As I write this I am still grieving the death of my dad who passed away on April 18. I have thought much about God’s many mercies during a difficult time and I wanted to share a few with you all.
How great are the sacraments! We arranged for a priest to visit my dad before he died. Even though dad was mostly asleep at the time, I knew that a great act of God’s mercy was taking place. What a consolation to me, and I’m sure to my dad’s soul, to hear the words of absolution and blessing spoken in faith.
Too often I take the sacraments for granted. On that grace-filled day I saw them as they are—holy encounters with Christ that restore us body and soul. I’m so grateful!
In my father’s last days, I wanted to pray the rosary for him because I believe it is a powerful prayer for the dying. But I’m not very good at praying the rosary, especially when I’m distracted. I had to spend many hours in the car going back and forth and I prayed along with the CD, The Rosary Project: A Celebration of Prayer and Song. Not only did this help me pray the rosary, but it brought palpable peace to my frazzled emotions. Little did I suspect that when I worked with Chris Padgett over a year ago to bring that product into existence that it would be such a blessing for me when I needed help to pray. God does work in strange ways.
I had to reschedule a meeting with an author during the days I was attending to my dad. He signed his e-mail response to me with this closing: “In his grip.” I thought about that a lot. I wasn’t doing too well at praying or at finding time to be quiet with God. But God was with me. I was in his grip. How often I feel I am desperately clinging to God, hoping not to lose my grasp. Those simple words helped me see so clearly the truth—he holds on to me. He won’t let me go. In the middle of the storms of life I will not be swept away.
What has helped you in times of sorrow and pain to connect to God? Have you experienced being in his grip?
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