Sunday, May 15, 2011
only this matters
In September 2010, I went with a friend to a small, ,Southwestern-styled adobe church and retreat house in Alabama.The twenty or so sisters who run the house are young and peppy and the food was good.We stayed from Friday night through Sunday afternoon and even though I loved being there,I am always ready to go home to my family.
My companion and I shared a room.She was the perfect roomie,calm,pleasant and deeply respectful of the quiet times that we were given for prayer.
I spent time walking the grounds,taking pictures, reading the Bible and praying in the small chapel.There were beautiful roses climbing a black wrought iron fence and sweet little purple wildflowers growing between the rocks on the path.Nothing centers and calms me like this type of strolling with soft bells in the distance.
On Saturday night, they planned a novena and veneration of the Eucharist and my plan was to skip that for praying on my own.But then,but then.....a subtle nudge...Go.I thought I had already fully punched my novena card after going to so many in Grammar and High School.Same prayers,same hymns,every Friday for years so I had a perfect excuse not to go but then...I found myself kneeling next to my friend in the chapel with my head bowed.I looked up at the host on the altar in the golden monstrance and these words fell like gentle rain into my heart,"This is all that matters."Period.
Catholics believe that the consecrated host is the Body of Christ and it is He who awaits us after this life.The words that I heard really put things into perspective for me.How many times do I need to be reminded that when I leave here,there will be no 22 inch carrying case going in the overhead bin?It will just be my soul and all the choices I have made over these years.My soul will be shining with gold and bejewelled streamers of love or will be something else.No one will be going with me on this journey and there will be no distractions when I am in the presence of the God of the Universe.The job I didn't get will be the last thing on my mind.Neither the deepest sorrow nor the greatest joy can hold my heart captive in the face of this Truth.He is all that matters.This is a difficult truth to grasp but think of the ramifications if I can take that in and live from it.