Sunday, August 26, 2012

God Who Grants the Desires of Our Heart

‘Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.’ (Psalm 37:4)

I want to share two experiences here, where God has granted me the inmost desires of my heart. It is not anything material that I mean, but a desire to draw closer to Him.

One of them happened about seven years ago, and though I felt inspired to write and share about it many times, I had put it off – because I was not sure how to include all the details in a readable form, and also whether I would be able to convey the power of the experience in writing. But after the second experience which happened just a few days back, I decided to take time and put both of these in writing, asking the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and words. After all, it is He who moves and touches hearts…

1. About seven years ago was a time when I was not fully able to appreciate or understand the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. I knew for sure that Jesus was present in the Holy Eucharist, but I was not able to participate fully in Eucharistic adorations, or enjoy His presence during expositions of the Blessed Sacrament. I had a desire, a thirst, for a deeper understanding, and I used to pray for this grace often.

One evening during our vacation in Kerala, a procession from the nearby Jacobite church was passing by our home. Everyone except me was standing outside the front door to watch the procession, and I was busy inside the bedroom, arranging some clothes in the wardrobe. My sister-in-law called out to me and said, ‘Chechy, there is a priest also in the procession, carrying the Blessed Sacrament in a monstrance.’ I said ‘ok’, but still continued on with my work without joining them. After just a couple of seconds, I felt the sudden urge to run outside and join them, which I did.

But when I reached, the priest had already passed our gate, and was proceeding further ahead. My heart sank, but I stood on tip-toes and strained to look ahead. Suddenly, to my utter surprise, the priest took a few steps backwards, held up the monstrance, looked straight in my eye, and made the sign of the cross with it! I was so deeply touched that my eyes filled up with tears of joy. For a few minutes after this, I was still pondering about what it was that made the priest take those few steps backwards, and extend the blessing to me the way he did? The picture of Zacchaeus came to my mind, trying to see Jesus from up the sycamore tree. I realized that today I was the Zacchaeus, trying to get a glimpse standing on my tippy-toes – and Jesus made sure He looked back to give me His blessing. I knew this was a little miracle He did just for me, because He knew of my desire to find Him in the Eucharist. I needed no further evidence that it was truly Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Thank you, Jesus!

2. It was our sixteenth wedding anniversary, and we had decided to go for evening Mass at 6:15 with our three children. Every evening Mass at our church is preceded by rosary and adoration - and during this time a priest would be available for confessions as well. Being our wedding anniversary, I wanted to go for confession before the Mass, and so we started a little early from home.

We reached church at about 6pm, and my husband dropped us in front of the church and proceeded to park the car. We took our place in one of the front pews, and I kept looking back to see if my husband was coming – because my three-year-old wouldn’t let me go from his side unless my husband stayed with him. There were a couple of people waiting in line for confession, and I went and stood there for some time. Then I went outside to look for my husband and saw that he was still near the parking lot, attending a phone call. It was almost time for Mass, and I knew there wouldn’t be time for confession now. So I came back in. The priest also went from the confessional, because he was the one celebrating the Mass that evening.

I took my place in the pew, feeling sad that I was not able to make the confession as I had wished. I tried to console myself thinking that I will request father after the Mass was over- but still I was sad at heart, because my true desire was to make the confession before receiving communion. Soon my husband also joined us in our pew, and the choir started playing the music for the entrance hymn.

The main celebrant, along with the Parish priest, entered the altar to celebrate Mass. As the main celebrant walked to the altar, the parish priest stepped down from the side, walked up to me, and asked, ‘do you want to make a confession?’ Surprised at how this could be happening, I said ‘YES!’ and followed him to the confessional as the entrance hymn was going on.

At the end of the confession, I asked father, ‘Father, how did you know I wanted to make a confession?’ Because I was still surprised and unable to believe that the confession actually happened. Father said he had noticed me going out and coming back in, and sensed that I had wanted to go for confession. I thanked him and told him that it was our wedding anniversary, and that I was standing there feeling disappointed for not being able to have the confession as I had desired… After my confession, father went and joined at the altar to celebrate Mass - the choir was in the last line of the entrance hymn, and it was time for the Mass to start. Perfect timing!

Throughout the Holy Mass I was feeling overwhelmed at the thought that God inspired the priest who was proceeding to celebrate Mass to come to me, and hear my confession! All because Jesus knew and wanted to grant the inmost desire of my heart - which was to receive Him after confession, on this special occasion.


1 comment:

Thomson Mathew said...

Truly wonderful sharing Lucy chechi. Both your experiences show how Lord loves us and how he uses people especially our anointed Priests to lead and draw us to Him.