Dear Feasters, all of us were at the best, most fitting place at 6:30 PM last week. We were praying the Holy Rosary in a place sanctified by God’s Love. We were calling onto God through Jesus and Mama Mary when the earthquake shook the city. We were together. He brought us together.
It’s like this: You’re a child strolling with your father. A dog comes, rabid and on the prowl, but your father is there beside you, ready to hold your hand and carry you away. Imagine if you were not with your father. You would have shaken in panic, confused whether to flee in search of your father, or scream in the hopes that your father were nearby.
Last week, as the earthquake struck, we just had to cling to the Father who was already there as we were preparing for The Feast. And indeed, last week’s worship was strong and heightened. The songs, too, were never a coincidence but were a message from Him: “Be still and know I am God,” “You hold my every moment / You calm my raging seas,” “The ground is shaking as we’re singing loud for He is awesome.” With a God like that, I’m delightfully, peacefully bobo.
I don’t mean to be patronizing like, “oh, we were so blessed unlike the others who were not in church, or a place of worship, or were not with their church friends.” The place that I mean is nothing less than the presence of God.
And so my take-home lesson was this: Whether I am at home, at the mall, at a chaotic government office, or at a concert, I must be in God’s presence, holding His hand at all times not out of fear, but out of love. I know I am holding His hand if I do things with love and good intention, and I see Jesus in others. If I find myself thinking ill of another, or in an egoistic spat with a service provider, or ignoring another person, then I am not holding His hand. Good luck when an earthquake comes.
We can all learn from Brother Lawrence – illiterate when he entered the Carmelites – who wrote the book, “The Practice of the Presence of God.” His entire life was a prayer whether he was at the Adoration Chapel or the kitchen, while at vespers or while mending shoes. Download a free e-book at www.gutenberg.org .
Thank you, Holy Spirit!