Sunday Reflection – 7 January 2018 – The Feast of Epiphany
Each Sunday towards the end of Mass, we come to the altar rail, receive Holy Communion, return to our seats and sit or kneel quietly for a while in contemplation. But in these quiet moments after we have received Communion, what prayers do we offer up? Perhaps we don’t pray at all but in those quiet moments our thoughts turn to other things, like Sunday lunch or a planned visit to visit the grandchildren after Mass.
I recently came across this wonderful article, written by a priest. He writes:
“A few years ago it became evident to me that my prayers after distributing Holy Communion to my congregation were wholly inadequate. As I sat on my seat on the altar I was finding it extremely difficult to express into words, what this moment meant to me. Looking through my book collection I read all the prayers I could get my hands on but none seemed to be what I was looking for, so I gave up in frustration. However, each day I would pray to Mary our Blessed Mother asking her to teach me how to express my innermost feelings to the Lord. Sometime later I was preaching a retreat to a group of nuns when one of the elderly nuns came to visit me and said she felt she had a problem concerning her prayers after receiving Holy Communion. Feeling I had at last found a kindred spirit, I asked her what she usually prayed and she replied, ‘I don’t pray anything, I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.’ At that moment I realised that Mary had indeed answered my prayers.
“I just sit in silence and allow Him to love me and to teach me to love Him.”
What a simple, but moving description of what this moment means to us all.
“Above all, let us pray Him to draw us to Him and to give us faith. When we feel that His mysteries are too severe for us and occasion us to doubt, let us earnestly wait on Him for the gift of humility and love. Those who love and who are humble will apprehend them, carnal minds do not seek the and proud minds are offended at them but while love desires them, humility sustains them.
Let us pray Him to give us an earnest longing after Him – a thirst for His presence – an anxiety to find Him – a joy on hearing that He is to be found, even now, under the veil of sensible things – and a good hope that we shall find Him there.
Blessed indeed are they who have not seen and yet have believed. They have their reward in believing, they enjoy the contemplation of a mysterious blessing, which does not even enter into the thoughts of other men and while they are more blessed than others, in the gift vouchsafed to them, they have the additional privilege of knowing that they are vouchsafed it.”….Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890) – Parochial & Plain Sermons, Vol. VI, no. 11