So I ended up at 59th and Columbus in mid-town Manhattan, at St. Paul the Apostle Church, the mother church of the Paulist Fathers. It seemed fitting. I spent some time in prayer there, in the tranquil quiet, away from the traffic and noise outside.
A little earlier my friend Paolo called from Italy. It is the feast of St. Rita today, the patron of "mirabilia", miraculous cures. Apparently, the custom is to have a rose blessed for one's intention. He'd gone to Mass at the Cathedral and had a rose blessed for my father. It was a very touching message to receive, greatly appreciated, especially today.
Yesterday was such an emotional day, saying farewell to home. In between Masses, while praying Lauds, I found myself pointing accusingly at the Blessed Sacrament: "This is your fault!" :) In a way, the flight cancellation and the extra day was great -- spent the day at the lake with friends and visited several others. There was a small dinner organized for John and Marie, also pillars of the community, who too are moving away very soon. That was just wonderful -- a deep sense of gratitude for the time we've had together, and a sense of just what a great thing we've had the privilege of being a part of. John said that he'd found himself coming back to this passage in Luke, where Jesus asks his disciples to put out into the deep. It resonated with him.
As it does for me.
And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; [Luke 5:4-9, RSV]In prayer in the lovely church dedicated to St. Paul, I had this sense of deep peace, of things moving in God's time, according to His plan, in His own way.
Duc in altum. Put out into the deep. Amen.