Monday, May 16, 2011

Even Then...

Memories sometimes take us by surprise. This happened to me yesterday as I knelt at mass after receiving Holy Communion. I could see myself as a teenager  -- naiive, clumbsy, opinionated and often insensitive to those around me. My way of seeing the world was "right" and everyone else had a lot to learn. And under this somewhat crusty shell, I was insecure, uncertain and overly sensitive. Seldom did I ever think before I spoke. It was a mindset that led to more than a few awkward moments and hurt feelings. I ached for that poor girl who longed for acceptance, without ever allowing herself to be vulnerable to others or learn from them in any way.

Yet, her stubbornness also angered me, as it had in the ten or so years that followed. Throughout my college days, life had taught me many lessons. I learned to be more sensitive to other points of view and open myself up to new friendships. I learned to relax and have fun, to laugh at myself and my own little quirks, and to take time for quiet and relaxation. It was an exciting time in my life, but there was little continuity between the girl I once was and the young woman I became. It was as if I had divorced myself so completely from my past experiences and beliefs that I existed in the present only, with no grounding in the past. There were many times when I felt as though I'd lost some vital part of myself that I couldn't identify or describe.

So, as I knelt there during the silence of communion, irked at the memory of these two extremes, I wondered why such distracting thoughts come when you least want or expect them. I tried to focus again on the moment at hand and be more attentive and reverent.

Suddenly, in the silence, I heard the voice of Christ deep inside my heart, and His words startled me.

"I loved you, even then," He said.

I wondered if it could have been my imagination, so I again tried to focus on communion. 

"EVEN THEN," his voiced echoed again, with greater emphasis.

A wave of peace rushed over me and I knew these words were truly His, and he was calling me to forgive my own past failings and love the girl I remembered, just as He did. My mind wasn't wandering after all.  He wanted to show me something about myself. The room seemed to fill with light, and tears came to my eyes. 

As I heard the sounds of those around me returning to their seats, I felt great joy inside, and eagerness to share this sense of love with those around me. Yet, when I tried to tell a friend what had just happened, I realized immediately that I was communicating very poorly the power and beauty of this amazing experience. Even now, as I type these words, I know that I'm only capturing the faintest essence of what it was like to feel such a strong, loving presence in my soul.

I can only imagine, if such joy can come to us when we partake the body, blood, soul and divinity of Christ during communion, what an eternity with Him in Heaven might be like!

Jesus Christ, your kingdom come!!


  1. What a beautiful post! I was very similar as a teenager and can well relate to what you have written here. I loved Jesus' words to you!

  2. Thanks, Mary. I am glad you enjoyed this post... I just started blogging and am happy to see other posts here by Catholic moms... This blogroll is a wonderful refuge for me at the end of the day!