As I drove the rocky road towards the retreat center, I couldn’t help but compare it to how rugged the road has been for me this Lent. Flashing through my mind unbidden were the many times over the past 40 days that I’ve fallen and failed in my Lenten promises. “But, I’m here, Lord,” I cried out, as if my sacrifice would somehow wipe the tainted slate clean.
Paralyzed by my insecurities, I reluctantly entered the room already filled with familiar faces. Standing on the periphery, as I often tend to do, I watched old friends embracing and witnessed new friendships being forged. I could see it, even though I couldn’t yet feel it – in this room, the hope of the Coming of the King was alive. I so badly wanted to be a part of it as I stood there pleading with the Lord to help me get out of my own way. Again.
We then moved into the Chapel for Mass. I immediately sensed we were in the Upper Room. What transpired during the following hours can only be described as an infusion of the Holy Spirit into our hearts. My earlier feelings of loneliness began to fade away, making room for something wholly new: something holy.
For hours, people prayed over and with one another. Though I’m a prayer warrior, I’m not one to speak aloud the prayers of my heart. Nevertheless, as others prayed with the power of the Holy Spirit, I laid my hands lightly on the shoulders of many and tentatively touched the hands of a few while praying silently. Unexpectedly, two women approached me, took my hands in theirs and asked to pray with me – that they even had to ask was telling. “But, of course,” I responded.
And pray these women did! Their innate gifts of receptivity, generosity, sensitivity, prayer, maternity and the Holy Spirit were visibly present. Through them, the Lord’s presence was tangible in a way I’d never before experienced. Their outpouring of compassion nearly bowled me over as I listened to them give voice to the silent pleas of my heart. He HAD been listening! I literally felt the Holy Spirit enter hallways of my heart where before He was clearly not. Though He’d taken me out of my comfort zone, He’d brought me into the zone of His comfort. The hope I’d pined for earlier was being born within me. And even though the Lord knew what I’d done and failed to do this Lent, through these beautiful sisters in Christ, He was letting me know that He longs for me. Still. He walked to Calvary for me. And, likewise, He walked for you!
The rugged road this Lent has not been unfruitful after all! He’s alive! He lives in you and in me. It’s up to us to share with others the unique gifts He’s given to us as women so that they, too, will know He’s alive within them.
If not through us, then through whom?
About the Author:
Paige Freeman Rosato is a wife and mother of two grown children. She received a bachelor’s degree in social work and a juris doctorate from Loyola University in New Orleans and is currently a legal writer and research attorney for the Louisiana Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal. Paige is the local coordinator for the upcoming NOLA WINE Conference to be held in the Archdiocese of New Orleans in June 2018. She lives with her husband, Frank, in Mandeville, Louisiana.