Grace to you!
I would love to share with you a recent experience during my last week’s travel to Louisville, Kentucky for a Conference.
I boarded the aircraft and sat between two men. As often as I did while traveling, I brought out my blue rosary and started to pray in silence. Forty minutes into the flight, one of the men I sat next to seemed to have something to say to me.
I sensed it. His body language said it all. I slightly looked at him and our eyes crossed. As I suspected, he asked, “Please don’t be offended. Why do you pray?”
The question sounded odd to me, or rather intrusive. “Why pry into my private affairs,” I thought. However, I smiled. Smiles have a way of easing off eerie feelings. Looking him in the eye, I couldn’t discern why he wanted to know.
I felt I should feel free to share with him anyway. Sure enough, I did.
“I pray for many things,” I began. “Sometimes to thank God. Other times to worship Him. Numerous times to ask for one intention or another for those who have asked me to pray for them.”
Continuing, I explained that my current prayer petition is to ask God to intervene in the wildfire outbreak in southern California. I pray also for many out there who are wounded and hurting. It could be the depressed or those dealing with some domestic and relationship issues.
As I went on, I noticed he started to tear up. “I can’t believe that I’m tearing up,” he said as he wiped his eyes with a paper towel.
He had been through many family issues and they are eating him up. He explained he was baptized young as a Catholic, but has since left the Church. He claimed he suspected I must be a Catholic because of the clergy dress I was wearing, plus when I brought out the Rosary to pray. He maintained he is never curious about people’s affairs, but couldn’t say why he decided to ask why I pray. Moreover, it had been a long time since he left the faith and didn’t care about it anymore.
The discussion went on and on and turned out to be a spiritual “counselling” session. He told me what he does and gave me his business card, asking that I give him my contact. I did.
He held my hands, and at his request I prayed for him while on the plane. Tears of joy filled his eyes and he thanked me for helping carry his load. I remember telling him the Lord’s word, which I believe applies to all who are burdened: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Mt 11:28).
Before our flight landed and we parted ways, the trip became a spiritual healing experience for a person I met on the plane.
God works in strange ways. He visits us in strange circumstances. Burdened, come to Christ, and find peace.
Praying that Christ will grant us the grace of relief from our worries and burdens. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Wednesday Advent Week 2 B: Is 40:25-31; Mt 11:28-30]
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations this Advent Season.