The Gift Within
The Gift Within
Yesterday afternoon I attended Christmas Mass with my mother and step-father. I was not raised Catholic; however, I have always been fascinated by Catholic ceremony. I was especially inspired by the priest, a man from Nigeria whose smile filled the room. He threw himself whole-heartedly into his role as officiant of the celebration. His voice boomed out over the church speakers as he exuberantly sang Silent Night and O Come All Ye Faithful.
At one point in the service, he walked up and down the aisles flicking Holy water on the congregation. He playfully tossed the water to the people as if he was throwing beads at Mardi Gras. He aimed at certain people and laughed as the drops of water landed on them. He stretched his aim to touch those furthest from the aisles; I reached to catch the drops. He took his time, reveling in each flick of his wand. I had seen this done before by other priests, but never with such joy or focused intention. It was as if he was throwing deep blessings from his heart to everyone who was there. Waves of energy washed over me as I received what he was giving.
I heard someone mumble that he was taking too long and that he should get on with it. As I looked around the crowded church, I saw people fidgeting, day-dreaming, going through their holiday checklist, checking their watches to assure themselves that they would get to their parties on time . . . . They were present in body but not in Spirit. They were going through the motions, fulfilling their obligation to attend Mass without really showing up.
Here I stood, without any obligation to be there, completely mesmerized by the gift that was being given. Was I the only one, besides the joy-filled priest, who was receiving the gift being offered? I assisted my mother in walking to the front to receive communion, crossing my arms over my heart to ask for a blessing for myself. As the playful priest drew the sign of the cross over my third eye, a blazing star-burst of brilliant white light exploded within me. His light-filled blessing reverberated through me for the rest of the night, connecting me with the Christ Consciousness within us all.
This blessing is here for all of us. We have a choice to receive it, or not. I hold space for you to say YES to this gift. Take your time. Enjoy. And know how much you are loved.