On Saturday evening I was chatting with a non-Catholic acquaintance of mine who was quite open to me that his “zeal of the convert” phase was a thing of the past and he was now “questioning things” as he put it. I tried to offer encouragement such as even the greatest saints having questions, but I felt restricted in where I could go with him.
He was also questioning the worship at his church of choice. Happy. Powerpoint. You get the picture.
Nevertheless I found his open-ness refreshing. I can’t help but wonder since if he felt able to confide in any of his fellows.
Today, just before it was time to put my PC in standby mode, dash out and attend lunchtime mass it came to me that I really didn’t feel like going. I wasn’t feeling very pious and I wasn’t really up for it at all. I did go and from the moment I arrived I was glad of my decision. That is almost always the case when you reflect on days like these. By the time we were through the Confiteor I was feeling suitably penitent and attentive.
After I had received communion and I knelt gathering my thoughts in adoration the warm sun shone its rays through the window onto me. It momentarily warmed my body as Jesus was warming my soul.
It isn’t always like that. I have learnt not to rely on these moments or expect them and I have read some of the saints say we shouldn’t even seek them. Since my own “zeal of a convert” era has eroded I have tried to lean on God more than on my own feelings and this is where the sacramental life comes to the fore.
Sure, I might not get zapped by a ray of sun every time I receive communion but my experience of the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist are that the reality of the words and symbols are enticing and keep drawing me back. Man could not have come up with this of himself.
There is the irony. Where there is so much accusation of self-righteousness there is very little. God keeps drawing me back. All I am doing by coming back is leaning on Him.