Thursday, October 18, 2012
What a Coincidence: The Holy Spirit Dwells Among Us
I work about an hour north of my home. One of my dearest teacher friends is about 20 years younger than I. She and her husband just had their first baby. Like me, K. was raised Catholic and, like me, she grew up understanding little of the Catholic faith.
We talk a lot about our faith, about the presence of the Mystery in our lives. Over the past two years, I have encouraged her to go to Mass regularly, to pray the Liturgy of the Hours and to try, as I try (and often fail) to live without preconceptions about people or situations, to be open to Mystery. I kind of think of myself as guiding her toward Christ.
At lunch in the teacher's longue yesterday, K., who also lives about an hour from the school, but west instead of south of here, told me excitedly about the prayer group she just joined at her parish. Members meet at each other's homes.
Just to be able to visualize the group, I asked her about the leader. I learned she is one of nine children, that she and her husband have two daughters of their own, and that she is a teacher. Her mother died four years ago, and her elderly father lives with the family. She recently broke her foot.
"Wait a minute," I said. "I know her." It turns out the group leader is an older sister of my dear friend Jane, a woman to whom I attribute much of my own reversion to faith and who lives in an entirely different part of New Jersey from me, my school or my school friend.
She and her husband Jason are dear family friends; in fact, Jason is our younger son's Godfather. They are our God Family.
So the Mystery, which put this lovely family in front of us to build our faith, helped me lead another friend to Christ and put in front of her my friend's sister.
Coincidence? I think not.