Sunday, February 2, 2014

A restful day

I thought I might get to sleep early last night as the parish had a stressful day of having the last mass at Sweifieh Church. I thought an early to bed night was in order, but I slept so very well.

I treated myself as a brand new day with a coffee at Cafe Strada, the finest coffee house in Jordan, and it is terrific that it is right around the corner from the church where I say morning mass. The coffee was so good and I gave myself half an hour to simply enjoy relaxation.

When I arrived to church, a woman said she saw me walking around the city. Most people don't do it for leisure.

Morning mass was very good. This church's liturgy is well organized and enjoyable. I also like that people are really opening up to me about their lives. The walls that were once there are no coming down quickly and people are turning to me for all sorts of needs or simply to tell me the woes of their lives. It is an honor.

A woman after mass thanked me. She said her heart was aflutter and that she received chills throughout her body.

A kindly man then approached me and he began speaking to me in Arabic sign-language - way over my head. I got him connected with people who could converse with him. I wish I knew what he was saying, but he was very patient with loving eyes. His two sons were very patient with their dad. My heart went out for him. All I could do was to give him a bouquet of flowers.

After Mass I went to the Pork Shop to look around and I bought some sandwich ham and two packages of bacon. Those will be treats to have. I then popped into the art supply store to resupply my paints and I impulsively bought an easel so I can paint in my office. I just cleaned my office so there seems to be some room to clutter it up again.

I then noticed a business card in my car from one of my parishioners. He is from an educated, wealthy Jordanian family and I stopped over to see his business. His eyes sparkled from the moment I arrived to the second I left. He seemed delighted to have me there. I'm just different from native priests and he was able to see that I was just there to simply visit him. I had no agenda. He was a hoot as he told me his life story and he remarked on his character. We laughed. It was a pleasurable visit.

I then was going to head to a music store to see if there were any instruments I could buy for the women's shelter, but as it started raining, I decided to head home because people drive poorly here in the rain. They drive poor on any day, but it becomes worse in the rain. It was awful. I just don't understand the attitude of the drivers. I also do not want to understand it.

When I came home, I cleared out the refrigerator and cut up some vegetables for soups and salads. I prepared the fixings for a chicken, cheese, broccoli, roasted onion and garlic, and corn frittata. Then I made some soup.

On my way to mass I brought our warm-overs to my widowed barber. He should eat for a week. I think he eats poorly and he likes being thought of each weekend. While he was there, I talked with a Lutheran doctor who was getting his haircut. He said, "I always see you walking around the city." He is a very nice guy.

Once I arrived at the church, a man was waiting to tell me that a 47-year-old woman who ran the silk flowers store across the church died suddenly of heart failure due to excessive smoking. We mentioned her at mass. She would always wave for me as I did my walk around the neighborhood.

Mass was fun. Since it was Candlemas, we blessed the candles and we lit them for the Creed. Two different women came up to me to say thank you. They were visibly moved because the liturgy was richly prayerful for them. It was clear they encountered the Lord.

As I was walking home, I went back to my barber. He is teaching me many Arabic words so we can converse better. I got a haircut and he just seemed so happy.

When I came home, I made some brownies and did two loads of laundry. The dishes are all washed and now it is time to catch up on some liturgy preparation before the week begins. I'm interiorly smiling because of all the goodness I received today.


  1. Reading about your day brought joy to my heart. Blessings to you for being such a blessing to so many. You are now an integral part of the community and it is evident that you are loved deeply.

    1. I thought it was odd that people are able to peg me for a walker. They see me more than I see them.