Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting Light that shines on every man… It is the soul that has its door, its gates. Christ comes to this door and knocks; He knocks at these gates. Open to Him; He wants to enter, to find His bride waiting and watching. ~ St. Ambrose of Milan, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, from An Exposition of Psalm 118
To welcome the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ today, I thought of doing my usual 3-day Novena. But time slipped past and although I wasn’t as rushed and as frazzled as I usually am, I didn’t go searching for my prayers either.
Instead, the recent days found me going back to a time in our past. To a long gone Sunday, another Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ. Worn and tired from caring for the kids and from endless troubles on the home front, we had left home late for Sunday Mass. We arrived at church more than 30 minutes late for Mass to find a crowd outside the front doors, themselves unable to get a seat inside. With babies and a toddler in tow, all the sort that just cannot be still even for a moment, we didn’t relish standing outside with the others, offering a comic sideshow for everyone as we dealt with fat, squirming little ones.
Plus, one of our children wasn’t too well.
We decided Mass wasn’t for us that day. And we drove on.
3 days later, we had embarked on the most searing journey of grief.
This year, as the days made their way to this same feast, I laid down my heart at the feet of my Jesus and asked His forgiveness for what we did that day 14 years ago. Over and over, as often as the winds sang their hymns through the trees, I told God I was so sorry.
Yesterday, as I was in the midst of revisiting that old day, Someone interrupted me, cheerily ringing the windchimes just above my seat. As I peered up, I spied a lone tree in the distance shake its arms at me. Puzzled that there didn’t seem to be a wind about, nor a bird or squirrel on busy business in the tree, I scanned the skies and trees for an answer.
Then, I sensed happy mischief. And by that, I knew God was placing His hand upon my heart.
Still, I didn’t want to go this great feast day without a prayer of welcome. So, late last night, I went looking. I had barely begun when St. Ambrose of Milan stepped out from behind his door. I have grown to love him with all my heart for all the times he has hastened to my side, bringing me the sun of God’s sacred light, lifting my heart to hope when I felt I couldn’t go on anymore.
Last night again, he gave me his words for my Corpus Christi and reading them, I felt my heart get caught up in an upward, lifting spiral of happiness.
Let your door stand open to receive Him,
unlock your soul to Him,
offer Him a welcome in your mind,
and then you will see
the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace.
Throw wide the gate of your heart,
stand before the sun of the everlasting Light that shines on every man.
A rainbow forms when Light shines through tears. When I saw that rainbow, I knew God’s light had fallen upon my heart.