Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Novena of Grace - Day Three

It was snowing yesterday, Day 3 of the Novena of Grace at Gonzaga University's St. Aloysius Parish. The dabbing of holy water was lost amongst the dripping of snowflakes. It was funny, how wet we all were. No one let me catch their eye so we could laugh.

My knees are hurting now. But only when I kneel. It's when I notice.

Happiness and full of light. This is what I felt as the service began.

One of the read-aloud prayers was from a woman who asked St. Francis Xavier to heal her husband's anger at the church for the pedophile abuse crisis, so that he could return to the church of his childhood.

It impressed me, that the priests read that prayer. It made me sad, the way the prayer was written. I got confused, imagining why it made me sad, or what would have made it better. I gave up imagining and felt sad for that family instead. Just for them. It was then that a different feeling overwhelmed me. It was Grace, perhaps. Tears welled in my eyes. Down my cheeks. Unexpectedly. Like an angel had smiled into the center of my heart with a blessing and the enormity of the blessing overflowed and overwhelmed.

The rest of the service... didn't matter. Though I did get my individual blessing at the end, from one of the relic holders (relics from St. Francis Xavier). When I said what I was seeking - balance, both physically and spiritually - and that the two are not necessarily connected, the relic holder smiled and said she imagined that they were. But then, she did not know the details of why I sought spiritual balance here, in this Church, or what might be causing imbalance in the first place. (See Day 1 for some of the whys and what-fors of it all....)

And then I was fragile. For the rest of the day. All stemming from that moment of grace.

And so the Novena's first trilogy of days came to end.... Two more trilogies to go....

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