Ever felt like shrinking God to human size so you could give Him a taste of His own medicine?
I do, almost all the time. This was the situation I found myself in when life as I knew it had come to an abrupt halt. I had cried my eyes out, told everyone who would listen how unfair God was to me but I still felt like I should do Him some physical harm so he could feel just a little of what I was going through.
My dad had gotten ill and died shortly thereafter due to complications from his illness, Myasthenia Gravis. A disease I had not heard about until it affected my father. I had lost my job and could not imagine moving back home and starting from scratch. And then my mother got critically ill and spent several days in the ICU.
Why me? Why was I having one misfortune after another happen to me? I felt a lot like Job of the Bible. I go to church and do my best to be on the good side of God. So why would he do this to me?
And that is how I found myself in a chapel, waiting for mass to begin, when this thought entered my mind. I sat on the pew, grim faced and staring right at the tabernacle I said “God, You are very lucky You are spirit. If you were not, I would hurt you so bad.”
And my ever faithful guardian angel, who works overtime everyday and has a quirky sense of humour, reminded me that for a Catholic, God does have a physical form, the Eucharist. With a malicious grin on my lips, I waited for the time of Holy Communion so that when I received, I would bite so hard on the host that God would be able to share my pain.
As the mass progressed, I started getting cold feet. God has struck down greater men for lesser transgression than a revenge plot against Him. I was in a building but I did not think that would prevent God from striking me down with lightning. I slowly crept past the other churchgoers to the back of the chapel, where thankfully the confessional was empty and a priest was available.
I whispered my evil thoughts and waited for the fire and brimstone lecture from the priest. He laughed! He laughed so hard that I thought he had misunderstood me. Can you imagine informing the head of the CID that you were planning to bite the president given the chance? You would be in detention, tortured and buried in an unmarked grave before the end of the day. Here I was, having just confessed to planning to do gross bodily harm to God and His priest was laughing?
He proceeded to explain that that was the best prayer I had ever said in all my life. “That is a very feminine reaction to suffering,” he said. He assured me that God would not strike me by lightning where I stood/knelt, but he was at the moment hugging me very close to his heart. I had my doubts about this so he told me the story of Saint Theresa of Avila.
She opened and reformed many convents and was a hard worker, prayed and fasted. One night travelling in a fierce storm, she fell into a pile of mud (I mean she lived a saintly life. Couldn’t God the Omnipotent have prevented her from falling? Or at least landing in mud (there were no washing machines way back then. And as if the rain and storm were not enough to contend with).
Her response, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder why You have so few of them!” And this is a Saint and Doctor of the Catholic Church. I laughed as well, finally getting the point. He absolved me and gave me permission to receive in the ongoing mass.
“If you still feel like biting God hard, go ahead. He can handle it.”
To this day, I remember this priest in my prayers.