(Note: This post follows on from the previous post, Arrogance.)
Looking back on that awful day and what I had done and felt, I should have been punished. Instead, a loving God brought me home to San Ignatio, back to Him in every meaning of that phrase, back to where I belong, where nothing of the material world matters. Now, too, I could look forward to being on time two days later for the retreat being led by Fr. Kevin, who also leads a contemplative-prayer-for-busy-people group in San Jose that I have participated in for nearly two years now. I would have had to arrive late because of returning from out of state.
I took the next day off from work -- I was owed comp time -- to be with God now that I was back in a spiritual environment. What a marvelous day that turned out to be!
The first thing after I arose (later than normal, yes!) I checked my email. Astonished, I read one note twice. It was the cancellation of a mandatory meeting on Friday, the second day of the retreat. I had worked it out with Fr. Kevin that it would be okay to miss Friday because of that meeting. Now I would have no distractions during the retreat!
A short while later, I attended noon Mass in the little chapel, celebrated by Fr. Paul on his last day in our community before returning home to Nigeria. Still reeling perhaps from my out-of-control behavior on Monday, I felt so very unworthy to be there and at the same time so loved. As I stood in line for communion, I could not keep the tears from pooling in my eyes, and I did not care if anyone saw them; we are all friends and all God's children.
Following Mass, two friends (one of them the person who assisted the priest in my RCIA class) asked me to join them for the rosary, after which we went out for cookies and milk. (I admit it; milk has always been my favorite drink.)
During our milk-and-cookie fest, I told my friends about my plaintive prayer, in which I bemoaned my separation from San Ignatio and loss of a sense of God's presence in the past few day's tumult, and how everything had suddenly worked out for me to spend the entire rest of the week with Him. One of my friends reiterated what a Sufi friend told me several years ago, word for word: "God spoils you."
Indeed, He does! And I am so very grateful!
Our Lady of Fatima [Flickr]
1 day ago