Instrument of Christ

For a couple of months I’ve been accompanying a friend whom I met at a women’s shelter. We meet every Friday to chat about life and pray the rosary together. In getting to know her, she has consistently showed a lot of interest in her faith, specifically in receiving Holy Communion, Confession, and other sacraments.

One Sunday, we met her at Mass and she had the opportunity to receive her first Confession. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to, but her and I stayed for Mass and sat together. Throughout Mass, I was trying to explain things to her and periodically holding the hymnal so we could both sing along. At one point, while I was holding the hymnal for her, she began to cry. I wondered if she was crying because she wasn’t able to go to Confession. I gave her a moment, then proceeded to ask her what was wrong. She somewhat brushed it off and said it was nothing. We got a text from her that afternoon thanking us for being with her at Mass and thanking us for being in her life in general. We didn’t end up finding out what was wrong, but she seemed happy, so I wasn’t worried.

The following Friday, I was at the women’s shelter talking to her and seeing how she was doing. She confided in us about the ongoing conflicts within her family. We were about to join in prayer, when I was reminded of her tears on Sunday, so I asked her, “what happened at Mass the other day; were you upset that you couldn’t receive Confession?” She responded by telling us that she was so touched at the love she was receiving through us. She felt loved by us holding the hymnal for her; she felt loved during Mass when we would look back at her and ask her if she was okay; she felt loved when we answered her questions. She shared with us that she hadn’t felt loved like that for a very, very long time.

Holding the hymnal. Asking if she was okay. Answering her questions. That’s all it took. We all have the ability to give this love. This moment helped me to realize that I could be an instrument of God’s love in a way that I had never expected. So simple, pure and authentic. Our God is working in us and through us whether we realize it or not, and it is often in the ways we least expect it- in those small gestures done with genuine love. My friend was able to recognize the presence of God in me, and I was able to recognize the presence of the Lord in her. When she was able to recognize Christ in me, this opened me up to see Christ’s love being poured out to me through her. We were both able to become instruments of Christ to one another. God wants to use us as His instruments, and when He does, it is grand.

screen-shot-2016-12-14-at-10-36-50-amKatrina is a first-year missionary from Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada. She loves being Canadian, singing, being a twin, and striving towards sainthood.

Open Your Ears

“Sorry, I don’t carry any cash or change on me,” I said as I walked by a friend on the street, trying to hurry to my Holy Hour.

“You need to open your ears! I asked if you had any good words from the Bible you’re holding,” David said.

Stunned at my misunderstanding of what I thought David said, I fumbled over my words and can’t even remember what I shared with him. Whatever it was, it sparked a conversation. I tried my best to get out of this conversation at first because I was so focused on the Holy Hour we were going to have, and I didn’t want David to “steal” any of my time in prayer. As I was trying to hurry the conversation along, I realized how stupid this thought process was, and it dawned on me how stuck in my own plan I was, even with something as good as Adoration and prayer. I realized God was trying to speak to me, but I was only wanting to hear it when and where I wanted.

David and I continued to talk, but I began to invest myself in this conversation and be truly present. He was really interested in prayer, so I asked him if he wanted to come in and pray a rosary with me. David tried to make some excuses, but in the end he said he had nothing else going on and he would give it a try. I was frantically looking for a guide to praying the rosary so he could follow along, but the words were too small for him to read. I asked if he would like to just listen to me pray the rosary out loud, and instead he suggested I say a sentence and he would repeat the words I said. Right as we were beginning the rosary, he stopped me and asked if we could hold the rosary together and join our prayer. For the next half hour, David and I prayed the rosary together. I would say a line, and he would repeat. He offered the rosary for the repose of the soul of his relative and that God would have mercy on their soul. He begged God to forgive him and reign down His mercy on him. After David prayed a rosary with me, he stayed for Mass. His tears fell at the foot of the Eucharist, shining on the seat of the pew in front of us.

David got it. It wasn’t about him, it wasn’t about his decision to pray, it was about the Father’s mercy for him. Something David didn’t deserve, something none of us deserve. This mercy is a gift. As we were sitting there, he didn’t understand what the Eucharist was and had no clue what was going on during Mass, but none of that mattered. David understood God’s love for him, a gift that brought a grown, tough man to tears.

screen-shot-2016-10-31-at-2-01-40-pmBlake Brouillette is a second-year missionary from Hastings, NE. He enjoys spike ball, giving pep talks, talking about Nebraska, and savoring all 23 flavors in a Dr. Pepper.