|Eden, nearly in full bloom. Even in the face of grief, life goes on|
Mass wasn't nearly as well attended this morning as it normally is. The gentleman who has been battling cancer and defying the odds for the past two years was conspicuously absent. No one seems to know where or how he is. It was nice to just stay behind in the darkness and the quiet afterward and pray for a little while. I try not to think too much about my sister-in-law and where her soul is right now, but it's hard. I remind myself that God's mercy will always surpass our expectations and that it's always a mistake to try to figure out what God is up to in any given situation.
Like a lot of people, I suffer from distraction at prayer. It saddens me to think that Our Lord allows Himself to be confected from ordinary bread and wine and I can't even manage to pay attention to Him for more than a few minutes at a time before drifting off. It breaks my heart to think that He patiently waits until my fit of distraction is over to begin to talk to Him again.
When I was growing up, I always felt like I was a more steady and reliable friend to others than they were to me. Part of the problem was that one of my friends was extremely popular and though she always said we were best friends, the truth was that we were friends born of convenience. When she didn't have something better to do, she'd expect me to drop everything. When she'd have a crisis with one of her many boyfriends, she'd expect me to go running to her. It got tiresome, especially since this loyalty was never reciprocated. More often than not, my feelings were hurt.
Now that I am 50 years old, I have to tell you that things have not changed much. When folks call me, sometimes in the throes of emotional or spiritual agony, the expectation is that I will drop everything for them. Being the kind of person I am, I usually do. It's just impossible for me to ignore a friend in need. I was feeling kind of sorry for myself regarding this because I have reached out to someone whose expertise I need with a work issue, and I've yet to hear back.
And then it occurred to me.
Could the Lord think so highly of me that He would want to give me a small token of what He experiences when He seeks our friendship? He's never too busy or disinterested to listen. How many times have I been willing to drop everything to listen to Him? How many times could I have offered Him solace and either ignored Him or refused outright? How many times has He tried to say something to me, but I was too distracted by the world to listen?
"Behold this Heart, which loves men so much, but they do not want to love Me in return."