When I was asked to write a reflection for this week’s Newsletter, I began to think, where do I start? Then I realised that there are three deeply significant dates that remain etched in my memory which have revealed where I have experienced the Hand of God in my life. I was prompted by the fact that last Saturday would have been my wedding anniversary celebration. The other two dates are the death of my husband – and subsequently a few years later – my reception into full communion with the Catholic Church.
As a Christian, but not a Catholic, in the couple of years leading up to our marriage my husband and I used to come to St. Bon’s where I encountered a strong sense of welcome and community. Looking back now I can see the Hand of God at work in both our lives drawing us closer together and giving us joy and an increasing desire to spend the rest of our lives together with all the blessings that marriage brings.
Sadly, this was short-lived and with my husband’s cancer diagnosis life together took on new challenges. On the day of his death my brother fetched my Mum and Dad round and as we had a group hug – amongst the shared tears – my Dad said “But you’ve got the church.”. In the depths of my grief these are the only words we shared that afternoon that I still remember. On reflection now I recognise Hand of God at work in my life that day and which has certainly proved to be a true portend.
So, what prompted me to seek full communion with the Catholic Church? It was a Catholic friend who asked, “Why are you sitting on the edge of the church?” which gave me cause to reflect deeply on this remark. It led me to delve into the church’s teachings. Then one day at Mass I was listening to the Gospel that speaks about the two disciples on the road to Emmaus who were approached by Jesus after his resurrection, and they didn’t recognise him. On arrival at their village, they pressed him to stay with them and it was there that he took the bread and said the blessing, broke it and handed it to them and it was only then that they recognised him. As I watched everyone’s desire to go up to receive Holy Communion that evening, I recognised God’s Hand at work in their lives and in the most powerful of ways. It was this that pointed me in the direction of the Parish Priest to seek entry into full communion with the Catholic Church!
So, through the heights of joy and the depths of grief I have learned that we are never abandoned and that the Hand of God in my life has guided me along the journey into the Catholic Church where I have become the beneficiary of many gifts so generously shared by others and have learned to share mine with them.
This leads me to conclude that by His grace He will continue to give me untold gifts and insights as yet to be revealed.
All of which kind of makes me believe that He truly is the God of Surprises!
So maybe in the week ahead you might like to grab a few moments to reflect upon where you have found the hand of God at work in your life?
An Anonymous Parishioner’s Personal Reflection