Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Importance of Quiet Time Together

On Saturday nights, I spend two hours with God in the Adoration Chapel, but this night was different.  Earlier in the evening, my adoration partner had called to tell me he would be absent tonight, and to assure himself that at least I would be there.  And I assured him that I would, indeed, be there.
Upon entering the chapel that midnight, I knelt and had an opening chat with God.  “Evening, Lord.  I’ve come to spend some time with You again tonight.  Thank You for this honor of Your Presence.  We’ll be alone tonight, Lord, just You and I.  You know how much I like that.”
And upon saying those words, my thoughts flashed back in time to my visits with my mom, especially on those nights as things neared the end.  Each evening I’d be there with her, just her and I alone, even as God and I were alone this evening.  She didn’t speak aloud then either, but I knew she was there, and perhaps more importantly, she knew I was there.  And so we passed those nights together, quietly delighting in each other’s presence.  No words were necessary.  It seemed to me the same as this time, this night’s visit with God.
I always turned on the TV to mom’s favorite shows on those nights.  Some nights, I am sure, she was entertained by the shows, and on others I’m sure the shows didn’t bore her, but it was rather that her mind wandered from them on to more interesting, more important --- perhaps, more eternally important --- things, and she stared off into the distance, as we awaited her approaching death, together.
Those were important nights and times, to both of us.
Suddenly, while still kneeling there in the chapel, my thoughts switched again, in a sudden awareness:  My visit to God this evening was NOT like my visits to my mother, it was like God’s visit TO ME!  It wasn’t like I was taking time from my day to visit a dying loved one, it was God Who is taking time from His eternity and His infinite duties to spend time with me, a dying loved one of His.  It was I who am sometimes entertained by prayers or books I bring to the chapel, and whose mind sometimes wanders to more important things.  And it is I, who am always silently aware of His Presence, with no words necessary, as He and I await my approaching death, together.
These too, I realized, are important nights and times, to both of us.
The God of the universe comes to spend time with me!!  How I wish I didn’t have to leave.  And like a lover who looks forward to a wedding day, He knows a time is coming when I won’t.
I once spent time in anticipation of her leaving; He spends time in anticipation of my coming.  Whose longing is greater?
These are important nights and times, for both of us.
And then I sat down in the pew to begin my nightly rosary, pausing a bit longer on the first Our Father bead, and touching again the plastic skull attached to it.  Memento Mori! These are important times.

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