The Gift

3 Mar

I’ve never struggled with loneliness the way that I have been these past few weeks. Right now I’m in different spiritual, mental, and emotional places than the people around me are. Not that the place I’m in is better or worse…it’s just different.

This morning at Mass when I walked in I had no clue what was going on. It hadn’t started yet, but everyone was praying prayers I don’t know yet and I was really struggling to follow along. Usually I don’t have this problem, and today it was really discouraging.

I sat there thinking, “I don’t fit anywhere. Not here in this place, and not there in the place I’ve come from.”

So I looked up at my Christ on the cross and I prayed the only words that would come to mind: “I can’t do this. Help me do this. Please.”

When everyone got up to take Communion the lonely feeling persisted. I know it’s only a few weeks away now, but I haven’t taken Communion in a really long time and I miss it. I miss the feeling of being one with my fellow believers. I miss knowing that I’m partaking in Christ’s body and blood.

Then the woman sitting next to me got up to receive the Eucharist. As she walked past me she stopped and touched my arm. When I looked up at her she took my face in her hands and just smiled at me. Then before the tears that had formed in my eyes slipped out, she was gone.  I don’t know if she knows the gift that that seemingly tiny gesture gave me.

I sat there and for the first time in weeks my soul was quiet enough to hear the still, small voice of the Lord. He said to me, “Don’t you think the cross was a lonely place for Me? I have felt the feelings that you are feeling. You are not alone.  I have surrounded you with people to love you and encourage you and pray for you. Not only that, but even if you were the last person on earth I wouldn’t leave you by yourself. I will always be with you. Always.”


6 Responses to “The Gift”

  1. SR March 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Can I ever relate to this post! I remember missing Holy Communion so badly. I cried like a baby when I did receive our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. I do mean “bawl.”

    I also felt so out of place. Like I “did not belong.” Like I told you in another comment, “It is like being in another country.” There is so much to do and learn, and we have never even spoken their language have we? We understand nothing, do we? Then one day it will all open up for you. I still study all the time. I have never read so much in my life.

    Jesus is always with us. Most of all in the Catholic Church. In my conversion story remember the Blessed Mother kept telling me, “Go to my Son, He lives in the Tabernacle of the Church.” One day the process of this thought, will mean everything to you.

    I want you to remember regarding those who are “praying when you walk in.” Catholics are not like Protestants. It is not the meet and greet. The first place you go is to our Lord. That was hard for me to get used to also. Now it is what I am supposed to do.

    I thank God for that lady. I thank God for you. I loved this post, it was sad, but I see you letting Jesus get you where He wants you. That is never a bad thing! Love you and God Bless, SR

    • elliejaneohara March 3, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

      Today my sponsor gave the book by Scott Hahn that you’d recommended! I sat in a coffee shop and read half of it this afternoon. She gave me a rosary too and a couple booklets that help explain it so after I finish the book I’m hoping to start praying the rosary a couple times a week. I love “Hail, Holy Queen” so much! I’ve always loved learning about the “Types” of Christ from the Old Testament and realizing that Mary is typified too feels like finding the rest of the pieces to the puzzle.

  2. geloruma March 4, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    I spoke to a protestant just last week who said how cold and restrictive his church had been. He is fascinated by what he sees of Catholicism, my heart goes out to him because he doesn’t know what it is to receive the Eucharist. God wants so much to unite with us in Holy Communion; we become one with him in a way more intimate than lovers. That is something the evil one wants to put doubts in our heads about – to keep us from the one who loves us most.I rejoice with you and praise God he has called you home to the Catholic church.

    • elliejaneohara March 4, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

      It is very interesting to find in the Catholic Church the honor and reverence I’ve always personally felt for Communion. Even as a child, I felt that Communion HAD to be so much more than just passing around a tray of grape juice and crackers once every couple of months. It confused me because I saw Communion as a gift from Jesus to help us remember, revere, and become one with Him, but whenever it came time for Communion no one seemed to treat it as anything special. Needless to say, I’m very excited to partake in the Eucharist this Easter.

  3. inhishands March 4, 2013 at 8:07 am #

    I can relate to your post. I have been non-practicing for many years…. Just recently I came back to the church. As our laws are, I am not allowed to take communion until my divorces are annulled. I am in the process of getting that done right now, and I can not wait until everything goes through so I can partake in the Eucharist. Even though I have always been Catholic, I feel so sad when everyone goes to communion and I stay kneeling and singing the hymn for communion. I wonder what people think of me. But you know what, God is helping me, just like He is helping you. 🙂 He is with you, and your journey has just begun. Trust in him, and everything will fall into place in His time.

    This past Friday I was at the Stations of the Cross that my parish was holding (I go pray this every Friday night) At the end, when I went to put my booklet away, they person doing the reading that night, reached out and touched me, and said something to me. I don’t recall what was said, but that touch, it was from God. He touches us in mysterious ways.

    • elliejaneohara March 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

      He really does. It’s hard for me fathom sometimes, that God who is so big is able to love me when compared to Him I am so small.

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