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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Discernment Advice Needed

Here's the situation: I have a friend who is hoping to attend a wedding in Mexico. She really needs a travel companion, and what's cool about this is that the flight is into Mexico City...and the wedding is in PUEBLA when I spent the best 3 months of my life.

She's going to my hometown!

The price of the ticket isn't bad, just over $400, which is typical for Mexico City which has mainly business travel. She so wants to go that she is willing to pay my way.

I don't feel good about that; she's paying for the same things I am, including school. But to her, it's more important to be there, she's willing to make the sacrifice. I'm just not willing to accept that sacrifice on her part so would fully intend to pay my own way.

And it sounds like we wouldn't have to worry about hotel or anything so the expenses would be mainly travel in this case.

But then there's the passport; For around $120, I can renew my passport with a rush...which, as the trip is out about 1 month, well, a rush would be required.

I have not kept my passport updated as international travel is not a priority in my life, there have been no opportunities I could afford, so I just never went to the expense.

Now there is a possibility, and a decision must be made soon. If I'm going to get the passport update, it will have to be tomorrow.

Whether I go on the trip or not, it seems like a good idea to update the passport at this point, because one never knows. But if I'm not going to go to Mexico, is the expense justified?

And to be fair, there's another reason I want to go to Mexico again (besides the fact that it's my second home on earth): When I was there before, I was not living my faith, even though Puebla is the "City of Angels". I was in countless churches and cathedrals, and the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe...but never attended Mass. Not once.

The wedding is to take place in a Cathedral in which I have been several times as a non-Mass goer, and it is a building built by angels. Truly.

Going in early December is a way to revisit this very special place, in a very special manner, going home, and making it more "home". I'm also hoping to be able to make a real pilgrimage to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, now that I'm a real live practicing Catholic, and have been able to recognize her intercession over the years. I've twice been to Mexico via Mexico City, have been to the Basilica twice...and yet it's never been "real". Hard to explain. But I've always regretted that I was not disposed for the graces that could have been available.

If I weren't in grad school, I'd just go. Period. But given the expense of grad school and my blegging, given the extra expense of having to renew the passport, given the possible expense of having to find someone to watch my dog,'s not prudent.

Or does the possiblity of a true spiritual pilgrimage, with another practicing and faithful Catholic, justify an expense such as this?

I know I must pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe, and as of now, I'm leaning towards just paying to renew my passport...and offering it to God to do with that as He wills.

Can anyone offer any advice or prayers? I can't guarantee that there will be a pilgrimage to the Basilica, although just the return to Puebla with opened eyes is a pilgrimage all by itself.

But the cost....that is making me want to say "no".

What does God want?

UPDATE: 10:11 pm CST. I can't find my Passport. It was supposed to be in a particular location where I keep other things. It's not there. And I didn't look for my birth certificate, of which I should have 2 (an original is often needed for certain things).

If there is no passport to mail in for renewal, and if I can't find an original birth certificate...well, it's a done deal and God's will is known.

I like it when He makes it simple. If X then X. If no X, then no X. Offer it up.


Melody said...

Will it cause any problems at work if you go? If the answer is "no", I'd say go. You'll always kick yourself if you don't, and who knows if the opportunity will arise again? Of course, pray about it, and if you feel God is telling you it's a bad idea, then listen. But it sounds like a great opportunity. You don't want to be like me in 20 years; I have never set foot out of the continental USA. Other responsibilities tend to come our way as we get older, it won't be easier later.

Anonymous said...

If I was you I would GO!!!!!!! And we want to see photos on the blog when you get back so we can live vicariously through you!!!!!!

Angela M.

Melody said...

Speaking of expedited passports: I have nephews who are identical twins. One of them needed a passport in a hurry, because he "just had" to visit his girlfriend who was studying abroad. He didn't want to pay the expedite fee, so he borrowed his twin brother's, who had a current one. They had to switch everything; driver's licenses, credit cards, etc. in case ID was cross-checked. Pretty risky, but they got away with it; they could have gotten in big trouble!

Adoro te Devote said...

Thanks, Melody.

I'm not sure yet if there will be any doesn't appear so. We are looking into whether I have vactation time (I may not...contractual thing, long story), and I am willing to go without pay for 2 days. This trip will be 5 days max, 2 of which are weekend.

But the money to PAY for the trip goign to fall out of the sky?

I'm getting loans to pay for school, and a few people have also helped me to pay for this semester. I will be renewing my grad school bleg for 2nd sem, but already I'm looking to the loan dept. to take care of what I need.

And I don't know if we'll get to the Basilica if we go.

I will say this; my friend fully intends to go, but she should not go alone. I'm no hero, by any means, but I speak Spanish, and know the deal to get to Puebla, the Casa de Cambios, the local culture, etc. That's valuable to her. Basically, until we get to where we are going, I'm a valet. :-) I'm fine with that.

(Um, my Spanish is rusty, but hers is zilch).

But the cost! I'm praying....!

Adoro te Devote said...

Angela ! ~ Why are you always anon lately?

Of course there would be photos! But with a disposable camera! LOL! I can scan them in, and would post them, absolutely!

I'm beginning to think my blog is peopled by troublemakers....

Melody ~ Wow, if they were caught.... * shudder *

uncle jim said...

Other side of coin...
She WANTS to pay your way...
IF you deny her that, your are denying her the opportunity to do a good thing, a charitable thing, an opportunity to receive and use a special grace. Yes, it would be a sacrifice for her - but that is what life is about.
Don't let pride get in the way of allowing her to be generous.

Someday, you'll do something for her.

Adoro te Devote said...

Uncle Jim ~ That has merit, but at the same time...I feel like I'm working up a literally financial debt already that I cannot pay, and with all my recent benefactors, well, I also can't promise to deliver. I can only promise to try to do as well as I can.

I will still have classed to deal with that weekend, but I can read on the plane, there are things I can do which will make the carryon very heavy! LOL1

Oh...and I have to find someone with luggage. I don't have my own.

My goodness, you people are talking me ito this....

UltraCrepidarian said...

Not finding your passport YET is not a CLEAR SIGN FROM GOD. Go with your heart and your mind. God gave you those. They're fully functional, and he doesn't like it much when you lay them down and refuse to use them, hoping God will do your thinking and feeling for you. He created you on purpose as a being with these two things.

It's a pet PEEVE of mine that people misunderstand the idea of God's Will. His Will is for you to BECOME HOLY. Whether going to Mexico or not, will help you one way or the other, is for YOU to decide. I suggest that since your friend NEEDS YOU, you SHOULD GO. Because THAT is the path of holiness.

God bless you!


Adoro te Devote said...

Ultra ~ I'm not calling the fact that I have not found my old/expired passport yet "God's will". I'm just making the comment that I like it when His will is clearly defined in something obvious that quite literally does cause me to have to stop in my tracks.

And of course, that weekend I'm still dealing with school...the path to holiness may SEEM to go with my friend, which is a good, however, if it causes problems with grad school, which IS a priority in my life, and is actually another path to holiness (personal responsbility, etc), well, then the entire Mexico thing could just be a distraction that takes me away from what God is really calling me to do.

So it's not so simple to say that my friend needs me thus I should just drop everything and go.

There's a lot more here. There's also the timing...even renewing passports with a rush often doesn't get it to the person in time. I had a friend who was told "2 weeks" and only by God's grace got it the day before his plane was to leave. 8 or 9 weeks later. This trip will come up too quickly for that.

Having slept on it, at this point I'm seeing more and more conflicts and I'm not at peace with the idea of going. It's not the right time, and my friend may also discern not to go because of similar conflicts in her life and work.

Theocoid said...

Sorry. It must be a disappointment. But you're right. When God makes it that simple, you just have to accept it.

Adrienne said...

The only advice I give folks in situations like this is "no advice". You have to make up your own mind.

The other thing I can tell you is what I would do but today I'll skip that so you can work this out on your own.
Either way you decide, we'll all still love you:)

Anonymous said...

If someone wants to give you a gift--accept it graciously and then enjoy the gift. By your accepting the gift--it gives joy to the giver--so in effect you are giving a gift by accepting the gift.

I would, "bust my butt" looking for the papers--and I would go--getting to see the Tilma--don't miss the chance! Life is so short--enjoy as much of it as you can.

Just Do It!!!