Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Grace from Our Lord During Adoration...

I haven't been blogging lately... but I have been reading others' wonderful blogs. My heart just hasn't been into it. In fact, to be quite honest, I have been feeling angry and depressed and uninspired lately. I am having an "OK" lent, but at times, feel like I am going through the motions. I've been very frustrated with my job circumstances and the micro-managing behaviour of my boss. (When I took my new job a year ago, he promised me flexibility and the ability to work from home when I needed it in order to take care of my child care issues, occasional sick kids, and not to mention the medical aspects of dealing with my pregnancy... He has since changed his tune and said "No working from home."  He is doing things like watching the clock and keeping tabs of anyone who comes in 5 minutes late. It's insulting and annoying.) I have been growing increasingly resentful of him and my job and my 2 hour daily commute and the demands of the 9-10 hours a day and how it negatively impacts my abilities as a wife and mother, but for now we really need this income. Unfortunately, my patience has worn so thin, it is so stressful in my attempts to wake up the kids every morning at 5:45 am every day and get everyone ready, carting them off to daycare, and having to worry about getting into the office and log in by the "right time" so my boss will see that I am "on line". I have been getting angrier and angrier and taking this all out on my kids and my husband. I have been increasingly using more profanity and yelling at my children, and taking Our Lord's name in vain, it is becoming quite a habit. In fact, for the last few weeks, since before Lent, I felt that I needed to take this to Confession, so I stopped receiving Communion. Every week we seem to be so tired, or so behind, or so busy, we have missed Confession, or it has been cancelled, and for one reason or another, haven't been able to get there in time. (Not really conducive to a great Lent... ) Anyway, yesterday, I found a nail in my front tire, so got to break away to get it fixed (no kids in tow.) Afterwards, I was supposed to go straight home and get ready for Mass, but thought I could take a little time to myself, (about an hour) to go visit a perpetual adoration chapel nearby that I love, but don't get a chance to go as often as I would like. This was a perfect opportunity. It is so peaceful and quiet and serene. There are a few tiny rows of chairs with kneelers, and one rocking chair in the very back. I just sat down in that rocker and sank back and started praying to God... "I am sorry for my horrible attitude... please help me to find the time and opportunity to get to Confession... I keep missing it." I even asked for a priest to walk into the adoration chapel at random so I could ask him to hear my Confession so I could start receiving Communion and be in the right state of mind again. I prayed to help me feel Joy again, that I have been missing too much of lately, and to help me not feel so angry, and look for the blessings in my situation (which is not all that bad after all, thank God I have a job, when many are unemployed, thank God I have my health, when many are suffering, etc.) I prayed for answers to my job situation... either accept this current state as God's will, or find something "better" with His help. I prayed to be a better and more patient mother and wife. At that point, I started to say a Rosary, but about 1/4 of the way into it, I was so exhausted, and it was so quiet and dim, I feel asleep in the back with the rosary in my hand. I don't know how long I was asleep, maybe 20 minutes, maybe longer? But I finally woke up and thought it was so strange that nobody else was coming in. Usually on a Saturday afternoon there are at least 1 or 2 other visitors who come in to pray. I was grateful for the solitude. Then I heard someone opening the door from the outside, and walking up the stairs... Time for my silence to be over, but it was a much needed little break. There were footsteps walking up the stairs. (This little chapel is in an old convent that was shut down, but a back room was converted into an Adoration Chapel, with a keypad/lock on the front door, where anyone can come to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament day or night, anytime. It is a very special place.) Ok, so here is the good part... The door opens, and in walks a priest, in collar and dressed all in black. He sits down casually in the front row and I am still sitting all the way in the back in that rocking chair, and he didn't even give me a glance. He pulled out a tablet and started reading. I know most every parish priest in the area, but I have never seen this priest before and I had no idea who he was or where he came from. Nothing like this has ever happened before, and I have been coming to this place for several years. I started sweating at this point, because I am wondering what is going on here... ? I half-jokingly prayed for a priest to walk in here... and he just did!!!
I must have sat there for 15 more minutes in silence just wondering what I should do... was this a sign or something, or an answer to a prayer, or a coincidence, or am I just an idiot???
Then my cell phone rang out piercing the silence. (It was my husband wondering why I was still at the car dealership 2 hours past when I said I was on my way home, and decided to make a "quick detour" over to the adoration chapel!) I was embarrassed, so I quick, turned off my phone without answering. The priest still didn't even look up or behind, he acted like I wasn't in the room. I thought, I really need to get out of here and let my husband know I am OK, I was trying to get up my nerve, but just didn't want to disturb him. I quick, said a few Hail Mary's, and knew it was now or never, I just took a deep breath, and walked up to the priest, and said, "Excuse me Father", (he turned and looked at me), "Are you a priest?"
"Is it inappropriate if I ask you to hear my Confession?" (My heart was really beating now, this was just very bizarre, and I was probably really interrupting and bothering this poor man.)
He paused, and said "Let me finish what I am doing first."
"OK." (and I just sat back down and waited for what seemed like 10 minutes, really really feeling stupid now, like I probably shouldn't have even said anything and I definitely was annoying this priest who came to read and pray and not hear my boring life story.)
Finally he got up, left the Adoration room, (there was a little entry room with book shelves and two chairs and a bathroom), and signalled for me to come out there. I did, and we sat down in the chairs and to make the long story short, he heard my confession, offered some words of advice, and granted me absolution. I told him that I had been in there praying for a priest to come in, and then you walked in, so... I thought I should take advantage of it. He kind of half-smiled and maybe rolled his eyes a little (I couldn't completely tell) and told me to thank God for the grace he just granted me. I said "Thank you, Father!" and 100% happier, went on my way, and he went back into the chapel to spend some quality time alone with Our Lord.
The point of this little story: God really does listen and he really does answer our prayers!
Thanks for reading!!!