Day: March 29, 2020

Lent 30 ~ Be Sealed with the Spirit


          In the afternoon hours of Thursday, a fear began to press itself into the creases of my spirit. Try as I might, I could not determine its reason for appearing. It didn’t seem to be about the death I had been told of. But it was definitely about the pandemic.

          Fear at such a time is understandable, expected even. Yet, I knew that while what I was sensing was related to the terror and deepening worries about so many things spreading across the globe, the fear seemed to be about something else.

          Something I could feel but not see.

          I rose early on Friday and went to my promise.

Mother, I prayed to Our Lady of Fatima, I consecrate the world to Jesus, through Thee.

Please protect us. Please save us.

          Life went on in the new monastic rhythm of busyness intertwined with quiet alertness. The sun danced its light upon us as we cleaned the home, taught the kids their lessons. As we worked in the garden, as we prepared meals.

          But the quiet thread of fear continued to weave its seam through it all.

          By late afternoon, this fear had grown bolder. I felt my chest tighten. Again I searched for the source of this reaction. Again, the air kept its own counsel.

          Then, I remembered a prayer, and urgently reached for it.

Jesus, lay Thy hand upon my heart

          Immediately, the constricting fear and tightness evaporated. I knew then that whatever had come, it wasn’t from God.

          Once more, the day and its little calls continued. Again, I returned to my duties, but with an alert eye trained on the distance even as I pondered the many things laid against my heart since the morn of Thursday.

          By night, the tightness had returned, reaching into my throat with a firmness of intent. I knew instinctively that it wasn’t a physical condition; my spirit was reacting to something. I started to share about it with my husband, but somehow, the words evaporated and the moment passed.

          Late at night, busy reflecting and writing, an alert popped up in a small window at the base of my laptop screen. It was a message from a website I might have visited at least a year ago, not something recent. And the message was,

Be sealed with the Spirit

          The moment my puzzled gaze took it in, the tightness disappeared.

          I couldn’t believe it.

Be sealed with the Spirit

          It’s been two days and no shadow has drawn close to my gate since. The fear, the tightness – has left.

          I watch the news, read words of pain and fear. All over the world, people weeping, in anguish over lost jobs and lives. I could turn a deaf ear, dismiss the panic as manufactured, busy myself elsewhere. The choice is mine.

          But I don’t – because I can’t and I shouldn’t. That fear I experienced wasn’t from God but God let that fear touch me for a reason. And that reason is the love I profess is of no value if I pull my hands away from the wounds of my brethren. Because I wound my Jesus if I withdraw into my security and comfort when others around me the world over are losing every comfort and security they’ve ever known.

          And so, I return to where He wants me to be – in the pain of His people. Where each life left on earth is in need of the same healing benediction laid upon me,

Be sealed with the Spirit