Thursday, February 20, 2014

unworthy

Work has more or less sucked lately.

Don't get me wrong, I love the institution I work for - and I work with some truly amazing people, for whom I am grateful - but the past few weeks have been a perfect storm of frustration, stress, angst, and irritation. At times, the irritation has shifted to outright anger, for some reasons that I think are understandable - but the reasons being understandable is, perhaps, no excuse when I do not seek a more productive way to deal with the situation.

Times like these. Oh, times like these. Days and weeks like these. They remind me of the need for strategically placed vacation days(!!!!!).

Lately, they have deeply reminded me of my need for God's mercy, strength, and grace - and my own unworthiness when it comes to these - and of the grace of weekday Mass. I cannot count how many times in the last few weeks I have felt completely drained, kneeling to pray before an evening weekday Mass, and simply thanking our Lord for getting me through another day, being grateful to finally have a few moments of peace, and honest silence, to clear my head, to pray, to examine my conscience. (It also often reminds me of how grateful I should be for stable, gainful employment, even when parts of said employment make me feel like a crazy person!)

At the end of it all, I know it is all just another piece of the puzzle known as journeying (and struggling) through life with Christ. We all have our trials, our pains, our joys, our sorrows - they are all for a reason, and they are ultimately for our good.

Still, as I knelt during the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass this evening, knowing that in a few minutes I would serve as an Extraordinary Minister during Communion, I acutely felt my own unworthiness - that, in all my imperfection, in all of my failings throughout today - I would have the privilege, first to receive the sacred Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist - and then, the privilege to give the Blood of Christ to those gathered for the Mass. It is rather scary to consider receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord, knowing well my failings that day; and then, to hold a chalice and offer the Blood of Christ to the faithful? I mean, seriously. This is GOD we are talking about. Ultimate perfection - ultimate perfection that is willing to be received into a really, seriously, truly, definitely imperfect human vessel... and then to let that human vessel offer Him to others?!??

The words of a familiar hymn came to my mind, over and over, during the Eucharistic prayer this evening:

"O Lord, I am not worthy
That You should come to me
But speak the words of comfort, 
My spirit healed shall be.

O come, all you who labor, 
In sorrow and in pain
Come, eat this Bread from heaven, 
Your peace and strength regain.

O Jesus, we adore You, 
Our Victim, and our Priest. 
Whose precious Blood and Body
Become our sacred Feast. 

O Sacrament most holy, 
O Sacrament divine! 
All praise, and all thanksgiving, 
Be every moment Thine!"

Lord, I am not worthy. You know that, even better than I, because you know me better than I know myself. My sorrows and my pain are insignificant compared to those of others, let alone in comparison to your own - yet you heal me, just the same. Let me not forget that I cannot do this without you.

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