I was sent home from work early today because I'm told my complexion matched the color of my white lab coat. I was truly grateful for the opportunity to lie down in a cool, dark room to try to ease the throbbing. When I made the observation the other day that the last two feasts of Our Lady were marred for me by a migraine, Patricia suggested that perhaps the headaches were gifts from Mary as small crosses for me to bear. If they were, I squandered them. As grateful as I was for my boss' generosity in allowing me to go home early, I was even more appreciative of the fact that I'd be able to get to confession with the Franciscans a mile or so away. I haven't been to Mass in two days and prayer does not come easily when I'm feeling like this.
I decided to offer the throbbing as a penance and a sacrifice for all those for whom I am praying, especially those in need of conversion.
When I'm in this kind of pain, it is so difficult to think of Jesus and unite my suffering with His. I was thinking that maybe Patricia was on to something, as I was drawn to the sacrament of Confession in a place where Jesus is adored every day in Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Had I not misbehaved on Mary's birthday and had I not felt so miserable that I didn't make it to Mass two days in a row, I don't know that I would have felt drawn there.
I left the confessional, as I always do, lighter than ever. I considered taking a cab but then opted to walk, especially since the priest gave me such a brief penance. Then I went back to bed, but not before stopping to admire the cage the soon-to-arrive rodents will be calling home. It's quite elaborate and I found it remarkable that Rebecca assembled it herself. She's pretty determined about this whole thing.
Even though my head still aches, I feel like I have been brought back from the dead. In a way, I have, as I was cut off from Christ but am back in His loving embrace. I'm sure the devil was enraged to see me emerge from the confessional today. He'd better get used to it. The Lord will not allow one of His precious lambs, dirty and unkempt as they may be, to fall into enemy hands.
A little while ago, I phoned the woman who organizes the EM's at my parish and informed her I would not be participating in home calls anymore. The pastor is already aware but I told him I would inform the coordinator as well as the communicants that I once called upon. This decision has been coming for a long time but I allowed a misguided sense of guilt to prevent me from acting on it. I do not stand in judgment of anyone who performs this ministry. But if I were a person confined to my home, I don't know that I'd want to subject the Divine Prisoner of Love to being carted around by a woman like the one the other day who couldn't tear herself away from her cell phone on the altar.
Anyone looking at the motley crew that made up the 12 Apostles might surely have asked what the Good Lord could possibly have seen in this rag-tag bunch. I like to think that the imperfections I carry around like so many blemishes crying out for a Clearasil treatment are really tools that He uses at His disposal to effect His Will. He can see what we, as weak imperfect humans, cannot.
Sometimes it's that way on the blogosphere. In the end, I believe with all my heart we're all on the same side, united to defeat a common enemy, out of love for Our Eucharistic Lord.
I promise to do a better job of trying to see others as Our Lord sees them. One thing is for sure - prayer can do what no blog ever can, and in the end, it's our best recourse.