When I was first coming back to the faith, I was almost incredulous at the goodness and kindness of the people I was meeting in the Church.
I was particularly confused and hopeless at the time. Of course, I would not have expressed it so explicitly, but my obligations in family and school all seemed rather arbitrary, dependent only on people’s preferences. My worldview and the worldview of those around me seemed not rooted in any constant truth. I went through the motions of life. I was obedient for fear of negative consequences, but I had no decipherable purpose.
I did not know if I believed in God.
This changed in one instant when I experienced Jesus’ love for me from His True Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I knew at that moment: Love ordered the cosmos; Love gave everything purpose and meaning.
Today’s First Reading describes the difference between when we live apart from God and when we allow His love to permeate and enfold our lives.
When we are mired by the chaos and despair of sin—a life apart from God—we feel the true words of the prophet Jeremiah: “Incurable is your wound, grievous your bruise; There is none to plead your cause, no remedy for your running sore, no healing for you” (Jeremiah 30:12 -13). But when we go to God, He restores us. The words of the prophet describing God’s blessings are so beautiful.
This stark difference described by the prophet between curse and blessing helps us see why prayer is so important. Prayer is stepping into the healing, generative balm of God’s grace. He brings us to new, pure life. God, Our Creator and Redeemer, is waiting for us to meet Him in prayer so He can enfold us and make us whole again.
Then, gradually through experience, we grow to believe in the truth of love. We see that the depth of goodness in the people we encounter and in our own hearts are nothing but testimonies to the power of God coursing through us and radiating into the world.