Saturday, May 21, 2011

I am Preparing a Place in You

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Little Danny George was 3 years old when he found he had a terminal illness which gave him only a year to live. His family was very close to the Church and taught their children well in the love and fear of God. Danny exhibited such a great knowledge of the Catholic faith that his parents were encouraged to ask the local bishop for permission to allow him to receive holy communion at a very early age. He was three and a half years old when he received Jesus for the first time, only one year before his death. As he was dying his loved ones were surprised at the great wisdom he showed. His uncle was struggling to accept little Dann's sufferings. He told his uncle not to worry, that his sufferings will soon be over and he would be with God. I believe he even told his mommy, "I am going ahead of you to prepare a place for you."

One of the ways God prepares us for Resurrection, for eternal life, is by allowing those closest to us to go ahead of us, because it is in the closeness of the paths of our hearts of our loved ones that the graces of the paschal mystery flow. Because in some sense when we have great love for each other, we live the trinitarian life: just as the Father dwells in the Son so we dwell one within the other. When one of us then goes ahead of us to be with God, it is as if a part of our heart is already with God in heaven. I have experienced this every time one of my loved ones has died. It is as if the Resurrection becomes very tangible and that place of my heart that belonged to my loved one has become somehow galvanized in glory.

Jesus doesn't just prepare therefore a place for us. He prepares His place IN US. He lives in us in this lifetime that we may live with him in eternity. I remember when my niece was just three years old. She asked about our grandfather, "Is he in God with heaven? Wait a minute, I mean is he in heaven with God?" I think she had it right the first time. St Augustine said that heaven is that place that is IN GOD - one with him, united in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving.

In order to prepares us live in him he gives himself to us in Holy Communion. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that the Most Holy Eucharist is the "the Eucharist is also an anticipation of the heavenly glory" (CCC 1402). When we receive Jesus in holy communion he prepares in us his eternal dwelling that we may enthroned in God like a dove nestled in cleft of the rock (song of songs 2:14).

May Our Lady helps us to receive him well. She received him with faith to make up for the shipwreck of faith for entire nations and the humility which repaired for the arrogance of all the fallen angels. Her holly communions were the foundation of the missionary movements of the early Church and the forging of saints, martyrs, and holy ones of God. May Mary, Woman clothed with her Son, shine the light of heaven upon us that we may seek eternal life in all that we don.

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