Monday was a long day. Mondays tend to be like that, especially when I'm home all day with no activities planned, and even more especially when we're on the down curve from a fun vacation weekend at the beach! My patience was wearing thin with the girls, and by the time Steven arrived home at close to 8:00 p.m. I was shaking and nearly in tears (when I don't eat every few hours I start to get shaky and overwhelmed). We didn't have anything to make for dinner, so I decided to run to the grocery store and get out of the house for a few minutes.
I attempted to hurry through the store, frustrated and still a bit shaky. I grabbed my important items and rushed to the checkout. Without even a glance at the young lady who walked around from the register to help unload my groceries to the conveyer, I was still in a frustrated, panic mode, ready to get home and put something in my stomach.
She must have noticed the agony on my face as she sweetly and somewhat hesitatingly asked, "So how was your weekend?" I was dumbstruck and turned to her, taking a few seconds to explain how we had a wonderful weekend at the beach, but Mondays tend to be hard for me with my two little ones. She was sympathetic and joyful and made me think about my own attitude.
We always talk about charity towards our neighbor. And in that instant, I was thankful for the charity of that sweet young lady. But I was also ashamed that I was not the one to first share a smile or a "thank you" or ask a question to that stranger because I was in a selfish mood. How many strangers do I encounter each day who might see the crucifix and Miraculous Medal around my neck? Have I been Christ-like to them? Did I leave some mark of charity when I left their presence?
This morning I was reading an inspirational letter. The words that hit my heart were these:
"Nothing fills my heart so much as to contemplate the figure of Christ and behold the irresistible power of attraction he exercises through the centuries. Christ yesterday, today, and forever. Christ always the same, the Lord of History."
Oh how I am attracted to people who exhibit that Christ-like appeal! Because I long for Christ. But do I know him? Do I spend enough time in prayer listening to him and falling more in love with him? Do I make the time to experience him in the sacraments, especially weekday mass, frequent confession, and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? Do I spend time reading and contemplating the Gospel accounts of my Lord?
To all these right now I must answer no, and thereby understand why I am not able to share that charity with my neighbor, because I am not being filled with the charity of Christ. The priest's homily on Sunday (the Gospel being about sending laborers to the harvest) gave that exact message: we cannot give what we don't have ourselves.
May I (and all of us) make a deeper commitment to Christ, with the example of these words I also read this morning:
"May contemplating his figure during these holy days bring to your lips the noble cry of the centurion: "Surely this was the Son of God" (Mk 15:39), and provoke the kind of generous and honest commitment that will make you authentic and proud to belong to his Kingdom. Even humanly, you couldn't have chosen a better leader."