While driving to an appointment to have my blood drawn this week, I caught about five minutes of Ave Maria Radio’s Dr. Ray Guarendi having a discussion with a priest about how the understanding of Salvation differs between Catholics and Protestants (the “saved by faith, not works” error).
Just as I was pulling up to the blood lab, Dr. Guarendi posed a question to the audience that went something like, “If Jesus asked you right now why you should go to Heaven, what would you say?”
Wanting to know the genuineness of my heart, I turned off the car with expectation, eager to hear aloud what my answer might be.
With joy, my answer flowed out of me like a river down a mountain with the power to create a gorge below. Using my smart phone I spoke, and later listened to the convictions of my soul:
“Because I love You.”
“You’re beautiful. Breathtaking. You breathed life into me.
You let me feel Your Presence after waiting so long for me to turn to You. When I realized I was nothing without You, You showed up. Just like that.
You sent your Spirit to teach me, and in between, You healed Me. You answered my prayers and didn’t leave me. You still answer my prayers every day. You speak to me through others and give me light to know it’s You. When I adore You, I receive Your Wisdom and Understanding, even if for a moment. You let me understand and accept when You say “no,” and you smile with me when You say “yes!”
I see You in the person You created to be my husband and am amazed how his inner and outer beauty came from within Your Sacred Heart as You created him.
You give me Your beauty to think about, to dream of, to live by, to gather and give to others, and now I see that beauty in other souls.
You changed my heart.
I’m able to learn from Your lessons in humility and can thank You instead of cowering; smoldering.
Lord, You know I want to see you and spend Eternity with You. I want to say, “I love you” Face to face, because You are the beauty I long for each morning and the peace I sleep with each night. The thought of not spending forever with you makes me shudder and crumble.
Mercy. You are so merciful and kind. If I were to fall at the last moment of my life, I know You’d give me one moment more to tell You I’m sorry and you’d forgive me with Your open Heart of Love.
I’m so grateful You allowed me to have a friendship with You while still on earth; while still young enough to enjoy living the miracle of it. Today I understand You to the extent that I can today and I have confidence that tomorrow it will increase by Your Grace and my perseverance.”
I left my car and went into the lab with the fire of the Holy Spirit and sat down in what I always call, “the blood seat.”
“Which arm do you want me to use?” the nurse asked.
I’ve had blood draws more times in the last ten years than I’ve had my entire life and they’ve never bothered me in the least. But this time, still thinking about our Lord, my thoughts turned to His Blood. I thought about the Roman soldiers scourging Him and the immense pain He endured. And here I was going to get one little needle prick and was feeling uneasy. “Lord,” I prayed…this time I offer up these three vials of blood for You and for what You endured for me.” In went the needle and it BURNED and HURT like never before and seemed to go on forever. [Be careful what you pray for!]
When the needle was out and the nurse was labeling the vials, I looked up and noticed a small sign in front of me that read, LET YOUR PHLEBOTOMIST KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN ALLERGY TO LATEX.
The nurse asked if I was ok. Through my tears, I blurted, “The soldiers beat Jesus and tortured Him and then crucified Him, and never once did they give him a chance to let His phlebotomists know whether He was allergic to latex.”
She chuckled, but though amusing I chose not to partake, and dried my tears. Her face changed and she said, “I love Jesus too.”
I left the office wondering what her list might sound like out loud, but then realized that was between her and the same Christ who loves her just as large as He loves me.
“When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.”
(1 Corinthians 2:1-5)