+ Dear Saint David Parishioners,
Once there was a man named Charlie who was feeling quite unsettled with his life, but couldn’t really put his finger on the reason why. He was happily married to Sarah, was blessed with three beautiful children, and was satisfied with his work. Charlie reflected on his life and considered himself a decent human being; he thought of himself as a reliable and responsible person, a satisfactory husband and father, and one who occasionally helped those who were less fortunate. Even though these were acceptable qualities, something was just not right. Nothing major was happening in his life; it was the same ol’, same ol’. One day while he was taking a walk in the park, he heard an inner voice say to him, “Charlie, what you are missing is Me.” “What?” Charlie spun around to see if anyone was around, but there was no one. Charlie thought to himself that he must have imagined it. Again, the inner voice repeated, except this time a little louder, “Charlie, what you are missing is Me!”
Charlie realized that the inner voice was Jesus. He thought, “I am no Saint Paul falling off a horse, but this is real. I know it is.” Charlie didn’t want to tell anyone for fear that he/she would think that he did fall off a horse. Instead, he stopped into Saint David Church where it just happened to be a day when the Blessed Sacrament was exposed for adoration. Now Charlie remembered that when he attended Saint David School, his teacher taught that Jesus is actually present in the Blessed Sacrament. As Charlie knelt down before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, he found himself pouring out his heart in prayer – explaining to Jesus all that he was going through, even though he realized that Jesus already knew, but Charlie continued anyway. He then sat back, not thinking or saying anything, but just gazing at Jesus in the monstrance. He thought, “Wow, this is really amazing that our God came down from heaven, was born of the Virgin Mary, became a baby, grew up as all of us do, began His public ministry, was crucified, and rose from the dead to save me and all of us from sin. How remarkable!” Charlie then just sat back in the pew and let himself process this experience. Charlie relished this personal encounter with Jesus and felt an inner peace that he had never experienced before.
As time went on, Charlie made it a weekly practice – sometimes once or twice a week to stop into adoration. He then began attending weekly Mass with Sarah and the kids. Sarah never asked why the sudden change, but she did notice that Charlie was becoming more attentive, patient, and generous with his time with her and the children. Even some of Charlie’s friends mentioned to Sarah that Charlie seemed different, but in a good way. Finally, one day Charlie shared with Sarah all that he went through and invited her to join him in going to adoration. Together, their marriage became stronger because they would pray together, share their thoughts on Scripture passages, discuss the weekly Sunday readings as a family, and participate in the Sacrament of Reconciliation as a family. During Advent and Lent, they prayed a decade of the rosary as a family. These shared practices deepened not only their marriage but their family bonds as well. Charlie remembered one of his religion teachers telling the class, “The family that prays together, stays together.” Charlie felt blessed that he had taken the time to get to the bottom of his unsettled feelings and as a result, his Catholic faith became an integral part of his everyday life. Jesus now had a central place in his life and in his family’s life and life felt more manageable and less anxiety-ridden with Jesus by their side! Charlie gave thanks and praise to God for this awesome experience and explained to those who would listen how Jesus wants to have a personal encounter with each one of us– we just have to be willing to stop and listen.
In Mary’s Immaculate Heart, I am,