Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Drinking Deeply

On this past Divine Mercy Sunday, sitting in the little church of the Assumption in Maybrook, New York with my wife Rebecca and her parents, two of the eight brothers and sisters, and a mob of nieces and nephews all around us, I got zapped. It was right at the line in the reading from 1 Corinthians 2....

"Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."


I looked around at the little munchkins that call me Uncle Bill. I thought of my morning talks with my father-in-law on everything from philosophy to movies to the Faith. I thought of the tremendous love that flows from the Tabernacle, streams down from the Altar and breathes out from from the woman whose hand I held even tighter as this awareness and this awakening came toppling over me like a waterfall.

"Do you want a tissue?" Rebecca asked as the Gospel reading began.
"Heck no," I smiled.

I wanted to feel this a bit longer. It's not every day God gives you the salty taste of joy. In charismatic circles it's called the "gift of tears." I remember an old Irish Christian Brother who once told me, "Let the tears speak, Willy, let the tears speak."

I squeezed Rebecca's hand even tighter. How did I get here? What led me to become a part of this new family? Where was this torrent of love and emotion coming from? I just showed up at Church, part of the ritual of a Sunday. Who knew I'd get zapped?

"Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what God has prepared for those who love Him."

In this Cosmic Dance, I find my steps directed here, now. What lies ahead lies in His Heart, what lies behind (and what a long and winding road it seems to me now) lies in His Mercy... His Divine Mercy. So why fear? Why complain? Why do anything but drink deeply from the font of grace in the sacrament of this present moment? God will provide, prepare, and put in our path the things we need, just as we need them.

As I sat there after Communion, in that Divine Bear Hug of He and I in the Eucharist, I thought of that Divine Mercy that has always been so near, ever since the heartaches and the sadness and the longings of my youth. He it was Who moved behind the curtain of my days, shone behind the star I watched outside my window, whispered behind the curtain of great paintings and great writings, from Van Morrison to Vermeer, cathedrals and the cornfields of Northampton. The Divine Mercy is God's own Heart, glowing, breathing, beating with Warm Love behind this earthly veil of flesh and bone, earth and sky, houses, hills, and the people I have come to know in this walk.

In all of this that lies behind and before me I pray.... Jesus, I trust in You.
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