Because the healing retreat that I went to the weekend before Easter didn’t end until 11:30 am on Palm Sunday, many of us ladies attended the 5:30pm Mass at St. Gabriel’s in which a section in the first few rows on the right of the main aisle were reserved for us. I had never sat in the front row (even at a Daily Mass) before nor was I about to sit there that day, but I was left with no choice because there weren’t any seats left in the other rows.
I hadn’t a clue about the graces I would receive. I wonder to this day, was I awarded such marvels because I sat in the first row or because I attended a spiritual retreat or both?
An overwhelming sense of love for everyone in that church filled up inside of me. I could feel it illuminating out of my very being. My soul was ablaze! I wanted to hug, really hug everyone I saw, especially all of these women that I now held a special bond with due to the retreat.
At the beginning of Mass, I saw my Spiritual Director take her seat a few rows back and the Director of Worship for St. Gabriel, a woman I highly esteem and admire, sat directly behind me with her beautiful granddaughter. Seeing them and knowing that they were so close to me during the mass that begins Holy Week sent the intensity of my aflamed heart into a mountainous bonfire!
I closely felt Jesus’ presence in that church. It was as if I were watching him ride on his colt among the massive crowd, waving our palms at him, and lining his way into Jerusalem for Passover two thousand years ago.
Later, as the consecration was underway, Father lifts the host. I look up.
Jesus, I want to be awed.
As I’m looking down to pray “My Lord and My God” something catches my eye. It’s a soft glow, it’s a white blur, it’s a haze around the host.
The host is illuminated! Wait, am I seeing things? Did anyone else see that?
Then, Father raises the wine. I look up.
Jesus, I want to see.
As I look down again, I see a fog, not a white fog, but a dark red, the color of blood, fog hovering over the chalice.
What the heck just happened? What did I just witness? Something spectacular. A supernatural phenomenon. Something only possible by the Mystery of Faith.
Jesus, I am in awe! Jesus, I see! Praise Jesus! Thank you Jesus!
I know it sounds ludicrous, but I kid you not. It happened. I saw it with my own eyes. This was a sign from God. This was His gift to me! Somehow, I had won His favor again!
And this gift, all of His gifts to me so extraordinarily prevail over the bad, the ugly, the evil temptations that the devil throws at me, the poisonous thoughts the he places in my mind telling me I’m an unfit mother, a stupid, unintelligent housewife with no autonomy, a worthless human being who contributes nothing to society.
God will incessantly and perpetually give me the graces to conquer and trounce this relentless wickedness.
All I have to do is trust.
Jesus, I trust in you!