We recently received some very bad news in our parish: our beloved Father Rafael is being transferred away from us to St. Mary's in Rome, effective July 1, 2016.
At the time I heard this, I became quite depressed--as did everyone else I knew at OLPH--however, as I wrote to Father Rafael at the time, "You know far better than I, that ultimately we must renounce all earthly attachments--including our own will--and cling to God alone. I am trying to be grateful for His will to purify us now, in order to free our hearts to seek only Him--even though the "gift" is very painful. Maybe that comforts you too..."
Trying to see this event from the perspective of eternity has been hard, but God has made me understand very deeply, that this is the right way to look at it. The truth is, that I have been emotionally attached to Father Rafael for a long time, and it has distracted me from total devotion to Jesus.
It is not a profane attachment, nothing like a "crush" or anything like that: but from the time I met him, I was strongly drawn to him because I saw immediately that he has the same all-consuming passion for God that I have--and so I saw him as a "fellow traveller" on the road to holiness, which made me want to know him better. I don't meet people like that, and I wanted to be his friend. He did not allow that, and I understand why he cannot--but that only made my attachment stronger, because I wanted to overcome his resistance!
I had planned to ask Father Rafael last night during the Holy Hour, if he would mind if I kept him as my confessor for awhile, until I got to know the new priest (Father Mario) and became comfortable with him. However, the opportunity to talk with him did not occur, and now I know why: last night in prayer, I saw that this was really only another way I had devised of resisting God and maintaining the attachment, instead of letting go as He wants me to do.
Painful and difficult as it is, He is giving me an opportunity to turn completely to Him... to free my heart to belong only to Him. So, I know now what I must do, and I am determined to do it. Thank You, Lord, for showing me so clearly that Your way is the only way, and that if I truly love You as I say I do, I will obey You in all things no matter what the cost. +