Monday, June 18, 2012

More Numerous Than The Stars

For me, most Sunday mornings are an exercise in perpetual motion.  During the choir season, the first Mass of the day ends at about 9 AM and the choir begins arriving almost immediately.  And, because the first Mass is in Spanish and the second is in English, everything has to be changed over for the next choir.  So, often, while people are praying the rosary before Mass, I am still running here and there setting up the finer details.  During the Summer, I get a very welcome break from the frenetic activity.

This week was the first week of Summer break.  After the first Mass was finished, I went to get some coffee and collect my thoughts to get ready for the next Mass. Upon my return to the church, I noted that I still had about 30 minutes before mass began.  So, I sat down, closed my eyes and began to just kind of exist with God.  Sometimes, when I spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament, I just sit there in the silence and breathe.  It's quiet and peaceful in the church between masses and since I am almost always on the go, I crave that silence.  I always felt like I was cheating by not saying anything to God, but I have found that if I'm just quiet, the Holy Spirit eventually gives me something to say or something to think about.  The challenge is to keep my mind off of worries, like the housework or my job, and keep focusing on lifting those things up to God.

As I sat there just soaking in the silence, the lady who leads the Rosary came in and began the prayers before mass.  I began to reflexively respond to the prayers of the rosary and opened my eyes to see how many people were there.  There were just four of us and we were all scattered throughout the church.  I closed my eyes again and as the prayers continued, more people came in and joined. I listened as one by one, more people added their voices to the prayer.  It was like watching the stars come out at night.  First one voice, then a few, and then more and more.

I was struck with the realization that prayer is like the stars, bringing light and beauty to the darkness.  God speaks to us and, if our hearts are open to His voice, we respond.  As our hearts become more open and more willing to listen to God's voice we grow in holiness and we become reflections of the light of God's grace to the world around us.  And, like the people praying the rosary in the church, as we carry that light to the world around us, others begin to join in the response to God, as well.    

Of course, as with all endeavors worth pursuing, the first step is the hardest: We must be quiet and listen for God's voice.

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