“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.