It was about ten years ago, the afternoon of Maundy Thursday. I’m at home and just finished my activities. “By the way, isn’t there a service today?” » I look at the sheet of mass times hanging on the refrigerator: there is indeed a service, at 3:30 p.m.
Check the clock: no time to do anything else, just put on a raincoat and go on foot! On this day, the chairs in the church are arranged in a circle around the central aisle where the Eucharist table is placed. The assembly is made up mainly of elderly people. I feel a prayerful and collected atmosphere. I settle in and, as is often the case, I doubt. “The Lord wants us to love him. I have to love him, but how can you love someone you’ve never seen?”
“Fill me with your presence as you would fill an empty pitcher. For that is what I am: a pitcher.”
The mass begins. The priest suggests that we open our hands and pray to the Lord, to fill ourselves with his presence. For my part, I am going through a period of depression. I feel empty. Empty of myself, empty of all inner wealth. I feel really poor. “Lord, fill me with your presence as you would fill an empty pitcher. For that is what I am: a pitcher. And empty, too!”
“Since then, I know that I love God”
And suddenly something happens. I hear the words of the mass with great acuity, as if I were pronouncing them myself, with great concentration. No hesitation, no inattention: each word of the priest penetrates my heart. In front of me, there is a very large painting representing Christ.
“I’m starting to love him, I can’t help but love him.”
I look at him and the image of the crucified is imprinted on me. I begin to love him, I can’t help but love him. At the end of mass, I run away so as not to have to chat. I come home and, in the living room, it’s stronger than me, I find myself on my knees and I cry. Since then, I have known that I love God. Every time I pass by an ordeal on the side of the road, and look at the cross fixed in front of our bed, the words come to my lips: “Jesus, I love you.”
When I return to the same church and I look at this same painting, it no longer speaks to me, it no longer moves me. It’s not the painting that is in me, it’s Christ. But I am left with one question: “Why me? Why at this time? What should I do with this gift I received? »