Went to Mass this morning. I go because I need to be there. Not to do something nice for the Lord. I need it as much as I need food and water. Maybe more. The Gospel was about the Roman Centurion (a pagan) who asked Jesus to heal his servant. He exhibited great faith. So much so, that at every Mass we say "the Centurion's Prayer". Does this tidbit from today's Gospel sound familiar: "Lord...I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof....but say the word and let my servant be healed." That was a little bit of trivia that I picked up during a daily Mass homily a few years back. It was kind of cool to "learn" something at Mass that I hadn't known after a lifetime of attending. And another bit of trivia that I learned from another priest... A fourth grader had asked him, "Father, you know when we say, "Lord I am not worthy.....?" "Yes." "Well, Father, what's THE WORD??" The Word is "Jesus".
Which just leads so nicely (and unintentionally) into another little tidbit from today. The Holy Spirit might be blogging with me tonight. There is a classic devotional book entitled God Calling that my Poor Clare friend gave to me. It sat on my bookshelf for a couple of years, and recently (maybe with my visit last summer), I dusted it off, and have been reading the meditations. Today's was just what I needed to hear:
My Name is the Power that turns evil aside, that summons all good to your aid. Spirits of evil flee at the sound of "Jesus". Spoken in fear, in weakness, in sorrow, in pain, it is an appeal I never fail to answer.
Use My Name often. Think of the unending call of "Mother" made by her children. To help, to care, to decide, to appeal, "Mother." Use My Name in that same way - simply, naturally, forcefully.
Use it not only when you need help but to express Love. Uttered aloud, or in the silence of your hearts, it will alter an atmosphere from one of discord to one of Love. It will raise the standard of talk and thought.
"There is none other Name under Heaven whereby you can be saved."
Just as God showed me on Thursday, that He "has my back", on Friday, I was reminded that there is still a thorn in my side, a cross to bear at my workplace, and that I do best when I remember that He is there with me in that, too. The biggest bully at our school is not in eighth grade, but has an office. This person is so obviously unhappy, that a passing encounter is a reminder to pray. And yet for whatever reason, I am a target. I have lots of company in the target department, but that's only small consolation. My "dilemma" is whether to confront or to just suck it up, offer it up, shut up, and move forward. Both are possibilities. Retirement is on the near horizon for this person. For now, I will just trust that if confrontation is the answer that God will supply the words.
Which leads me to just one more thing (maybe) that caught my attention today. This was from Word Among Us posted on my Facebook page:
The courage that counts with God is that type of courage which our Lord showed in the Garden of Olives: On the one hand, a natural desire to turn away from suffering; on the other, in the anguish of the soul the willing acceptance of the chalice which his Father had sent him. ~ St. Therese of Lisieux
Maybe one more random, scattered bit? About three or four years ago at Mass, seated in front of me was a mom with two children about 5 or 6 years old. They were just awful, poking on the mom in unmentionable places, making noise, wiggling, etc. I just closed my eyes (so I didn't have to see them) and said a prayer for the poor mom. I've been almost in her shoes. My two once managed to stop a homily in mid-stream. I am pretty sure that the younger of the two children showed up for altar server training yesterday. She looked so angelic in an alb. (Mine look angelic, too). Guess it shows there is always hope!
And on to tomorrow!