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20 December, 2008

Our Engagement Story

Eric's account of December 15, 2008:
I arrived at Elizabeth's place of employment, St. Brigid's, at around 3:15 to join her for her Holy Hour of Adoration, where Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, according to Catholic teaching. My plan was to propose at the end of her Holy Hour, or 4 o'clock. I, trying to be sly, made some lame comments about the stain glass to explain my nervousness in looking for a clock, which of course could not be found in the chapel. Then, once again, thinking I was being so tricky, I asked her how she knew when her Holy Hour was over, under the pretense that I had to go back to work at the same time. After fidgeting, with a hole burning in my pocket, and actually trying to pray to Jesus for what seemed like 10 minutes and 3 hours at the same time, I picked up one of Elizabeth's daily reflection books and began reading the reflection for the day. Of course, it had been about 43 minutes since I arrived and by the time the bells chimed to signal 4 pm, I had read but not comprehended the first 2 sentences about 7 times. Elizabeth got up to leave and in my head I calmly asked her to wait as I was almost finished, but in reality I probably lunged at her and pulled her back into the pew mumbling. In an attempt to carry on the charade of reading the reflection I stared at the book and counted to no particular goal until it would seem legitimate that I had read the full page. At this point, I pulled down the kneeler with my right hand (I swear I heard Elizabeth sigh with impatience) and the ring out of my pocket with my left hand, in what Elizabeth described as a ninja move. I quickly stammered out "Will you marry me?" before my vocal chords shutdown at which point Elizabeth in her completes shock started tearing up and of course her vocal chords had shut down, mumbling things like "Are you serious" and "Oh my God". Meanwhile I was waiting patiently and awkwardly wondering if I should accept that as a yes or wait. She finally said "Yes", and then she said it emphatically several more times as I think it was the only thing she could say.
Elizabeth's account of December 15, 2008:
As I made my way to the chapel, my favorite Haitian priest said to me, "Leave your books at home. You pray."  Little did we know, it was my books that would later save Eric from going stir crazy!  The hour started out at usual, a little reading and a little journaling.  A few minutes in, this khaki and green blob plopped itself awfully close to me.  It took me a second to realize that it was Eric playing hookie from work.  I figured he must be having a REALLY boring day at work.  We held hands, as we commonly do when we pray.  As we sat there quietly I thought, "Today would be the perfect day to get engaged" and then my mind started wondering as it often does at moments like these, but the moments had always ended with Eric pulling a tissue or chapstick out of his pocket....not a ring.  Minutes passed like hours and my curiosity of Eric's presence was killing me.  Finally the bells chimed four o'clock and I was just about to bolt out of there when Eric asked me to sit with him while he finished reading.  Of course!  "Why am I always in such a hurry?" I thought.  And the next thing I knew the kneeler went down, he turned around, and there was a diamond awfully close to my face.  I am pretty sure he asked me to marry him, and I must have said "yes" a hundred times over the next hour, because I couldn't remember if I'd said it yet!
Thank you all so much for your prayers during our Engagement -  We are truly blessed!

09 December, 2008

A Moment with St. Faustina

This post was originally posted on my private blog and appeared on Dec 9, 2008

This week the Sister of Reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus have been at Saint Brigid. Sunday they visited the EDGE kids, taught them about the Rosary, and did some Q&A about being nuns. It was precious. Monday night, following the Immaculate Conception Mass, the sisters began our Advent Mission. First of all, I must say that Fr. D's homily was FANTASTIC! Rebecca even remembered his 4 points of how to be holy, like Mary. The Sister Grace (?), gave her own talk on holiness coming from her three vows: poverty, chastity and obedience and how they combat sins of the world, sins of the flesh and sins of the will. In her sweet, fun-loving attitude, she drove home some serious issues that we face in our world today: rocky marriages, cheating, porn, lack of obedience, gluttony, etc etc. 

My encounter began shortly after one of the other sisters stood up and began talking about the relic of St. Faustina that were were going to venerate. She suggested that people bring forward rosaries, bibles, etc to touch the relic, but especially for married people to touch their wedding rings to it. To back up a moment, Sr. Grace reminded everyone, in reference to couples living together before marriage, that it's hard enough - why try it before receiving Sacramental grace? So the line for the veneration of the relic begins, but I remained seated, as I usually find this sort of thing a little hokey. But low and behold the Sisters reminded us about the power of prayer in the Communion of Saints and therefore asked that we come forward with a prayer intention. "But....," she continued, "don't ask for something you don't want". So between the presence of our Lord in the tabernacle, Sister's words, and the sight of seeing so many of my adult friends humbly coming to the alter to touch their rings to the relic....I lost it! At that moment, St. Faustina opened my eyes to the reality that is the intercession of the Communion of Saints. An understanding of my physical sufferings finally came clear and I brought to the foot of the Cross through Sr. Faustina's intercession, a prayer from the bottom of my heart: what is His will for me on this earth? In what state of life am I to work to get to heaven and is Eric the one to be by my side?

While I was having this extremely emotional reaction - Eric whispered in my ear that he would be right back. I was hoping he would come back with a tissue! However he came back and asked me which color green I liked better and laughed because he was going to surprise me with a new rosary but couldn't decide on the color. Knowing how picky I am, he ruined his own surprise and asked me to come pick one out. By this time the veneration of the relic was over. But low and behold the Sisters came running after me and my new lime green rosary and touched the reliquary to the rosary and my saint bracelet (of the 15 pictures on the bracelet, the relic happend to touch the image of the Divine Mercy Jesus, I Trust in You - how cool is God!?!).

God is Good - All the time :)