Last week, something very strange happened. Come to think of it, it was mystical not strange. I can’t help but share it.
As I was heading out the door for weekday mass, I was torn, as I often am, with the thought, Maybe my commitment to daily mass……. is just over the top? How did I become this way? Plagued with self doubt, thousands of thoughts flooded my mind…. and pulled at my soul……
Why go to daily mass?… … I have so many more important things to do…. business calls to return, emails to answer, articles to write… and then of course there’s deciding what to make for dinner, Facebook, picking up groceries, laundry, housework and tons of other stuff just like that….. The kids will be home before you know it and then I will never get anything done!
Time is so precious, there never seems to be enough of it….. If I don’t go to mass I will have more time… I will save time. I will save money. The drive and back costs me money…. gas is so expensive these days …. and besides I am tired and exhausted, I don’t feel that well……. Forget it, don’t go to daily mass the Church doesn’t require it….. Dad didn’t do it …. and my mom only started the habit after she retired. Why am I going to daily mass anyway? Maybe it’s just spiritual pride, this obsession of mine. Oh God, do you want me to go to daily mass? Please send me a sign!”
With all of these thoughts running through my mind, I am not sure why I didn’t give in.
Seemingly out of no where, a tiny little divine spark helped me marshall my spiritual energy and walk out that door. On a spiritual level I could literally feel myself being torn away from all of the things that were being demanded of me, in my world and in my mind.
My responsibilities as a wife and mother, my business and all of those things I just had to do — They were pulling me at me to stay.
I walked out my front door with this sense that I had to just leave everything behind and go to noon mass. I had to detach.
A couple of different thoughts began to make there way in. From somewhere else, other thoughts reminded me, “When you say “yes” to one thing, you are saying “no” to another. By saying ‘yes’ to daily mass, of course you will have to say ‘no’ to the other…. What could possibly be more important than meeting Jesus, receiving Him, giving thanks for all that He has given you? All that he has done for you? What could be more important than giving God an hour of your time and asking him for the strength to accomplish all that has been set before you? God, please send me a sign… Am I crazy even trying to get to mass daily? Is this really what you want me to do? Am I demanding the impossible of myself? Please send me a sign!”
Oh, I know it’s probably wrong to ask for a sign, but on so many levels I am a bit stubborn and just a kid.
As I drove along Burhamthorpe towards Sts. Peter and Paul Church, I was still feeling uneasy. For some reason as I approached the church, I decided to turn on the radio, perhaps to distract my mind from all of its inner chatter. I was completely stunned when right at that moment I heard the voice of a Russian folk singer, not just any Russian folk singer, but my dad’s favourite singer. My father has been dead for thirty years. What are the chances?
Suddenly I could feel my father’s presence. It was consoling, reassuring, it filled me with laughter and with tears. I couldn’t believe my ears, I was stunned, I hadn’t heard that voice in years… I turned it up a little louder just to be sure it was him.
Now to most people Ivan Rebroff is just a name, but to me his bellowing voice, played so often in my home, represents a spirit of living … a spirit of joy… of laughter….a spirit of celebrating God’s given gifts. He shared so many of my dads characteristics a musician forever singing, surrounded by balalaikas, pianos, violins and of course accordions… How is it that I had forgotten about him?
I was tempted to forget about Mass, and just sit in the car and relish in the moment. But seemingly from out of know where, I was joyfully reminded — I could listen to Ivan at anytime. I relished in my father’s presence consoled I could offer him this mass. What a precious gift I was given, to feel his presence once again. What a precious gift I could give him, one that will surely last. I prayed for my father, thanking Him for all I he had taught me, the gifts he continues to shower upon me.
As I sit here at my kitchen table I relish in the thought that my father is probably singing up a storm in heaven, playing the violin, accordion and he’s probably dancing too… I praise God for all of His wonderful graces that miraculously weave things together into a spiritual bouquet that this week delighted me, reminding me of the wonders of my past.