This morning I was doing a bunch of little writing tasks, one of which was to send an email to a friend. I knew basically what I wanted to say, but there was a certain phrase I wanted to get just right. As I have done on many occasions (especially in the days when I wrote letters for a living) I prayed for words. I started out praying for "the right words," but then caught something in the nuance of my heart, having to do with what I blogged about yesterday, and I changed the request. I prayed instead for my words, the words that really get to the point in my heart. And they came.
This reminded me of an experience I had early in my journey into the Catholic Church. I don't remember exactly when it occurred, but the setting was in that basement chapel of Gesu parish where I attended daily Mass from 1992-1994. I knelt at the pew before Mass began, and the Lord spoke to me. He asked me a question: "Marie, why are you here?" I was kind of flustered, and stammered around for a factual answer. "Well, uh, I'm here because I going to worship you at this Mass..." This kind of response is pretty typical of how I respond to everyone, because communication verbally usually catches me off guard. Somehow I don't have an expectation of communication, so I usually feel unprepared. Habit, I guess.
The Lord asked again, "Marie, why are you here?" This time, I got all religious on God, sort of fawning on Him, hoping that if I bent low enough, that would somehow substitute for really answering Him. "Oh Lord," I said, "I can't really know why I'm here. But you know everything, and you know why I'm here." I had an immediate sense that this made the Lord want to puke. Like an "oh, stop it, would you?" kind of sense. I realized this morning I do this a lot, too. I don't like to admit it, and I probably don't look like I do this, but internally I fawn on people a lot. It has got to stop. Fortunately it is starting to make me want to puke, too.
He asked me a third time. "Marie, why are you here?" It was then that I realized, because I felt it become possible, that the answer had to rise out of the depths of my spirit, the depths of me. "I'm here because this is my home," I said. And as I said it, I learned it. Ah. So that's it. Not unlike the words I wrote in that email today.
Somehow, this is what the Lord is teaching me again today.