// Megan Byers //
The Holy Spirit knocked me off my feet in a live stream.
Father John Burns and Sister Miriam James Heidland were talking about healing, I was sipping some wine and taking notes and it was great. Then the host of the live stream asked Father John to speak to the question on all of our hearts: since the Source and Summit of our faith is unavailable to most of us, how do we navigate this time, what do we do?
I was stunned. I had just spent most of my time in prayer that day being frustrated about this very thing. It’s amazing how quickly the Lord wanted to answer this cry of my heart.
In this live stream, I was reminded that we are within God’s hands. It’s hard for me to remember that I am held in this season of life because the physical aspects of our faith have been taken away. As a person who receives love best in the form of physical touch, this is especially difficult. A lot of my woundedness finds comfort and healing in the Eucharist.
I haven’t turned to extreme measures to seek comfort, but I have been doing a lot of snacking lately. If I’m not eating something, then I’m probably thinking about food. What’s for dinner? Am I cooking tonight? Do I need to go to the store or do we have all the ingredients here? I could go for some chips ‘n salsa right now. Is someone making brownies? As Father John answered, I realized that all of the snacking and thinking about food points to a deeper reality: my desire for the heavenly banquet & receiving the Eucharist.
I have a page in my journal expressing a deep longing in my heart for Jesus. The longing in my heart has turned into a physical ache! “I don’t know how many more spiritual acts of communion I can make. I WANT TO RECEIVE JESUS! I WANT TO PRAY IN A CHURCH!”
I forget so easily that I am within God’s hands. I get so frustrated and become blind to the ways Jesus is making Himself present to me. I was reminded by Sister Miriam and Father John that this ache is not the end of my story, the Resurrection is coming! The anger, frustration, or ache I feel can be turned into an act of receiving!
Father John said it’s important for us to name the pain, but not to dwell on it. “In Her Wisdom, the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has determined that for a season we are all able to survive without receiving Holy Communion.”
That sounds crazy! What does this mean? We obviously need the Bread of Life, just read John chapter 6, but “there is a way that God is trying to give himself to us – in the Word and in our interior lives – in a manner that sustains us profoundly.”
Father John didn’t hesitate to direct me back to the ache I have been feeling. He said, “learning to lean into the ache, the thirst, the suffering” is going to prepare us for the type of faith that will “welcome the Bread of Life when it is sacramentally offered to us again.”
Rather than letting this be a season of bitterness, join me in asking God: How are you trying to sustain me right now, in my hunger, in my thirst, in my ache?
God, feed this hungry heart of mine.
My city is starting to lift some of the restrictions on public gatherings, so going to Mass in a church and not my living room is closely approaching. No matter what your mayors and bishops decide in the next few weeks, know this: you are within God’s hands. Jesus knows the ache you feel. The Holy Spirit is present and offering you graces to sustain your hungry heart.