Friday, February 27, 2009
Tonight began the annual Lenten practice of Stations of the Cross followed by Mass. I usually try to get there early for some quiet time in Adoration, but today I was delayed so my time was shortened.
The prayers of the Stations spoke profoundly to me tonight, so for a good portion of it, I could not speak, only follow along, silently, trying not to cry.
Mass was beautiful, although after Communion, I had great difficulty praying. It didn't matter. I didn't want to be anywhere else but right there, in that moment...with Our Lord.
After Mass, however, as usual, people immediatly leapt up and began chatting, a particular group near me especially loudly. I was kneeling at the time, trying to pray, as were some others in the church. For a moment, I nearly snapped at them to please take their conversation elsewhere, but decided to hold my tongue, choosing to offer it up, if imperfectly in my impatience.
The reality is that people don't know any better anymore. Snapping at them out of the blue doesn't tend to be constructive or conducive to proper education.
Even when everyone had left the church, they stood in the "Gathering Space" chatting loudly, allowing their children to run through the crowds screaming, and I nearly fainted with relief when they FINALLY closed the doors! Although it didn't do much to help.
We have a Perpetual Adoration chapel, but I couldn't go there because the rosary was being prayed as is usual after Mass.
All I wanted was silence. After the devotions of Stations of the Cross, after Mass, was it too much to ask to have profound silence in the presence of Christ in order to continue a conversation that was barely begun?
Then they turned down the lights in the main church, and I quickly turned, but was relieved to see others were there craving the same silence I was, likely just as perturbed at the lack. They weren't budging.
I did get up and walk to the back of the Church, praying for silence, wanting to remain, but unable to handle the noise. Yet I couldn't leave, so I dropped my coat and bag and knelt in the last pew, in tears, not wanting to go. I told Jesus just that...that I didn't want to leave.
And silently, in that way He has, He said, "Then come to me."
I couldn't go into the chapel...they were still in the midst of the rosary devotions.
Finally, unable to resist any longer, I stood, left my things, and walked the long pathway towards the front of the Church and the Tabernacle, which was, but for the flickering candle, in complete darkness. And there, finally, far away from the squwalking crowds, I could rest in relative silence, almost alone with Jesus.
I knelt on the bare tile floor, knowing His presence as He waited, where He always waits, patiently...for us.
I will not say what I said, or what I did, or what He said to me. Suffice to say it was precious time, an eternal moment, one in which I wished I could remain. Nothing mystical, nothing amazing. Just...Our Lord, allowing me to take some time, pouring myself out at His very feet, knowing He could hear all the words I couldn't speak.
Resting in the silence...let it always be so profound.