Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

What Happened Yesterday Going to Mass

Yesterday, I got a minor reminder of something of what Deacon Dave preached about, and posted yesterday at this blog.

I drove to St. XYZ parish for its 12:10 p.m. Mass.  It was convenient to where I was working yesterday.  I got there, and a note on the door politely stated that the 7:00 a.m. and 12:10 p.m. Masses of the day would not be said.  I presume it was because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  It is a federal holiday and so federal workers, who populate my area plentifully, as well as students and teachers, had the day off.  "Priests apparently, too," I remarked to myself as I went into the church to pray for a bit, since I was there anyway.  There were twenty or thirty people inside, apparently also unforewarned about the cancellation - and apparently workers on their lunch break, as usual.  I became irritated.  Irritation turned to anger, resentment.  I tried hard to pray.  The best I could muster was to growl at God about workshy bureaucrats and priests.  None of this reflects well on me, I am afraid.

But then a moment of grace intervened.  I didn't detect it at first.  It simply arose as a quiet thought, "Well, I might have gotten my butt out of bed for the early Mass at my own parish, or even the morning Mass, and still been to work on time - or close enough to it."  Since I was there anyway, I tried to remember the words to a prayer of spiritual communion.  I couldn't, so instead I just prayed, "Jesus, just yesterday you came to me in love.  Please extend into today the union you gave me yesterday.  Help me to love like you.  I want to trust that whatever happens, it is your will.  Help me to trust you.  Amen."  As I walked outside after praying a couple decades of the rosary, another thought came to me.  "The priest might actually be very industrious.  I don't know.  He might very well need today off from his usual duties."  The sun was warm on my face during our little Spring Break in January.  I was grateful for having slept well on my soft bed in my warm house the night before, and for having a bit of work for the time being.  Resentment and anger faded away.

Taking responsibility for one's own actions, giving others the benefit of the doubt, and gratitude are good people-person skills.  They are also good attitudes.  They are also something of the natural virtue upon which supernatural sanctity is built.

I went back to the office where I was working and was able to make a valuable contribution to the firm.  That's something to take a bit of pride in, something to sleep well on.  I joined my dad and his wife for dinner and we had a pleasant time.  My evening tutoring session went well.  The day has ended nicely.  The bitter poison of anger, that might have slowly and imperceptibly tainted the rest of my day, was drawn out by an action of grace, to which I opened myself by a determination to pray, which was given to me by an action of grace, to which I opened myself by deciding to make use of the sacraments if I could, which was given to me by an action of grace...

So yesterday I saw the co-mingling of grace and my own efforts - and saw a bit of water turned into wine.  Let's look for little reminders of grace, and in our actions, try to be for other people little reminders of grace.

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