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.


Missy said...

Sometimes its good to just skip your plans and go with the flow. I've had some wonderful adventures that way.

sharon graham said...

Amen,Missy....especially if you feel that nudge...thanks for dropping by.

Denise Bossert said...

This is all that matters.

Yes. If only I wasn't such a reed in the wind. If only I didn't have to be reminded again and again. If only I could always have these words singing in my soul. This IS all that matters.

Dear sister-blogger, inspiration travels like a relay race. You took the baton from me and you ran with it. And now, you have reminded me of the greatest gift.

This is all that matters. The Word was made Flesh. And remains with us still.

Anonymous said...

You have written a message of the essence of our lives--a very clear and sobering one. "There will be no 22" suitcase in the overhead bin..." what powerful imagery and truth.
Oh, If only we always trusted that truth! reinforced by Jesus words to the rich young man: "... sell what thou hast and give to the poor and come follow me." I have lived abroad for eight years and felt the sting of tears each time we landed again in the US "Home!". Can you imagine the joy when we step upon the shores of Heaven?? "and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes" Could this refer to tears of pure joy also?
Thanks for the reminders of 'home'.

sharon graham said...

Denise and Anon,I love your comments ...thank you so much for seeing what I see and expressing that so beautifully.