24 August 2003
I sit quietly listening to the priest giving his sermon. Like every Sunday, I have tried from the time I arrived, to quiet my mind of all thoughts. Of thoughts of what I will do after church and other thoughts which always seem to intrude. But this Sunday, my mind is very quiet and I am simply listening.
I am not thinking about the words I am hearing, I am simply hearing them.
My glasses are off and my eyes are closed.
As I listen, I become aware that I have taken my right hand to the top of my bald head and am stroking it softly, ever so softly. Suddenly I see and feel the image of a father, as I am a father, stroking, every so softly stroking, the head of a newborn, an infant. And then the touch on my head becomes even lighter and the hand is no longer my hand but that of someone else and then feelings of intense caring and love flow through me. So deep, so wide, so pure. The caring. I am an infant. I feel like an infant. The intense feeling that someone cares about me. So much more intense than I have ever felt before.
The feeling of love for me and caring continue and I feel the color purple, deep purple and at the same time the image of a father stroking the head of a downy headed newborn.
I am humbled and I try to mirror back toward the source as strong as I can, but I am an infant. I have so little to give, compared.
I do not want to leave this feeling, this touching and then, Mass moves on without me and I become aware that the priest has finished his sermon and everyone has now risen to their feet.
I rise ever so slowly, replace my glasses and immediately become disoriented.
The feeling of caring and love, for me, continue to ring, resonate inside me but also begin to fade as I again become engaged in the rituals of mass.
Since that Sunday, the touch, those feelings, now and again, at odd times, without warning, will reappear and although not as intense, the caring, that feeling of being intensely cared for and loved overwhelm and humble me.
An infant. I was and am and will always be, an infant. But an infant cared for and loved.
What an amazing gift this living is.