My five months in Europe were some of the loneliest of my life.
I usually found myself alone at Mass each weekend in a different church than the week before, mentally counting down the weeks until I could leave. My prayer felt desolate and meaningless, bringing about a drought I had never experienced before.
Every few weeks, I arrived at a new confessional, sharing how I dreaded prayer and felt distant from the Love I treasured most, typically to a priest who dismissed these sentiments. In my last week abroad, my confessional tone was a bit more hopeful; choking up, I blurted out, “I am finally going home this week!”
When I was finished, the priest kindly responded, “Sometimes in desolation, we can forget that the sanctuary is our home.”
Today’s First Reading reminds us of this very covenant, where the Lord promises to dwell with us, and to put His sanctuary among us forever.
That afternoon, I sat in a cathedral I had long considered to be cold and foreign and allowed His dwelling to make it warm and familiar. There was nothing groundbreaking about it. I simply placed myself inside the reality that I am His and He is mine, and I let the feelings of isolation melt away. I tucked myself into the familiarity of my First Love and felt like I got a tiny glimpse into what we mean by “universal.” Experiencing interior peace in that sanctuary, I walked away, holding the memory close and storing it as evidence that He would always dwell with me.
No distance existed that I could travel to separate myself from it.
Father, I pray we would be women who always remember Your sanctuary is home. May the warmth of Your dwelling console us in every setting and season and gift us with a forever peace.I am His and He is mine. // @sarahericksonn Click To Tweet
Are you feeling distant from the Lord? Take this idea of interior peace to heart.
Thank you for being here.
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