I wandered into the little Missionaries of Charity chapel for a few minutes this afternoon, while my older two children were in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd class. I had Gianna with me, and she flitted around the room while I prayed. Every couple of minutes, I had to intercept her little hands before they pulled off the rosary on the Mary statue, or stop her from hitting me with a foam knee pad, or redirect her mission to take everything out of my wallet. But between each of those times she distracted me, I tried to give Him the gift of my presence. I did not ask Him for a long list of things. I just tried to be with Him and feel Him with me.
I have been seeking out little opportunities to stop into church or the adoration chapel for a while now–and I take my children along. Because I come with children right now. This is my season in life. I don’t think that Jesus would rather I wait until my children are the ‘right ages’ to let them tag along with me.
We always have to be thoughtful and sensitive to our particular situations, and not every one of you should attempt to take your children into an adoration chapel right now. But if you have a little prompting in your heart to go see Him…maybe be brave and see how it goes.:)
When it comes to prayer, He always calls us first, even if we think prayer was our idea. I am really just beginning to recognize God calling me to prayer in different ways. Sometimes it is a little nudge in my thoughts to offer up an aspiration of love or trust. Sometimes, I just get a feeling of being drawn to stop by the adoration chapel with my girls right after dropping Gabriel off at school across the street. But there have been times that I have felt a much more strong, obvious call.
There was a night a few weeks ago that I just simply could not fall asleep. Sleeplessness is usually not a problem for me, and after a couple of hours I finally got up because I felt strongly like I should pray. I found myself inexplicably opening a copy of the Catechism, and quite literally the first words my eyes rested on were these: “God calls man first.” I had opened to CCC 2567:
“God calls man first. Man may forget his Creator or hide far from his face; he may run after idols or accuse the deity of having abandoned him; yet the living and true God tirelessly calls each person to that mysterious encounter known as prayer. In prayer, the faithful God’s initiative of love always comes first; our own first step is always a response. As God gradually reveals himself and reveals man to himself, prayer appears as a reciprocal call, a covenant drama. Through words and actions, this drama engages the heart. It unfolds throughout the whole history of salvation.”
I realized at that point that God had some things He needed to talk to me about.
I ended up spending a long time in prayer that night. And wouldn’t you know that I received pages and pages of my journal worth of comfort, affirmation, and clear answers from God on some issues I had been asking for counsel about?
God is so good. He always wants us, even when we come with baggage…or a few kids.