This fin de semana (weekend) I've been swimming in the depths of God's kingdom. It started on Friday when a colleague from my days as a financial planner called to talk about God. She's been having situations come up in her life that are causing her to ask a lot of questions about christianity and God and we had a wonderfully dense and chewy conversation, especially about how God is different from His followers. Odd point, I know, but I think quite common - consider all the people who reject God because of what they see His followers do or neglect to do (guilt by association!)
That evening (Friday), when we went to mass, everyone was so sad - lots of long hugs and crying - and we found out that the brother of one of the leaders of our Renovacion group was killed in an auto accident only a couple of hours before. The brother's wife also died, and their little girl was taken to the hospital. The siblings and the parents were all there at mass, as well as for our Renovacion (charismatic) service afterward. The renovacion service started with an acknowledgement of the pain we were all feeling, either as relatives of the couple who died, or as friends of the family, and prayers for the families. Then we spent the rest of the time praising God and focusing on His sovereignty and great love for us. At the end, all the family members went up to the front for an extended time of prayer.
On Saturday morning I went on a walk with a friend of mine. We walked and talked about the things of God, and agreed that there's really nothing more satisfying or worthy of conversation than that. So this weekend I was blessed with TWO long conversations focusing on God!
Saturday was also the funeral for the couple that died (down here the funeral is always the day following a death). The church was completely packed. Anibal, (the Renovacion leader and brother of the dead man) and his cousin were lectors, and Anibal wanted me to be the third lector. I was so honored that he specifically asked for me to read the New Testament reading (Romans 6:2-4). Remember that all of this is in spanish! I was so humbled to be chosen over others for whom spanish is their mother tongue, and who are closer to the family than I.
These are the flowers from the funeral mass in front of the door of the business that the couple was connected with.
Sunday when we arrived at church for mass, we discovered that there would be multiple baptisms. So in one weekend we had sorrow, followed by joy, both appropriately addressed with solemnity.
There were probably 15-20 children (plus of course parents and godparents) there to be baptized after mass - just those people took up half the pews! As I was praying before the mass, one of the nuns came up to me and asked if I would be the lector for the first reading! I'm always so blessed when I'm asked to do a reading; it's such a privilege to serve that way.
I generally do some special spiritual reading on Sundays after mass, and today I turned to a little-known book by Louis Tronson, "Examination of Conscience Upon Special Subjects". Father Tronson was a priest in France during the late 1600s and the rector of a seminary there. This is a jewel of a book, although a bit tricky to read since it's one of those old public-domain books that was scanned in the google project and therefore there are occasionally strings of letters that were mis-translated by the electronic reader. But the book is SO worth reading! And it's free! (in electronic form, of course)
For dinner Sunday evening I made lettuce soup (!!!). My DH had WAY too much lettuce in the garden and was discouraged about having it go to waste, so I found a great recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler (although Alice Waters is given credit on the cover, she only wrote the preface).
The description in the book is actually too simple to be called a recipe. Start by sautéing an onion (cut up any way you want) in some butter or oil or whatever type of fat you want. Add 1/2 cup of rice, 8 cups of chicken stock and as much salt as you prefer and cook until the rice is so done that it has become jagged around the edges (like Campbell's soup chicken and rice). Then add the lettuce, cut into thin ribbons. You can add as much as a BIG head of lettuce, or less if you're a bit wary. Let it wilt a little in the warm soup, add pepper (and more salt if you want) or any other seasonings that you like. Because this is Mexico, I added some cayenne & garlic. That's it - easy peasy! The DH really liked it!
Quite a fulfilling weekend. Here's the perfect ending to it:
A typical sunset at our house.
For more weekend stories, hop on over to Wanda's blog, Reinventing Mother, and bless the bloggers whose posts you read by leaving a comment.