Friday, November 23, 2007


Cell phone vibrates at 7: 15 a.m. this morn and I awake to the brilliant sun radiating the cold crystalline landscape below my window. I run out the door, no time for breakfast for it will be penance, to my frozen car and find my credit card and begin scrapping. The biting cold gnaws at my fingers as I look at the peculiar ice hairs growing upward from the top of my mirror like the fortress of solitude. Black leather cold to my warm legs, heat; ice cold, windows down so I can put my head out and see where I am driving…what a great morning! Why such the rush you ask? Well it is morning Mass on Thanksgiving down at Blessed Sacrament and it starts at 8 a.m.

I arrive a few minutes late and see no cars. Uh Oh. I walk up to the church and the doors are open. I step into the warm church with the old radiators clanging and pouring out their much-needed heat and find only a few people there. A homeless man talks to a women about the street and another comes up to me and asks me to tell the young man that was trying to find information about a Thanksgiving dinner put on by St. Vincent de Paul that he must leave or go hungry that day. He was praying so fervently and greatly desired to go to Mass, but was also starving. As he hopped on his bike, the young man came back and he and I rushed out and caught the man before he took of into the cold.

Mass starts at 10 a.m. today a man told me as I perused the bulletin for information. I had a good hour and a half to wait before Mass and I need to pray very badly. Busyness, Laziness, heck loch ness were the monsters keeping me from plumbing the depths of my heart for God. Now I had the time and the great need of his mercy. I needed to go to confession before Mass, but I thought this unrealistic, it is hard enough to get a priest after Mass yet alone before. I prayed that I would at least get to confession today, even if I didn’t get to have communion. Doubt filled my mind even of this happening. I will not worry about it; I will let God take care of it. Lord have mercy!

Hey, a priest coming toward my way, sweet…stand up, go by the door, act all stealthy, check cell phone…make it look like you are checking it for time and… pounce. “Hey Father, is there any chance I could get Confession from you after Mass?” “How long will it take, like less then 5 min?” “Oh, yeah, it should only be like 3 or so.” “Well then lets do it right now.”

Walking out of the confessional everything seemed perfect. The cold had lost its bite as the sun rose higher and filled the church with its colorful stained glass luminescence. The choir was singing a song with lyrics that said “with great mercy” and “sing to the Lord with great Joy”. People began to file in and soon the empty church was full. Life was all around, and best of all was alive in me again. The Gospel that morning told the story about 10 lepers that had been cleansed and the one that came back and glorified Jesus and fell prostrate at his feet. I too had come from my own outcast state, corrupted, but realizing that Jesus had healed me in the confessional as he had healed the Samaritan leper. Not only that, but the leper had only asked Jesus for healing. Jesus took the little that he asked for and because of his little act of thanksgiving and praise Jesus bestowed unto him what he really wanted, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." Similarly, I asked for so little, just confession if at all possible, and I gained life restored and Christ in me himself! (Cf. Luke 17:11-19)

Here is the point. We truly do ask for too little of God, he wants us to consult him in everything. Nothing is too mundane for the almighty or to grandiose. He has already given it to us; we just need to learn to ask in faith and trust. In fact, the “Little Way” has become a sort of battle cry for me lately. It doesn’t matter what you do or how much you do it, but that you do it through him, with him and in him and in the intention of giving him thanksgiving and praise. Also, he is always there, leading you on in subtle and silent ways, make sure to listen to the native voice inside you. Finally, as I dined at my two thanksgiving dinners, I know that I first dined at the true Thanksgiving (Eucharistic) Dinner, the feast I hope to enjoy for all eternity.

My love, prayers, hopes and thanksgiving to each of you and your own on this blessed day!

God Bless,