In the midst of all of this, God has given me another situation upon which to reflect. Parishioners from my previous assignment contacted me about the death of a loved one, and asked whether I'd celebrate the funeral Mass. Today I went down to their house to meet with the family and talk about the Mass. First of all, it made my "woe is me" mood swings seem insignificant. They're dealing with a situation I wouldn't want to face, and if they can be strong then so can I.
What moved me, above all else, was a photograph they showed me. It was a photo taken of me years ago with one of their sons at an event in Basking Ridge, first Communion, I believe. There it was, all framed, on a tabletop along with other important photos. It blew me away that it they cared enough about me to include me in their "all star photos". I've been away from that parish for half a decade, and they still care enough to keep me on the table!
This made me think of how many people I've affected in my ten years of Priesthood? How many people we interact with at one moment of our lives, and never know the effect we've had? A move to another parish does not mean that I "lose" these people; if anything, I gain more people as I move to a new parish. I think that's what moved me to stop the "woe is me", get off my butt, and start packing.