‘What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men …… That is what love looks like.’ - St. Augustine

Sunday, February 12, 2012

'And I Will Give You Rest'

'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.' ~ Matt 11:28

'Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, 'Take, eat; this is my body.' And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, 'Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.' (Matthew 26:26-28)

I went to the early Mass today. I couldn't get in the door fast enough. In fact, as I entered, breathless, after coming from the very steep outside steps, I nearly knocked over Father Murphy was was standing by the door. A broad smile washed across his face and a familiar welcome left his lips. He was happy to see me. A reminder - I was home.

Sometimes I forget how loved and supported I feel at my church, how every word there nurtures me and how every soul that sits about me seeks what I seek - communion with our God. Sometimes the hurt gets in the way, and I wonder why I can't see God or feel God when, in reality, I am cupped in the close of His hand.

Today, a song at Mass spoke of God healing the raw wounds that keep us up at night. It seemed to be sung just for me. Today the responsorial psalm was 'I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.' Truly, my pain was being tended to by my God.

And the Eucharist. For me, it is as if all of God's love is poured out in this sacrament. I never receive it without some sense of His coming closer to me. Today, after I received it, I felt the warmth I so desperately sought, and heard, in the still of my heart, 'I am here for you. Do not be afraid.' And with that, the pain slipped away. I knelt and prayed in the glow of significant morning light coming through the windows, but I was really elsewhere. I was with Him.

The Church teaches 'Holy Communion preserves the supernatural life of the soul by giving the communicant supernatural strength to resist temptation, and by weakening the power of concupiscence. It reinforces the ability of our free will to withstand the assaults of the devil.' In a formal definition, the Church calls Holy Communion 'an antidote by which we are preserved from grievous sins' (Council of Trent, October 11, 1551).'

That is exactly what it felt like to me today -- an antidote. I felt poisoned inside, and hurt beyond healing. And then, in an instant, it was gone. I don't have the power to do that on my own. How beautiful and inexpressibly generous of our God to find a way to heal us and cure us, right where we are. Yes, no matter who attacks us or how low we fall of our own accord, He is there to love us back into wholeness.

I love St. Therese of Lisieux's words on the Eucharist: 'The Guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us - that is all He asks.'


  1. How wonderful that you felt solace in church today.

    I'm sure your family members are good people. I think they feel embarrassed that their relative is out of work, and now strapped. Too bad that they worry that others might think you are using the donated money for yourself. It's not about them- hopefully, they'll understand that soon, and that you will reestablish your connection.

    I hope they realize that those of us who have donated to Anya and your orphanage can make up our own minds about what is a charitable and worthwhile cause. I have more trust in what you are trying to accomplish than some of the brand name charities out there.

    Meanwhile, not everyone can get what you have seen, not everyone has been moved as you have been. My husband and I both adopted from Russia, but he doesn't read blogs. From time to time, I show him the pictures from your blog, and tell him what you are doing- the last time was to show him the pictures of the high school students. I pointed out that you know all the kids names. That really is remarkable. It must mean the WORLD to those kids that someone from far away is interested in their welfare and knows their names.

    No one has met D or Anya in your family, so they don't understand. You have been able to accomplish so much in the lives of kids near and far. Dare I say you have accomplished much by writing your blog as well? I welcome your influence on what I think I can accomplish in my life.

    How unbelievably frustrating that someone else's failure to do their PPR had such a devastating effect in yours and D's life. We had a failed adoption thanks to the whim of a selfish and egotistical judge- it was horrible, and we hated her. At least we found out later he was adopted, but it cost him 2 years. Some people are ... bad.

    I agree with Annie that this latest roadblock in adoptions is very likely to be temporary, and short-lived. Just another hurdle. You can handle this one. I'm sorry it is costing D time. I will pray for you all.

  2. Oh, praise the Good Lord, for not leaving you so alone and broken, for bringing you "home," and enveloping you with His Truth.

    It was Communion at our church today too, and the message was about worshipping Him in all things. It was really powerful, and I cried all morning. I love to think of you and I on opposite coasts taking the same Sacraments and hearing the same truth and Perspective on the same morning. My prayers are with you today! (and they were yesterday too, when my heart broke for you, but I was also so heart-heavy that I could not even leave you an encouraging comment, could only pray)

    much love, and a BIG virtual hug!

  3. Keri, I am SO glad you found this solace! We are very blessed to have a God who realized how much we need these very phyical assurances of His love and care.

  4. Amen! 'Still praying for you and your children.
    MariaG (Canada)

  5. Feel God's presence and try to release the anger towards your family. You can not change their minds but you can change your focus. Sometimes times are dark but God's love is never hidden! Many of us are praying for you, Daniel and your daughters and nothing they can say/do will change God's love towards you!

  6. I'm glad I read this one--and know you're feeling healed and peaceful.

    I think if family members are toxic then they stop being family.


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