Anxiety and Fear · Catholic · Catholic Faith · CCDTeacher · Comfort Zone · LadyEm · Lent · Mental Health · Sacraments · Self Improvement

Sacrament of Reconciliation ~ Much Needed

Comfort Zone – Post 2

Dear Ones,

I’m making my way back to full-union with the Church. Sigh. It’s a process y’all. And I’m trying to be honest about it, so that others know it is ok and you can always come home.

After the Pandemic, we didn’t have a set Priest here in our MIL Parish. Lack of Confession (Reconciliation) and such created the perfect storm of “why bother?” And “Let’s just stay away.” The new Priest has been here for a year or so – maybe 18 months. I can’t remember. And I sent him an email, literally titled, “Worst Catholic Ever?” I’ll spare you the text, but suffice to say, I set up Confession for my husband and I. Neither of us had been for at least 18 months. In our defense, it’s NOT readily available. And the Parish here has not been well-manned. But – we could have arranged it, so I shall step off that broken record.

We worked to get on his calendar, and it ends up, we confessed our sins on Fat Tuesday. What a great way to kick off the Lenten season. On a related note, we have a Parishioner who has a very sick child, and they will make their way back to the states soon. In the meantime, I have taken over their CCD Class. You see, during confession (here in Italy, a lot of times you are looking at the Priest. It takes some getting used to.), the Priest and I also spoke about my not feeling like I belonged here at this Parish. So many things happened within the Command Chaplaincy, and rude parishioners… that many of us backed off. It’s a strange thing to come from being so active and fairly respected in your home Diocese, to being treated very poorly and disrespected by folks. I’m not the only one this happened to, and it’s in the past… but you now have a little background for when I say “feeling like I didn’t belong”. I mean it was to the point, I was doubting my faith.

So back to Father. He said, “we may need you to teach a CCD Class”. HA – how could I say no! I wouldn’t have anyway… it’s just funny. He’s done so much good for this little Military Parish. Including recruiting a teacher for CCD. I had taken this year off as I was truly unsure if I was going to be able to manage my son being so far away (5018 miles, but who’s counting?!). And my husband and I just thought we needed a break this year. God knew what I needed, and I am excited about the next few months.

I got a little head’s up about extra confession coming up this coming weekend, and I decided that after my class and I met, and chatted through introductions, we’d pick up one of my favorite children’s confession booklet and talk about Examination of Conscience as it pertains to the Ten Commandments. It’s by TAN Books, and it’s called My Confession Book (click on it and it will take you there). First published in 1958! Old school. The kids really enjoyed it. And Father stopped by to talk to them about confession and invite them to partake this weekend. YAY

During our discussion in class, one of the children said when he went to confession it was like a huge weight was lifted and he was floating. Y’all – it’s so true. My head was so chaotic as our life got crazy here in Italy… and being away from Sacraments during the Pandemic and after – it really took its toll. We are already feeling so much better about things here.

It’s now the 3rd week of Lent and we are enjoying being involved and going to Mass/Being in full union again. The first weekend of Lent I was in Assisi with a group of Catholic Women (Yes, I do owe you a post or ten). We have been participating in the meatless Pot Lucks on Friday evenings (I will share my recipes used soon). We will hopefully go to Stations of the Cross this weekend. Sunday I am bowling with children from a local Orphanage here in the Naples Area. I love kiddos, so that will be fun.

Because of anxiety and depression, I had honestly let a lot of things go… and I’m also purposing to be a better and more joyful home-maker, and make the house more pleasant for my husband too. It’s not like I was horrible to him, but I don’t have a full-time job here, and I could do more… so I am. Today, I am baking corn bread, and organizing a few things at home. We also have a guest bed here, and the tech is coming to put it together this evening and then we will officially have a guest room – YAY.

Signing off for today. Tomorrow, I should have a Gospel Reflection going live. I will share it then.

Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Catholic · CCDTeacher · Davis Family

Dear God, Could YOU Repeat That?

Hello Dear Ones,

It’s been three busy weeks since I posted and I will catch up up soon, but suffice to say between traveling to Germany to take Bud to Baseball Camp, getting ready for the first day of school, and Meet The Teachers for CCD, as well as our Italian Rental having issues, I had no mental fortitude for posting, because people – I’m really trying not to complain. You’re welcome.

It’s CCD Season. This year in my class, my husband and teen son are my aides. I have another teen too. I’m so excited. We teach 3rd Grade. So first, I wanted to say, I’m praying for all of you who are CCD Teachers. Pray this prayer with me, as we start our CCD Year.

Stay with me…

Last evening, was day one of the Military Archdiocesan Catechist Training Class where we are learning the methodologies and best practices. And our teacher said these things that stood out to me, last night…

The Church exists to Evangelize. I exist to Evangelize. Catechesis is an essential moment in the process of evangelization. Catechesis is the responsibility of PARENTS first.

Do you ever hear something and think… “could you repeat that?” Not because you don’t believe it, or because you didn’t hear it, but because it SO resonates with you, you really want to hear it all again so you don’t miss anything. The Holy Spirit was in that classroom with us last night. It was awesome. And I want to tell you that this is my 10th year of teaching CCD and I am good at teaching children about our Faith. Not to pat myself on the back, it’s all God – in the form of the Holy Spirit! But this class is awesome and is encouraging me to dig deeper. So thankful.

But last night, more than ever before, I REALLY grasped, the importance of the task at hand in the world today for Catechists. Naples is Different y’all. And the Military Families here – so many are great, but their passion about and obligation to the faith seems to take a backseat to their desires to travel Europe, and for their children to participate in sports, etc. And it’s HARD to understand the WHY’s given the very passionately Catholic Diocese I came from. It’s hard because the world is politically correct and we are fearful of saying anything to parents. Souls are involved here, and it’s a serious business.

And yet, the humble reminder every day to Evangelize and meet people where they are… I can’t think of a better way to give back to Our Blessed Father and His Church than to teach CCD (for me). And I’m so thankful for all the children I have taught over the past ten years. In fact, last year, I met with the Priest here in Naples, it was about my son’s confirmation, and I had NO PLANS to teach CCD because I wanted to sit out a year. However, he said “we need you” and I said YES! It is a small FIAT, but there is such a GRACE in saying yes. That is the best decision I made because the children are everything!

I’m going to share with you a couple passages from this week and circle back to the title of this post, I promise. Let’s talk about Sunday’s Gospel Passage, Luke 14:1, 7-14. In this passage, God reminds us to be humble and not assume we are the most important or highest on a perceived rung. Right? Jesus instructs the host of the dinner, where he is sharing this Parable about Humility, not to invite friends and family so they might extend him an invite (in other words, don’t try to impress people so you will be good enough to be invited to their homes), instead invite the poor, crippled, lame, blind, etc… and be blessed by their inability to repay you.

Another reading that stood out for me this week, is 1 John 4:10-11. This was from today’s readings, that I read yesterday – because I thought it was the 4th all day (just being honest). The passage reads:

In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we must also love one-another.

You know this. And if you don’t – I’ll repeat it. Because I love you – you beautifully and wonderfully made, child of GOD! Amen!

Give your gifts freely and lovingly, not expecting anything in return. Do it because you serve our God – who loves you and taught YOU to love others as He loves you. We are called to love and evangelize – IN Jesus’ Holy Name!

I’ve rambled enough.
Praying for you all! 
And if you want me to pray specifically for an intention, leave me a comment. 
Love, Hugs & Blessings,

Lady Em