March 30, 2008

Cathy the Coward

Remember this post from the other day wherein I spoke about being all courageous and going to the troubled parish of St. Stephen today?

Well, I went, I looked and I left. Not because of anything that happened inside the church. I did not even go inside. I drove by and there were about 20 guys outside the homeless shelter next door standing outside right by the driveway to the parking lot. They were craning their heads and looking at me in the car in a very obvious way. I did not see anybody else around outside nor that many cars in the lot. I was alone and I did not feel safe getting out of the car and walking past that particular group of men. My sense of danger was tingling.

I used to live in some tough neighborhoods alone and it's very rare for me to feel uncomfortable and scared by groups of guys standing around but something was off.

Anyway, I'm back home getting ready to go to Confession and Mass and finish the rest of this, somewhat dismal for me, day of Divine Mercy.

I feel like such a coward right now and I'm literally in tears. Rather than hold fast like St. Stephen himself, I'm still pre-Resurrection St. Peter, running away.

I'd like to go back sometime but I've decided it won't be alone.

Please pray for me and the people of St. Stephen's parish.


Blogger Maria Neva said...

After working the night shift in the ER at Abbott-Northwestern for a couple of years, I can understand your hesitation. God wants us to be steadfast, and willing to be martyred (white or red) for true principles, but He also wants us to use reason prudently. In your case, you were afraid not because of the reception you might find inside the church, but from outside - I'd say that was more likely your guardian angel holding you back than you giving in to fear about whether or not you would be liked inside or be able to deal with that parish's behavior or attitude towards Christ in the Eucharist.

In any case, Fr. Joseph Williams, as I understand, is actually beginning around April 9th. Not today.

A few of us are going to go to that weekend's 11am Mass, if you'd like to join us.

Buona festa della Divina Misericordia!

March 30, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Tom in Vegas said...

Most definitely will pray.

Don't do anything stupid.

March 30, 2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Don't feel bad, Cathy.

They probably thought you were the person bringing breakfast for them.

I could not count the number of times that I have not gone/entered/joined someplace because of a casual clue that terrified me.

I was considering going to St Stephen's next Sunday. We could watch each other's backs. Care to join me? Jerry will be there!

It's probably best to let Father Williams get a few Masses under his belt, anyhow, so that the grapevine can inform the skeptical.

March 30, 2008 1:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...


I just read mgibson's post that Father Williams won't start til the 9th.

So maybe the 13th or the 20th would be better days.

March 30, 2008 1:18 PM  
Blogger Rita said...

I don't buy into the "coward" thing. You are no coward, but you are a "Fool for Christ" and that is what we are all asked to be.

You are loved very much for it, you have a lot of bravery.


March 30, 2008 2:54 PM  
Blogger X said...

At least you didn't correct your priest, who for the first time in his 5 1/2 years at your parish, mentioned the Divine Mercy in his homily and did a wonderful job of it. Except he said St. Faustina was a 13th century mystic. So I corrected him after Mass. UGH. I should have told him another time.

March 30, 2008 3:12 PM  
Blogger ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Cathy, there is a GROSS differece between courage an d fool-hardiness. I think you exercised the virtue of prudence in evaluating the situation, and determined the possibilty of harm to your person, and doing what was neccessary. There would have been no benefit to be gained if you had put yourself at risk, and this last determination is what makes all the difference.

March 30, 2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Angela,

Your priest probably knew that but misspoke. I bet he inwardly was glad someone was paying attention to the homily to catch that mistake.

March 30, 2008 6:08 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks all!

Angela: I think that's a huge step forward for your Father. Must be your influence. :-)

veritatis: I will try again with others but I'm not sure I'll be able to go in April or not. Keep me posted if you go.

March 30, 2008 6:48 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

Cathy -- I'll be seconding everyone who mentioned prudence. It is a virtue, after all.

When I was living right by Loring Park in Mpls, I didn't exercise prudence and it got me mugged - big time. Lucky to be here!! Always listen to your intuition.

March 30, 2008 8:13 PM  
Blogger X said...

Bro. Ajk,
Thank you. I needed that.
Signed, Angie.

March 30, 2008 8:22 PM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...


Not cowardice--prudence!

Going to St. Stephens ore not wasn't turning your back on the faith, but getting assaulted by a gang of guys isn't a good thing--not in those circumstances.

Your gaurdian Angel just pulled you back, is all.

March 30, 2008 10:53 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Yeah, Cath! Intuition is a God-given thing which should be respected!

I really, really think, just by reading your story, that there was a serious reason you felt the urge to keep going.

Believe me, I live in a craphole 'hood and there's a guy near my church we call "Icepick Willie" because he pulled an icepick on a priest not long ago so it's not like I'm some skittish suburban soccer mom who's afraid of homeless people, (no offense, 'burb soccer moms - I wish I was one of you - maybe one day) but when my GA tells me something, I LISTEN!

Thank you, Cathy's Guardian Angel!

March 31, 2008 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy, what everyone has said here is true. That tingling feeling...I know it well. And I've learned to listen to it. Because every time I've ignored that feeling, I got into trouble.

And maybe it wasn't about the gang of guys...maybe there was another reason your Guardian Angel was telling you not to go. For example...because it was the wrong day. AND maybe there would have been other dangers you could not possibly have known.

But it's frustrating, of course. Just keep things in perspective and next time, go with someone (like Ray) and all will be well. :-)

March 31, 2008 7:41 AM  
Blogger ArchAngel's Advocate said...

Cathy, did your guardian angel use one of these? Mine is now selling them on eBay...

March 31, 2008 8:50 AM  
Blogger Banshee said...

"Be wise as serpents" is also in the NT. :)

March 31, 2008 11:42 AM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks everyone. You are all just terrific and such a blessing to me.

March 31, 2008 5:01 PM  

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