Being self employed can get tricky. Creating boundaries in your days becomes particularly challenging, especially when you love what you do!
I have gone through bouts of no work and too much work. Then there are the periods of disorientation because the Good Lord was changing my line of work.
Today being Easter Monday, I wondered out loud,
“Do I work? Do I take the day off? What’s the right thing to do?”
The floral centerpiece was still on the table reminding me of our Easter Sunday celebration. There is cake left over in the fridge and the chocolate bunnies have now retired to a less prominent place in our home. The question lingered, “Do I get back to work, or do I continue to celebrate?”
After I finished reading today’s readings, I felt a sense of excitement, an infusion of joy. I mumbled my concerns out loud, sharing my dilemma with my husband. He’s self employed too, he was back at his desk, back at it – saying, “For the most part, everyone is back at work today, it’s time to get back to work.”
But something deep inside of me, was pulling me into another realm. I decided to call the Archdiocese of Toronto and see if they were answering their telephone lines. Were they working in the vineyard? Or were they taking the day off? To my delight, when I called, their offices were closed! There was my cue!
I decided that like most days, I would head off to Sts. Peter and Paul Church for the 12:10pm daily mass. When I got there I was brought to a spiritual low. The regular daily mass was cancelled, in lew of an early mass. I was determined to bolster the grace I had been given to celebrate Easter Monday. I thought to myself, I will go to Eucharistic Adoration in place of mass. A marvelous consolation!
After pondering which Eucharistic Chapel I should go to, (the chairs at St. Clements Perpetual Chapel are so very comfortable but I was so much closer to St. Maximillian Kolbe) I decided upon St. Maximillian Kolbe parish. As I was driving up to the church, I noticed the parking lot was half full, my heart began to simmer with a holy anticipation,
Is it possible that I would catch mass here?
By the time I had entered the church, it was basically empty. The lights were dimmed. I took a look at the church bulletin, I couldn’t believe my eyes, there was another mass starting in just a half an hour.
I found the spot my mom used to sit in, whenever she attended this church.
I adored Christ, I started to pray the rosary in thanksgiving for the gift of the Catholic faith, the gift of two devout Catholic parents, the gift of the Polish church in Canada, the gift of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate which have ministered to me personally for well over 50 years. My heart was filled with so much gratitude, so much hope, so much joy. I sat in this church and prayed, as I prayed, slowly parishioners started to assemble for mass.
I cannot even begin to describe the spiritual delights:
a beautiful robust joyful nun, lead a choir of at least 50 young children in charismatic songs before mass started, twelve altar boys walked down the aisle in the procession before mass began, Father Marian Gill OMI, the Provincial, was a guest today!
It was significant to me personally that he was going to be celebrating mass.
My mom, used to listen to Father Gill daily on Radio Maria.
It felt like Father Gil had written the homily for me personally. I was just stunned. To think I wondered if I should celebrate Easter Monday! I was reminded of my mom, who always lamented that in our Canadian culture, we did not bask in the graces the day after Easter Sunday, the day after Christmas. Instead we just rushed back to our routines, we just rushed back to work. My mom’s words finally landed. They finally hit home. We are robbing ourselves of graces when we do not celebrate Easter Monday!
At the closing of the mass, I was also reminded of the fun Polish tradition, the celebration of Smygus Dyngus, which includes the tradition of dousing others with water! Father Gil mentioned that if you heard funny noises on the church roof – it was probably one of the other priests getting ready to douse parishioners as we leave the church!
Low and behold, when I left the church, there really was a priest on the roof, dousing us with water. There was so much laughter, so much joy from the congregation as we all left the church.
When I got home, I was filled with such supernatural joy, such gladness, I was so grateful that the Holy Spirit carried me from the musings in my heart which had me wondering whether I should celebrate Easter Monday, through to the beautiful celebration at St. Maximilian Kolbe Church.
As I recounted my morning, to my son, who was all ears, a red cardinal landed in my backyard. A red cardinal appeared in our backyard, every day for 30 days to me personally, after my mom had passed away. I know she has something to do with this day and how the events unfolded.
To think I even wondered whether or not I should celebrate Easter Monday! Do you know that there must have been over 2,000 people at mass today? There was standing room only! The church was filled to the brim!
How could I doubt – that which my mother taught me?
Thank you Lord for giving me the grace and courage to celebrate Easter Monday.
I realized I am not alone in my convictions! Today the Holy Spirit took me on a journey – I was alone, without my children, without my husband. A sobering reminder that He has a spiritual plan for each and everyone of us, sometimes in the community of our families, sometimes we experience these things alone. While I would have loved to have had this experience with my family, it was given to me and me alone. Thank you Lord for reminding me, that you have a day carved out especially for me when I listen to your holy Word.
Dorothy Pilarski is the founder of Dynamic Women of Faith, author, Catholic radio host, motivational speaker, blogger, guest columnist with the Catholic Register and a facilitator on Salt + Light TV. www.dorothypilarski.com