I've been in a really "dry" period of my writing, and I suspect it has alot to do with all the lesson planning and getting ready for our new school year (which for us starts MONDAY!), but tonight's reading at Mass just spoke to my heart.
We've been struggling to find real family as of late, with my darling Ape husband working so many extra hours, and the girls enjoying "down" time with the computer and DVD player all month. Today, however, we took the time to go to confession together, and then Mass and dinner out. Just the Sacrament of Reconciliation alone brought about that more relaxed and calm feeling as we sat waiting for Mass. My favorite priest was on for confession today, and then also celebrated Mass. Just when I think he can't top his last homily, he hits another one out of the park! I know that we don't go to Mass just to get something OUT of it, but he is truly a vessel through which God speaks clearly to my heart.
He used the parable of the Gospel -- one of my favorite parables -- to illustrate how many of us come to Mass. Those with "attitude", who only come out of begrudging obligation, are those on barren soil that the birds snatch up. Those that come trying to make God fit THEIR demands are like the seeds that end up on the shallow soil with rocky ground....for awhile they're into it, but quickly tell God how to do things (for example, "okay, God, can you cut this homily short? It's getting HOT outside!"). Those seeds planted in the thorns are illustrating those hearts which come with the right yearning, but don't have the trust level yet to let go of everything else....the "busy" ones (I must confess that I'd spoken of exactly this sin a half an hour earlier!)....finally, the fertile soil is the fertile heart...the one that recognizes our NEED for God.
He then visually illustrated it even further, by going to get an unconsecrated host. Holding it up high for all to see, he explained how Jesus himself comes to us, almost the size of a seed, to find fertile hearts to grow in. When we recognize our sinfulness, when we truly believe in our hearts that we desperately NEED Him to give us a sense of life, it is then that the heart becomes fruitful.
The evening was a great way to spend some quality time reconnecting with my loving family, and also helped to start the new school year in a better perspective.