Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

As promised

I meant to tell you this yesterday, but the overwhelming nature of having a classroom of 14 year old children (I'm a volunteer catechist, for those of you who didn't buy the program) asking intelligent questions and examining their conscience with earnestness derailed my thoughts.

I had a particularly crummy afternoon on Saturday, you know the kind. In my frustration, as I was praying, I said the following to God: "God, I know that You use all things--good and bad--for my own good and I know You love me. But I'm not liking this a whole lot, nope, not at all." In His infinite mercy, He smote me not. He didn't even smack me around, which I probably deserved. The crumminess abated. But on Sunday, as I went up for Communion, I had my oldest son by the shoulders (he might wander off otherwise) and seeing this, Father placed the Eucharist in my mouth. I held it in my mouth and as I knelt to pray, I looked at the altar and as I went to swallow...I choked! I coughed (not a BAD cough, but the cough you get when a bit goes down "the wrong way"), not hard, but for a good solid minute. I managed to swallow it properly and the discomfort passed. And then it hit me. The Eucharist is good--vital...crucial even--for me. Yet last Sunday the Eucharist made me choke and cough. That was because God was telling me the things (circumstances, people, words, messages, etc.) He has placed in my life are for my benefit. While sometimes these things are not easy to take, it is important to accept them all and to respond to Him with faith, because He loves me.

Just like I love my sons and sometimes have to administer (sometimes with very great physical exertion) medicines that taste in ways best described by Very Rude Words. But that medicine, bitter as it may be, is necessary. The bitterness is something of which I am mindful in the medicine, and it's not something I administer without caring or maliciously. Rather, it is the most expedient way to make theis sick kid feel better. So now I am reminded God is listening to me and He loves me, and that no matter what, I know all the things that happen to me (us) are for my (our) greater benefit and by extension, His greater glory. Now all I need to do is keep that present in my mind.