Do not expect a nice walk in the park after Mass.
Expect to journey through streets that would more resemble the county landfill than an ordinary sidewalk, were it not for the predominance of discarded liquor bottles, cigarette butts, lottery tickets, and other accessories of the sins of that street accumulating in the gutters.
Expect the air to be permeated by “music” booming through subwoofers that could not possibly have had its lyrics or its beat inspired by anything but demons.
Expect to be amongst conversations that more resemble brawls than discourse, with vocabularies consisting primarily in curse words.
Expect to pass by numerous impromptu shrines at various spots on the sidewalks; dedicated to the young men shot and killed in the midst of gang violence in the preceding days.
Expect to be continually passing by buildings that resemble those not of an industrialized nation in peace time, but of the crumbling remains of a thoroughly destroyed city in the midst of a great war.
But know that “where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.”
Therefore expect also to see a genuine openness to the grace you bring; an openness that, despite the struggles involved in bringing it, is sure evidence of God’s approval.
Expect to see people truly thankful that you did something so simple as looked them in the eye and said “God Bless you.”
Expect to feel God’s presence in the midst of it all.
But on some days expect to see and feel none of that. On all days, however, know that you may rest your head on your pillow at night knowing that, in the twinkling of an eye, you will hear those blessed and promised words:
“Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…”