Thursday, April 01, 2010

Companions on the Journey

Three years ago, when I started going to the Catholic Underground, I would drive an hour to the cathedral in Philadelphia on the second Saturday of every month...all by myself.

It was a long, lonely journey, especially on the ride home on the dangerous Schuylkil Expressway around Midnight.  I was the only girl who traveled from that far-away county called Lancaster, and so my eyes would search painstakingly for my dear friend Melanie, who was, perhaps, the only person I knew.

My heart ached for the companionship of authentic Catholics, and this is why I drove the distance.  Though I could speak to none of them for they knew me not, their presence was real to me, just as was His Presence up on the altar, during our Holy Hour.  Just being among them gave me hope, as I began to see that there were other young adult Catholics who lived and breathed their faith.

Slowly, in time, God answered my prayers.  Melanie introduced me to others who, in turn, introduced me to more.  Today, God has blessed me with the fellowship of many good Catholic friends now, all of whom I have leaned on for various reasons and at different times of my life for strength, support, and guidance.

Even the littlest among them (by this, I mean, someone with whom I come into contact infrequently) inspires me greatly by his or her sheer existence.  Even if it is only a Facebook page which separates us, I see into their lives...and am inspired by them.

Thankfully, I no longer drive to the Catholic Underground by myself.  I now have so many companions on the journey (both on the Schuylkil Expressway and on the metaphorical Life one) that I know I can never be alone.

There's so many of us that neither a single car nor van can haul us all.  Instead, a carpool of craziness commences, as a few dozen text messages are exchanged to coordinate our unified departure and perfectly-timed arrival with carpools from other areas.

Thank you, God, for these friends.