The room was full of laughter at each other’s tales. The circle of mothers giggled like girls at a slumber party, whispering secrets and telling scary stories. These stories weren’t stories. They were, in fact, tales of experiences. Creepy, exciting, unbelievable stories about spiritual worlds and our brushes with them: premonitions that came true, intuitions that turned into close-calls, and nighttime images that startle in the dark. Each mom certain of her experience. The children practiced their gymnastics and the moms nervously laughed about connections to an unknown world.
Connections. The word has circled my head as I seek to understand the gift God gave us in the real presence of the Holy Eucharist. Our connection to Christ. Our real connection to Jesus. When I have failed and stumbled and singed the fibers that connect me to others, I am still offered the real presence of Jesus and a connection to all that is beautiful through him.
I struggle to know the Holy Spirit, to recognize the Holy Spirit. Just as the travelers did. They did not expect to see Jesus, they weren’t looking for him, and yet he came to them. I am seeking the voice of the Holy Spirit, and yet I don’t know the voice, either from being out of practice or by never really knowing it. Perhaps, I must first tune out the interference that I know is not the Holy Spirit.
I come to the rosary each night, expecting and hopeful. And I am never disappointed. I meditate on the Luminous Mysteries tonight and pray for openness to the Holy Spirit and I learn. We know the Holy Spirit through our experiences with him, just as the travelers recognized Jesus through the meal together and the disciples knew the risen Jesus through touching his scars.
I am offered that experience every time I come to the Holy Eucharist. I am offered that experience every time I meditate on the rosary and every time I reach out to touch the scars that heal me.James is waiting at Children’s Hospital. His youngest brother has an infection. His mom is torn between comforting sick sons who cannot be near each other. And they wait.