My guy and I went to the parish that is physically closest to us Sunday morning before heading out for a bit. Our habit is to arrive about half an hour before the beginning of the Liturgy to pray, reflect, and read, to settle our hearts and minds, to prepare for this moment when heaven and earth meet in the sweetest Embrace. When we visited here in February as part of our discernment process for moving to Georgetown we attended Mass on our way back to the airport, I was as taken then, as I am now, of the painting over the main altar. One day I will get a photo of this painting.
John Cardinal O’Connor was a man of deep prayer. I can see him, in the Chapel at Dunwoodie (St. Jospeh’s Seminary), the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the Altar, telling us some deep truth which is watering my soul now, because in a deeper way, clearer way, I get it now. I have known deeply since that moment in Harlem that the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus. That afternoon in Yonkers our beloved Cardinal pointed his priestly hands at the Blessed Sacrament saying, “If you want to be at the moment of Creation, here it is.” and “if you want to be at the moment of Jesus’ Incarnation where Mary said ‘Yes’ here it is” and “if you want to be with Jesus at the foot of the Cross, or the moment of the Resurrection here it is”. The veil between the earthly reality and the heavenly reality is rent, torn asunder.
I wept this morning reflecting on this painting. Because here we all are, entering into the Sacred Reality of Heaven with the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the Saints and saints, the Angels. The tears of gratitude, of repentance, of longing, and satisfaction, and of love. Being broken and messy is that deep opportunity to say, “yes” to God.
Over the last several months, probably longer, while in prayer I’ve petitioned the Father for the words of encouragement that I frequently give others. I had the realization that I’ve been hearing that from friends who’ve been cheering me on, and walking with me through some messy times. And then there’s my Sweetie. Yeah, that guy. Hearing and listening to those closest to you is another thing though. The drops of grace have allowed me to keep going when I wanted to walk away, run away from both the work of writing, and the quilting. Yeah I’ve said that before however I’m pointing in a different direction here, the longing of my heart to be filled up with the words of affirmation to keep going. I didn’t always recognize they were there, when I needed them. Right there. Drops of Grace.
Rich Mullins Sings:
Let mercy lead
Let love be the strength in your legs
And in every footprint that you leave
There’ll be a drop of grace
If we can reach
Beyond the wisdom of this age
Into the foolishness of God
That foolishness will save
Those who believe
Although their foolish hearts may break
They will find peace
And I’ll meet you in that place
Where mercy leads
Drops of Grace, all in one place
I am, by nature, an introvert. This simply means I am usually recharged in being alone quilting, reading, writing, making quilt designs over whatever paper is at hand. Working with quilt customers and teaching quilting are so life giving, at the end of the day though, please don’t be offended, I would prefer a bit of quiet please, and thank you. I’ve been married to my Sweetie for nearly 28 years and sometimes my extrovert husband talks, a lot.
So this conversation I had the other day was so grace filled, so refreshing, so Gift From God, answer to prayer, here let me show you how I’ve been filling you, holding you, through this that when Sunday came I could only express my deep gratitude slipping from my eyes, trailing down my face. I am grateful for quilting, I am grateful for the gift of Jesus fully present in the Blessed Sacrament, I am grateful for the opportunity to fully participate in the celebration of the Eucharist. I am grateful to the artist who painted the mural over the altar at St. Williams. I am thankful.
who is filled with great joy!