“Let us ask the Lord for this grace: that our hearts become free and filled with light, so that we can rejoice as children of God.”
Last week our parish held a healing Mass. As Peter begins the second half of his year-long chemotherapy treatment, Tricia and I thought it would be a good way not only to bless our son, but also to keep our whole family focused on prayer. Despite our best laid plans, between homework, dinner, and the lingering back to school fatigue for everyone, there was no way we could get the family to church by 6pm. Tricia and I were a little bummed, but Peter was very disappointed. Our pastor kindly offered to anoint Peter in the presence of his second grade class a little later in the week. When he feels up to it, Peter has been getting some much needed interaction with his classmates in the mornings. As Father called Peter to the front of the room and held his hands, he asked the children to bow their heads and join in prayer. The sight of these normally rambunctious seven- and eight-year-olds fervently praying for their buddy gave me what we call in our house "the wet eyes." As I felt a tear roll down my cheek I noticed my son had one as well. After Father finished the prayers, Peter came out with us into the hallway to go home. He began sobbing. Always the attentive mom, Tricia knelt down to ask Peter if he felt okay, if there was something wrong. "No mom, there’s nothing wrong," he cried. "It was like just, just too good." Now Father, Tricia, and I all had the wet eyes. I told Peter it was the Holy Spirit and the Spirit can be overwhelmingly good.
As we drove Peter home, I thought about just how blessed I’ve been in these last eight months to feel those "too good" moments so many times - the prayers, the acts of kindness, the persistent and consistent check-ins from others. In this situation it’s almost been impossible not to be overwhelmed by the Spirit working through so many. I couldn’t help but wonder though, how open am I to being overwhelmed by the Spirit in other areas of my life? What would happen if, like Peter and his classmates, I would ask so earnestly and so purely for God’s healing and grace? We all have that brokenness that sits somewhere deep within us, that we are desperate to heal, but afraid to share. What might happen if we truly opened it up for the Lord to heal? I bet it might yield something more than just the wet eyes. Let’s pray that we can trust in others’ prayers and most importantly in the Lord’s goodness to grant us the grace that will make us whole and holy.