October 1, 2009. Children’s Day. My heavenly Father gave me a surprise present.
During my morning quiet time in the Adoration Room, I was drawn inwardly to being very still and silent. I usually start my prayers with the Rosary, but this time, the desire to stay silent was very strong and so I just knelt, and then sat quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament. My awareness of the Holy Spirit’s loving presence was remarkably stronger than it had been for a while. It did not signify anything to me, but I accepted the reality with gratitude.
When I could finally open my eyes (for a long while I really couldn’t bear to make any movement, so still did I desire to be), I opened my Bible to the book of Psalms. I flipped around it for a while, when finally Psalm 19 caught my attention. At that moment, these verses leapt from the page and into my heart in a way they never did before:
The Law of Yahweh is perfect,
refreshment to the soul;
the decree of Yahweh is trustworthy,
wisdom for the simple.
The precepts of Yahweh are honest,
joy for the heart;
the commandment of Yahweh is pure,
light for the eyes.
More desirable than gold,
even than the finest gold;
his words are sweeter than honey,
that drips from the comb. – (Ps 19:7-8, 10)
I was so caught by these words that I repeated them over and over (Lectio Divina!) in my mind and my heart, savouring their beauty and the love that radiated from them. I was so delighted to be in His presence, listening to His words, that I lingered in prayer longer than usual.
Then, I had a emotionally and mentally tiring day from many different sources. Peace never left my heart, but by the late afternoon I was feeling vulnerable, fragile, and empty. I longed for solitude. I went for a walk alone, had a late lunch at 5p.m. on my own, and worked until it was time for evening mass.
Imagine how stunned I was when it was time for the Responsorial Psalm, and the psalmist proclaimed the exact same verses that had captured my heart in the morning! (See this link for the Responsorial Psalm) The very verses I had memorized that morning – the very verses which had given me strength to cling to Christ through a very difficult day – they were being proclaimed at mass! And I had not known it was in the day’s mass readings!
A flood of tenderness washed over me as I sat in the pew and listened. My soul thrilled – for exactly as the psalmist had written, my soul was being refreshed, my mind enlightened, joy was being poured into my heart, and my eyes filled with light. I felt the warmth of God’s embrace – His loving favour overwhelmed me! It felt as if God was saying to me, “Happy Children’s Day, my beloved Child.” The grace of that mass was so delicious that I stayed for nearly half an hour after mass ended to be still and silent in the sacred space where the most holy Eucharist had just been celebrated.
All week long (since Sunday), God had been speaking to me through children. And then, on Children’s Day, he gave me this wonderful surprise present. How blessed I am for being one of his children!
Papa in Heaven, you are the best! Thank you – thank you for everything. Thank you for loving me so wonderfully – for giving me crosses to bear so that I may grow in love, and for being so generous in graces to enrich me so that I am strengthened to do all things in your name! I love you!