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Movin' On Up

Looks like New York City is now home to at least 2 more Catholics. Surprisingly, the apartment I moved to is actually bigger than my last place. The good news with this move is that I may be able to blog more often because my 3-4 hour per day commute has pretty much disappeared. I can now roll out of bed and walk to the lab as opposed to roll out of bed, walk to car, drive car to parking lot, walk from parking lot to train station, take train to NYC, take subway uptown, and then walk to lab. Needless to say, the long lab days have gotten that much more bearable. Did I mention that there's a gym downstairs and laundry room a few doors down? One word for you: HUZZAH!

Naturally, I had a rough time trying to find a suitable and affordable place in NYC for years, meeting road
block after road block. In hindsight all of these minor misfortunes turned out for the best and as much as I questioned God's plans for me in the meantime, He ultimately  took great care of me. I'm not going to lie, sometimes it is quite hard for me to leave everything up to Him and it is especially hard for me to feel His presence during some difficult situations where it seems like there is no end of road blocks. During these times, I question and complain A LOT. Without fail, each and every time I ultimately get to see how foolish I had been to despair.
Dat Bridge
One of my aunts once told me that my grandfather used to adamantly petition God and question Him until things fell into place. I really hope that all of my questioning and petitioning means that I have inherited his kind of strong faith. Sometimes it feels like I have. Sometimes it feels like God gives me trials before great moments just so that I can better understand that all things come from Him and I should DEPEND on him for all things. Sometimes it is extremely hard for me to have that kind of faith, the kind of faith that allows me to simply depend on Him and simply trust that he will provide for me. I hope this move will help me reach that understanding.

Speaking of understanding, I finally know why I took all those years of Spanish in high school and not French. I can always learn French at leisure, but I am definitely going to need the Spanish to survive in my particular corner of NYC. I am definitely rusty, but seem to know enough to get around and to procure the things I need from the little bodegas that seem to exist on just about every corner. And then there's the churches around here. It is no secret that they cater to their predominantly Spanish-speaking populous. I love that about the Catholic Church...permanent but always in flux with regards to the changing needs of her flock. I stumbled upon a prayer service here the other night as I searched for a church to call home during my time here. It was in Spanish, there was singing, and there was a strong show of faith. Mantillas, rosaries, prayer books, and lots of families with children in tow. This tight little community of Hispanic Catholics reminded me so much of the Portuguese Catholic community I grew up in. I have no shame in admitting that the experience brought tears to my eyes, hearing the women singing their songs of praise, remembering how I used to sit up there in the front pews singing with my mom in the choir. We Portuguese are a very nostalgic people. We cannot help but cry.

Pax Vobiscum

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