It wasn’t easy to go. I had every excuse in the book. You know them: don’t feel good, my knees hurt, no one to go with me, I need sleep…
On and on the list went. When I woke a little late, I prayed “What do I do?” One whisper sounded true among the thoughts as to why I shouldn’t go. It said “What do you want to do?”
A tear formed as I prayed my excuses. I pleaded I was running late, in pain, etc… Again I had the thought “What do you want to do?” Tears started tracking down my cheeks. “I want to be with you, in your presence” was my simple whisper. “Go eat” was the instruction I heard.
Since my blood sugar is low when I get up I need food to be able drive anywhere safely. I heated my prepared oatmeal while my eldest prince finished in the shower. As I ate breakfast I thought, how will I be ready to leave in 15 minutes? It seemed to be an impossible task.
Twenty minutes later I was on my way to church. The Lector was giving the announcements as I walked in the door. I slipped into the pew whispering a thank you. I let the mass wash over me. Before I knew it the homily was over and the prayers began. I realized I really didn’t follow the readings or the homily. I sent a prayer thought heavenward, why did I come today if I didn’t pay attention?
I know I am being a bit hard on myself but this is time I set aside for God and me. Since time is so limited I try to discipline myself to be attentive. Those who suffer daily pain, whether it is mild or excruciating, know how hard it can be to be attentive. Attentiveness drains a person’s energy. It is a gift to give someone your full attention when you are distracted by pain. It is a gift I want to give my God for at least for an hour a week.
The God nudge responded, “You are here to be with me.” As realization of the answer to my simple waking prayer dawned on me, all I could say in response was thank you. The readings and the homily weren’t for me at that moment. The purpose was to sit with God. When the priest held the wafer of bread high offering the body of Christ, the impact of what God was sharing with me today was as real as if I had been hit in the chest.
Stunned I watched the priest consecrate the body and blood of Jesus Christ knowing God was answering my prayer to be wrapped in his presence. I was humbled by the thought of the one true and living God was caring for a daughter’s wants as well as her needs. When I made my way up the line and took communion I felt I was receiving the broken bread at the last supper from Jesus’s own hand.
After taking communion we kneel and pray until everyone receives the body of Christ. I couldn’t kneel but I bowed my head talked to God about how grateful I was for His Son, His Sacrifices, and His Holy Spirit. I am grateful to God for taking all the hard steps and the fight for our salvation. Without him, we are doomed the absence of His Presence. Not a place I needed to be right now. What I needed was a hug from God. A hug reassures us of the presence of another that cares for us. That is what I received today. A hug from God.
Sometimes the simple things we do out of habit, like Sunday Mass, become the most special. We may not hear the homily or we gloss over the readings. But, some small thing turns the ritual into the profound. God answered the call of my heart today. He responded to a soul that needed the touch of a loving Father. He was there in the ritual I needed today.
May you also be blessed today,