Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Reaching for Christ

In this time of quarantine and isolation, my spiritual hunger was so much greater and more profound.  This Lenten Season was a challenging one.  Being forced to stay home, making time for my spirituality was actually in some ways harder.  Instead of being able to walk into a Chapel with the Blessed Sacrament in front of me, or kneel in front of the altar in Church, I was sitting in front of a computer screen, surrounded by my life’s distractions.  Too often, I was alone, praying alone.  I longed for a companion to pray with me, be on the same spiritual level as I was.

 I’d never longed those moments of silent prayer or the prayer community with the Mass more than the last few of weeks, and most especially this Holy Week.  It is said that in Spiritual Communion, the desire for Jesus to enter our hearts is what is enough to fulfill this Sacrament while we are physically unable to partake in the Eucharist.  Now, more than ever, I have realized how important that desire for Christ is.  While I say the prayer for Spiritual Communion, there is a sense of peace that overwhelms me that has been even greater than when I have actually received the Body of Christ.  Somehow I feel my faith has strengthened.

How can this be?   I had previously mentioned a meme I had seen that said "This is the Lentiest Lent there ever Lent".  We as Christians, are supposed to take this time to fast and abstain, as well as pray and give alms.  These lock-downs and safe-at-home orders have forced us to fast from the immaterial desires and distractions.  But do we truly know what it is to fast as Jesus did, alone in the the desert for 40 days?  To feel that that hunger, thirst and vulnerability in complete desolation?

I still cannot say that I know what Jesus had gone through, to be put into a position of such vulnerability that even as the Son of God, he faced temptation from Satan.  But we are now in a faith desolation.  The physical is no longer within our grasp, no longer tangible.  We no longer have a choice and cannot receive the body and blood of our Lord.    We yearn to feel the Blessed Host, taste the Blessed Host; feel and taste that sweet wine on our lips as we drink the Blood of Christ. Because of that, we are left spiritually hungry, yearning for that sense of prayer community. But we are not abandoned. What we do still have and always will have are the invisible graces that our Lord has provided us from the moment we were created.  With all the worldly distractions gone, I have yearned for the loving comfort of our Lord so much more, and I have felt His grace more powerfully than I ever have before.