Monday, May 10, 2010

Little Clare Comes to the Catholic Underground

The last time I went to the Catholic Underground, I could have sworn that was going to be the best night there EVER.

Actually, the last few times I've gone, I've had this thought.  What a blessing that my nights at the cathedral are getting better and better!  I keep thinking that every night there is going to be my favorite.

So, on Saturday night, a bunch of us went there again.  And now THIS night is my current favorite.  :)

Jill volunteered to drive her car this time, with Kevin, Greg, Missy, and me all being boisterous, chatty cargo.  We stopped on the way so that I could get a sandwich, Greg could get some Whoppers candies, and so that Kevin could search the car seats for that last popcorn-flavored Jelly Bean that got away.

When we finally got there, walking into the adoration chapel was especially poignant for me, not only because Jesus was present in our midst, but also because I was received soooo warmly by a dear girl named Clare who was waiting to meet me.

I am certain that my guardian angel shares her same name, for someone once told me that if you ask God to reveal the name of your guardian angel to you, He will.  This I did about 8 years ago, and the name Clare came most vividly into my mind.  Even before I knew her name, I've always had the sense that my Clare was a guardian angel who resembled a young adolescent girl, formed with gentle wisdom yet power-packed with a tireless faith.

But this Clare is a victim soul who has endured quite a lot of suffering in her little body and in her short life.  She is completely blind, and so she sees the world now only through the eyes of faith.  Indeed, she feels the world around her, and so she is exceedingly affectionate and loving.

When my friend Chris whispered to her that "Lisa is here now," she threw her arms around my waist and never let go.

She cried quietly the entire time she held onto me, later explaining that she felt so relieved and so joyful to finally be in my presence.  I have never before been embraced like this, loved so blissfully by someone with such a pure heart.  Clare truly is the embodiment of the Beatitude that says, "Blessed is the pure of heart, for they shall see God."  Clare most definitely has a pure heart full of love, and while she may now see through a mirror darkly, she has the assurance of that which is unseen: the beatific vision of God Himself!

Clare introduced herself to me via Facebook many months ago.  The Holy Spirit brought us together via our mutual friend Anne Mielnik.  Clare took immediately to praying for my life, and she was joyful when I was happy and cried for me when I was sad.  I'm sure it was this blog which helped her to get to know me, and before long, I found myself with the blessing of a tried and true friend.

And then, one day in conversation on the telephone, I stumbled upon the fact that Clare has always felt that the name of her guardian angel was Lisa.  And thus, the two of us feel uniquely tied, brought together, perhaps, by our guardian angels themselves.

She came from New Jersey to meet me, and--by this point--many of my friends were now hers too, since I introduced her to those whom I thought would love her also.  What fun it was for us all to finally meet her!

After the Catholic Underground, a bunch of us walked to our favorite after-place, the Mission Grill, a cool place that has a live DJ on Saturday nights.  Clare clung to my arm, but I did a horrible job leading her; I forgot to tell her about an upcoming curb and she stubbed her toe!  Oh, goodness!  :-(

Once at the Mission Grill, we took a whole room to ourselves -- and we danced like fools.  It was awesome.  Tons of hip-hop!  :)

Eventually, as if people were craving the cheese steak sandwiches I almost served on Friday night (er...well, I mean, Saturday morning), someone suggested we do a Midnight run to the famous Tony Lukes.  So we piled into cars and off we went.

Unlike everybody else, I opted for a breakfast egg sandwich, seizing the opportunity to eat porkroll, something found only in Philadelphia.

On the ride home, Kevin found that yellow Jelly Bean he was searching for -- but it unfortunately turned out to be lemon-flavored!