By: Rick Hernandez
During my teenage years, I was blessed with living very close to a chapel, one to which I had access on a regular basis. The Chapel of Santa Ana, that small and humble building was my refuge, my safe harbor. Whenever I felt troubled, sad, lonely, or overwhelmed with life, I would try to go into the chapel. I always searched for the lighted sanctuary lamp that indicated the Real Presence of our Eucharistic Lord, there in the tabernacle. I felt great comfort, comfort from knowing that my Lord was there and watching over me. These visits with my one true friend, in that small building, were dear to me. We would have the best conversations in the silence. Most times I would offer Him a song before departing. That was our little routine.
"Society will be restored and renewed when all its members group themselves around our Emmanuel." -- Peter Julian Eymard
Here we are today, and we are mostly kept from our wonderful church buildings and chapels. Some lucky few still have access to visit Him directly but most do not. Yet, we are not kept from our conversations with Him who loves us. It is not the same as a visit, but we still can talk to Him in prayer. The same way that a phone call cannot replace a live visit, this remote prayer cannot replace our offering of presence to the Lord. Yet it can hold us over until we can, once more, be together. Soon we will be able to gather again, to be able to gift our presence to the Lord in all the altars and tabernacles of the world. Until then, let us keep up our offerings of prayer and mindful meditation. Let us love the ones near us and be mindful of both what we have to give, and what we are missing.
At the end of these visits with my Lord in His temple I would often proceed to sing this song, which always made His presence more tangible to me and truly soothed my heart. I gift you with this song's lyrics, clumsily translated from Spanish, in the hope that it may bring you some comfort in these trying times. Hold on to your faith in Him who loves us. We are almost there.
I AM... (Translated and adapted from the Spanish song "Soy")
We are Ivonne Hernandez, Rick Hernandez and Laura Worhacz, Lay Associates of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, and brothers and sisters in Christ.