I haven’t written too much about my experience as a catholic as compared to a protestant. What I’ve learned has been mainly internal and slowly revealed over time. (The Holy Spirit is funny that way.) But recently I had an experience that was subtle but powerful, so it’s definately blog worthy.
I mentioned in my Sick House entry that I experienced a nasty pain in the lower back. And I never experience back pain. NEVER. So all day I dwelled on my pain; wincing whenever I moved the wrong way. Ya know, that sort of thing. Last night I had a very fitful sleep. I kept waking to the discomfort in my back. Around 2 a.m. I woke up and couldn’t go back to sleep. I let my mind wander until I came to the conclusion that I wasted the day in self wallowing.
I’ve always heard of “carrying the cross” and other similar phrases. I’ve read Saint stories where they experienced intense pain, yet they accepted the pain as grace. They allowed God to use that grace for however God saw fit.
Well, here’s my pain…use it. So I prayed in bed for God to use the pain and apply the grace as needed.
The pain didn’t go away but I fell asleep.
This morning I still had the twitch in the back, yet I decided to go to St. Cecilia’s Cemetery. Instead of running (which was beyond my back’s capabilities) I walked around the cemetery for 3 miles praying the rosary and reciting the Jesus Prayer for the souls interned and for their families. As I walked I saw two runners doing their thing down the road. I felt a pang of envy.
Near the end of my trek, a purple minivan entered St. Cecilia’s and parked near my Matrix. The driver, a woman in her 40s/50s, walked over to a stone and placed a Christmas wreath. She stared at the stone for a few minutes, got back into the minivan and departed.
I walked over to the stone and noticed that Paul passed away in the 1980s but Therese passed in 2008. Their son died in the early ’70s. Were these the driver’s parents and the son her long passed brother? Therese is a recent wound. I said a quick prayer for Therese and her family. During the short walk back to my Matrix, I truly felt like part of the Body of Christ. It may not be feeding the poor and tithing to charities (both important and needed) but prayer is necessary and very much needed.
A lesson I will not forget.