... the Good Lord sends you a gift and sometimes, you're in such shock to be the recipient of such grace, you are left speechless. It was like that this morning.
Mass was in the upper church. I got there shortly before Mass began, tucked the comb of my little chapel veil into my hair and knelt down in my pew. I felt a gentle tug on the hem of my jacket and expected to see one of the regulars behind me. The Lord had other ideas. It was my cousin, whose conversion I have been praying for, sometimes more faithfully than others. Casper the friendly ghost may as well have been standing there for the look of disbelief on my face. At first I thought maybe he had seen me come in the door and followed me in, but when I beckoned him to stay for Mass he said he already was sitting in the back.
For awhile now, I've had difficulty spending time in his company because the conversation is always about him and some meaningless worldly pleasure. A few Christmases ago, I tried to tell him of my own reversion and how I wished he'd give going to Mass a try again. He was polite but nothing more was said. In all honesty, I did my best to avoid having to talk to him because the conversation always centered around him. I didn't want it to be about me. I wanted it to be about Him. I guess my behavior wasn't exactly charitable as I was always looking for some excuse to avoid getting together with him.
I could barely contain my shock at seeing him this morning. What's more, he was one of the ushers who took up the collection and he seemed to know his way in and out of the sacristy, which tells me he's been at this for awhile now, except I didn't know it.
There's another bit of irony with this revelation. At Holy Communion, I always pray for the conversion of those among my family and friends. I was thinking that I've been saying this a little too mechanically lately and then I stopped to reflect on whether any of my family or friends had actually converted. Upon concluding that they had not, I determined that I should continue to pray this prayer nonetheless. No matter how badly I pray it, I know He hears me!
On my way home last night, I saw a marquis outside a Lutheran church that read: "Jesus prayed all the time. You should follow His example."
I sure should.