My two-year-old granddaughter, who can light up entire city blocks with her smiles, likes to emphasize the stories she tells with a couple of phrases. One is “all the time,” and the other is “right here!”. If she is feeling very strongly about what she’s telling me, it’s “all the time, right here!”.
Her fervent emphasis reminds me a little of Dr. Scott Hahn’s recounting, in the early pages of his wonderful book The Lamb’s Supper, of the first time he (then a Protestant minister) attended a Catholic Mass. He went there prepared to reject everything he saw and heard….until the Consecration. He writes that when he heard the words of Consecration, “I felt all my doubt drain away….I felt a prayer surge from my heart in a whisper: ‘My Lord and my God. That’s really you!'”
My little granddaughter would add, “All the time! Right here!”
Each morning at Mass, in that chapel with the mosaic of the wedding feast at Cana, I find myself remembering Dr. Hahn’s words and the sense of wonder they impart every time I go back to them.
My Lord and my God. That’s really you!
All I can see is a white wafer of bread and a cup filled with wine; yet my heart is filled with wonder when I contemplate His very real Presence behind and in those forms.
When I receive Him in holy communion, all I feel and taste in my mouth are the texture and taste of that wafer of bread, that sip of wine. But my soul knows better.
My Lord and my God. That’s really you! All the time! Right here!
My soul is captivated by the thought that while I can see and taste only bread and wine, the truth is that Jesus Himself is here. My soul can see and taste beyond these mere physical and earthly forms. My soul knows her Savior, her Bridegroom. My soul lives and thrives on the promise that one day, in God’s good time, she will not need to look beyond these physical and earthly forms and try to imagine herself in His Presence: She will see her Lord and King face to face.
The older I get, the more I tend to think about that ultimate transition to eternal life. I know full well that God has put me here in this world for a purpose and that He wants me to make good use of all the blessings and resources He has provided me here. But it is, by the very nature of the Universe God created, a temporary assignment, and a stop on the journey home. I’ve lost all fear of death as I have come closer and closer to a glimmer of understanding of what Heaven will be like. I really love my life, and I love and cherish all the people who fill it; and it is wonderful to know that there is more, much more, in the fullness of God’s time.
And that is where my mind goes to the grace of absolute trust in God. Our nature is to try to control things, to work toward the outcomes we want; God’s nature, on the other hand, is to provide for us the outcomes we need. When we’re busy trying to stay in control of the process, we make it difficult for ourselves to see that, and we get in the way of God’s work in us.
So I go back, once more, to my granddaughter’s enthusiastic emphasis, as I pray: Father God, instill in my heart and soul the wonder of Your will and the sense of complete trust that being where You want me is far better than being where I think I ought to be. Let me be always attuned to Your presence and Your will — All the time! Right here! Amen.
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