Today marks an anniversary of sorts for me. It was seven years ago today that I returned to Mass after being away for almost 20 years. That Sunday in November came at the end of six months of prayerful preparation and a weekend that truly changed my life. (The details of all of this can be found in my reversion story- see sidebar)
From that Sunday forward I knew that I was "home" and had no desire to ever leave again. God had poured so many graces upon me and I was and am grateful for them all, but the one that I am most grateful for is the most precious gift of His Son Jesus in the Holy Eucharist.
This gratitude has taken on more meaning these last few days because due to a bout of the flu, I have not been able to attend Mass. This was the first Sunday I have ever missed Mass in these last seven years, I had to forgo my hour of Adoration this week , and daily Mass has also not been possible. It has been in these days of being unable to receive Jesus in this sacrament that I have realized just how precious this gift is and how grateful I am for the privilege of being able to receive Him so often. It made me think of those who live in areas where there is no priest on a regular basis, or those who live in places where they are persecuted for their faith and can not worship freely. I am truly blessed!
God permits all things and so I have been trying to see the lesson He has for me in all of this. Perhaps in these few short years I have begun to take Him for granted and the deprivation would help me to realize just how precious this gift is~ it has. I also need to thank Him more for all He has given for me; this awesome sacrament comes at the price of His very life for me.
Now all of that may or may not be the case, but I am sure of two things: One~absence definitely does make the heart and soul grow fonder, and Two~this minor illness has given me something to offer Our Blessed Lord.
I may not have planned to spend this anniversary in this particular way, but in one of His special ways, our Lord has given me a beautiful gift~the gift of greater gratitude for the gift of His very Self.
The shortest path to Jesus is through our Blessed Mother, so I would like to end this post with this Prayer of Thanksgiving I found by St Cyril of Alexandria.