was the icing on the cake.  I will share some of the message in a later blog.  At the end of the service, a young neophyte to the church got up and shared her testimony.  Too bad all the Kleenex was used up at the Memorial Service, because is was needed as this woman spoke about her journey.  As I listened, I thought I was looking at a female version of myself.  At the end of her talk, she told everyone this was the first time she was celebrating Mother's Day...she had been adopted by the woman who led her to Jesus and to the community of believers at this special place, a spiritual oasis in the heart of the desert.

At the end of the service, I asked my mother if we could take a couple of moments to thank the young lady for her brave testimony.  This is what our journey on earth is all about, sharing the Good News.  Our words are important, but our actions are what spread the Good News the best.

If you are in the Phoenix area, pay Father Alonso a visit at the Casa and tell the Franciscan "Obi-wan" that the naked cave man sent you.  He will make sure that you learn how to use "the force" inside of you to serve in God's Empire.

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