Wednesday, 14 July 2010
In her hour of need.
Father Ignatius was in the Sacristy after morning Mass on Wednesday when Henry, a young Altar server, came in and said:
“Father I was off to school and I noticed there’s a woman at the back of the church crying loudly …”
“Thank you Henry … it’s good of you to tell me …” said the priest calmly, “you go to school … I’ll deal with it …”
Moments later the priest entered the empty church and walked towards the back. He approached the woman and sat calmly on the pew a few feet away from her.
She raised her head and got up from a kneeling position and sat down. Father Ignatius had never met her before. She wiped her eyes with a handkerchief and stopped crying loudly.
She looked at him and said:
“I’m sorry Father to make such a scene in church …”
He smiled and said nothing for a second or two … then he said gently, “If Jesus was here with you right now … do you know what He would say?”
She shook her head and wiped her nose with the handkerchief.
“He would say ‘Peace be with you’ … those would be His first words as a start …”
He stopped for a while, and then continued, “and slowly, His peace would be upon you and you would slowly calm down …
“And then you would get to know, and realize, perhaps for the first time … that He truly loves you and cares for you …
“Because Jesus loves us all … individually … each according to his or her needs …”
“Even me?” she asked calming down a little.
“Especially you …” continued Father Ignatius, “He cares for you as a child of God … and no matter what hurts you right now, He shares that pain and wishes to help you relieve it … all you need do is trust Him and speak to Him freely … He will lead you to His peace as He has done to so many others …”
“Thank you Father …” she said, “that’s very helpful.”
“In the meantime,” continued Father Ignatius, “if there is anything I can do to help … let me know … when you’re ready of course …”
“No thanks Father … I think I’ve just witnessed Jesus’ presence …”
And with that she left the church with a lighter heart.
She has been back to church every Sunday ever since … and no one knows the reason for her upset on that day she first met Father Ignatius.