To Rant or Not to Rant?
My immediate reaction was anger, quickly followed by hurt, then more anger. But I knew he knew I wasn’t happy about his defection, and texting an angrily worded guilt-trip back to him wouldn’t help. At least he'd let me know he wasn’t coming: that in itself was something.
It would also be inappropriate to shoot an irate message to him just before going into Mass! So I asked God to calm me down and let the Holy Spirit prompt my correct response.
But Hurt is Still Hurt
Yet I still felt hurt. My son knows how important to me our church time together is. Although they don’t mean much to him now, I hope he'll look back on these shared hours before God in later life and find strength in them during hard times. And I hope the memories serve to bring him back to the fold.
While I sat there, smarting with indignation and wounded feelings, I looked up at the cross suspended over the altar. It is huge. A silver statue of Christ hangs on it, but instead of both His hands being nailed to the wood, His right hand is free and stretched out towards the congregation. He is inviting us – begging us - to come to Him.
An Unexpected Perspective
Seeing Christ’s pleading gesture in the middle of my self-pity, I suddenly gained a tiny, tiny glimpse of how hurt Christ must feel when we, His children, turn our backs on Him, as my son had just done to me.
I was only one mother experiencing one moment of rejection. How much worse must it be for God when most of humanity says ‘No’ to Him? After everything He has done for us in giving us life, after the unfathomable sacrifice His Son went through for us. And still we say ‘No.’
No, we won’t obey God’s commandments. No, we won’t go to church every Sunday. No, we won’t follow Christ’s example and take up His cross. No, we refuse to spread His word……
A Healthy Dose of Humility
As Mass progressed, I felt smaller and smaller in God’s presence, yet grateful that He had given me this insight and the grace to understand – just a little bit – how much I hurt Him every day. I left the church resolved to be a better follower of Christ.
I also told my son (without anger) that Mass on Sundays is not optional – not while he lives under my roof. He’ll thank me for it after I’m dead and gone!