I had a ‘Psalm 42’ moment this morning.
It surprised me – because frankly, I’ve always found the opening lines of the Psalm to be a little on the mushy side:
As the deer longs for streams of water,
So my soul longs for you, O God.
My being thirsts for God, the living God.
When can I go and see the face of God?
I mean, really: Who pines THAT much for the Holy One? Who huffs and pants after God, like some kind of lovelorn teen?
Yet there I was, feeling all out of sorts…because for the second time in three days, it looked like a family duty was going to keep me from getting to daily Mass – and receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.
‘So what am I, some kind of Jesus Junkie? And what’s with this low-grade anxiety?,’ I found myself thinking. ‘Why can’t I go a day or two without encountering the Real Presence…even if it’s precisely because I’ve been called to serve someone…to be in communion with a member of the Body of Christ?’
Admittedly, I can be a spiritual wimp at times. Maybe even most of the time. That’s frustrating, to say the least: I’d like to be strong enough, confident enough, in God’s abiding grace to NOT need constant reminders of God’s great love for me.
But the more I meditated on my desperate condition this morning, the more it morphed into something of a love letter from Christ.
It is Jesus, after all, who put this longing for the Real Presence in my heart.
It is Jesus who is always there, offering EVERYTHING to me.
So if I miss him after being away for only a day or two, I think that’s probably a good thing. It means Jesus has given me the grace to feel his presence in the first place. To believe ‘a truth that is nearly unbelievable,’ as the theologian Peter Kreeft puts it in Jesus Shock.
Sure, I may be a Jesus-junkie. But in these past couple of days, I’ve also discovered — remarkably — that absence truly does make the heart grow fonder!
Let us pause now…to recall that we are in the presence of the Holy One.