In loving testimony, I would like to share a special moment I experienced as a member of a women’s prayer group known as the ‘Seven Sister Apostolate’. In July 2017, this moment would serve to further enlighten my faith and the importance of spending time in adoration. It occurred during my time in the chapel of our church while praying for my priest. The account of this moment is as follows.
As a Seven Sister member, I had enthusiastically chosen Mondays for my weekly one hour adoration commitment on behalf of our priest. This particular Monday, began as usual with a full schedule of things to catch up on from the weekend. Over breakfast I planned my day; I would spend my morning running errands, have lunch with my mom, then pray for my priest before returning home in the early afternoon.
List in hand, I walked out the door confident I had my day in order, but my first stops that morning would dictate otherwise. Unexpected delays left me running behind and with exasperation at 11am. I conceded that most of my morning errands would be left undone. Searching my purse, I grabbed my list, reviewed my plan and decided I could finish up the remaining items in the early afternoon. I decided to simply move back my chapel time and get home a bit later than I wanted, but no big deal.
Shortly after lunch, I returned to my list with a determined resolve to finish my remaining tasks quickly and be at the church at 3pm. Like that morning, unfortunately, I found myself once again flustered and resigned to the fact that hardly any of today’s ‘ to-dos’ would get done. It was just one of those days, in fact one of many days, recently where I found my intentions befuddled. Now with afternoon waning, realization was sinking in that all my prior busy-ness had left me with one prayer option for Father, a ‘Hail Mary Holy Hour’. My special Monday commitment had become my last minute stop on the way home that day and as I pulled into the church parking lot, the events of the preceding hours had called my frame of mind into overtime. Preoccupied with my unfinished business, I walked quickly toward the chapel wondering how I would settle myself into prayer at adoration. In honest reflection, I regrettably remember feeling more a sense of ‘call to duty’ rather than ‘privilege to be called’ that day.
As I opened the door to Christ’s peaceful presence, physically I was accountable, but spiritually, my mind was on a leave of absence. How interesting, that in those first difficult moments of settling myself into the chapel’s solitude, our Lord would gently intercede and mentor me on my purpose for being there. Upon lowering to kneel near the Blessed Sacrament, I began hearing the refrain of a familiar song from the past repeating softly in the background of my thoughts ; ‘Right here in this moment is where I’m meant to be, here with you, here with me’. Immediately, I recognized this refrain as the same that had been replaying in my mind quite often over the past several days. Now, once again, this song phrase was crossing my thoughts as I kneeled at the feet of Christ’s Tabernacle. Tearfully I smiled to myself and noted His timing. How fitting these words arrive in the reverent silence of this moment near Him. Over the past several days, God had been speaking to my busy heart all along and finally here in His chapel I had quieted long enough to listen and open more deeply to the significance of this secular song message. Through His charitable graces He was affirming that here in this moment was indeed where I was meant to be; me with Him and Him with me. In an instant, the day’s distractions fueling my emotional distance were dispelled and I felt renewed in spiritual closeness with Him. My heart, so moved, compelled me to respond by vocally reciting the prayers of the rosary. While speaking aloud I soon noticed my voice softening into a melodic sweetness and my hands feeling warm, as if He had lovingly cupped His around mine. I felt uplifted and great peace filled my entirety.
After the rosary, I returned to other prayers, simultaneously contemplating new thoughts for a verse I hoped to compose later at home. In honor of this wondrous moment, I was granted the blessing of the following prayer verse.
Lord and Father,
Here in this moment, when I am near you,
My heart is warm, my tongue is light.
Their tones have sweetened into melodic softness.
At the feet of Thy tabernacle my fears bow in surrender,
And I feel my prayer resting trustfully
Upon the palm of Your gentle hand.
Adrift in this silent golden serenity
No other moments matter,
For the ecstasy of Thy presence lifts my entirety;
Carrying my weary soul closer to the threshold of Thy heavenly realm.
Several days later, I revisited this verse and the journal notes regarding my experience in adoration that day. Still deeply moved by its effects, I decided to search online for the accompanying lyrics. While doing so, I noted this song had been recorded by Edwin McCain and released publicly in February 1999. Now here in July 2017, God was bringing it back to life for me. I marveled at how He perfectly chose a phrase from this secular song and transformed its original popular purpose into a personal spiritual fruition. For me, a surprising connection, providing through its reminiscence a new revelation focused solely on the Lord’s loving intimacy abiding within the framework of adoration. The phrase: ‘Here with you, here with me’, in particular, reassures my heart that Christ tenderly desires to share His unwavering love with me in its full measure. I see His call to these *One with one* moments of reciprocal closeness as bearing special graces for all who come to abide in His presence.
As a final aside, I would like to return once again to the online search I mentioned earlier, to share my last personal account of enlightenment. Previously, I had been so focused on this song’s one particular phrase that I overlooked an important accompanying connection; ‘its title’. Here, God again was highlighting and expanding another profound perspective for me. It is the icing on the cake and sums up everything as I reflect back on the beloved sentiments I cherish from adoration that day.
This song bears the following title:
‘I Could Not Ask For More’
How wondrously befitting I thought; for what greater sentiment could describe the joy of finding oneself warmly embraced in Christ’s loving presence during the restful solitude of adoration.
In closing, I would like to offer this prayer.
Dear Lord and Father,
Drawn from the simplicity of mankind’s first words, You motivated our thoughts and sweetened our voices into melodic strains of expression. Your Holy Spirit garners our world’s Highest esteem in all Creative Mastery; for You alone are the Alpha and Omega of all composition’s originality. Help us always to seek, recognize and re-translate the messages hidden within the content of our songs and transform them into closer connections with You.
Thank you, God for masterfully opening new doors to our hearts which make faith…, and in turn life more beautifully meaningful.
Yours in Christ.
Jesus, You are the song in my heart.