Roman Catholics are spoiled. There I said it. Yep. Spoiled. How you may ask? The Sacraments. If COVID-19 has taught me anything, it is this; I am a spoiled daughter of our Father Almighty. Every Sunday, or weekday if we can go, we have the opportunity to receive His Body and Blood (depending on your Diocese). We can call our priests and receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation any time, day or night. Every moment we spend in the Sacraments is a moment of Heaven here on Earth. Every moment we spend in the Sacraments is a moment held by our Father, caressed in His loving embrace. We are spoiled.
I have the amazing calling to teach the faith to high school students. Throughout these 22 years as a teacher, I have spoken of the Kingdom of Heaven among us. I have taught that at Mass, Heaven and Earth collide; that we become so close to Heaven that it permeates us, fill us and gives us the strength to go out and face another week. I have realized, through this pandemic that I have taken this miraculous movement of God for granted.
My words to my students fell short on me. Prior to the pandemic, I was finding Mass to be boring at times. I would force myself to go to Mass or Reconciliation (the Solemn Promise of Obedience is a powerful thing). Now, I would do anything to be able to receive my Lord in the Sacrament of the Eucharist and kneel at His feet to ‘clean the cobwebs of my soul’ as St. Padre Pio would say. I have realized, perhaps you have as well, that I, although going through the motions, have been dry. Brittle. I have taken for granted the time my Father has wanted to hold me, to speak to me, to direct my path. Lent was hard. VERY HARD. As someone said on Facebook, it was the ‘Lentiest Lent I have ever Lented.’ I felt lost and tired. I kept looking for guidance and then realized my numbness was because the Sacraments were removed from my life. Ripped from my life. My weekly ‘visits’ to Heaven were cancelled. Had I known that March 7th would be my last time to receive His Body, I would have arrived at Mass earlier and left later. I would have breathed in more of Him in the Tabernacle. I would have been less consumed with what was waiting for me after Mass. I would have rested in Him. I took it all for granted. We are spoiled.
But what a blessing this awakening has been my brothers and sisters. How blessed it is to realize as Catholics how spoiled we are. I have been forced to find Him in all places and in everything I am doing. This doesn’t make up for the lack of the Sacraments, but it has allowed me to learn this and by the Grace of God, I pray I never take for granted again my heavenly ‘visits.’ I am being renewed. God is making new wine out of me (check out the song ‘New Wine’ from Hillsong, you won’t be disappointed). I feel that God is reawakening me. Dusting me off for what is to come: “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19
My brothers and my sisters, we will get through this. We may be scarred, but so was Christ for us. To carry His cross means to experience life; all of it. The joys and the sorrows. May we take this time to allow Him to reawaken us and, when the time is right, to propel us to proclaim His message to the world.