March 25th. It fell on a Sunday that year too….the year that changed my life forever.
It was the unexpected end of my exile. My own personal Divine Mercy Sunday. It was the day when God came for me, picked me up in His arms, and carried me into the Light. I had done nothing to deserve it. I had not even dared to ask. But, I had longed….had so much longed to be His. And that Divine Heart which ever beats for sinners, that Thirsting Heart which seizes upon even the slightest cry for Mercy… was listening.
I had spent the first 25 years of my life convinced that I was doomed to hell, that there was no hope for me. (I wrote about how this came about in On my way to hell at seven.)
In the grip of the evil one, I had been held captive by such fear, that I could not bring myself to take the steps which could have set me free. Yet the One Who came to call not the righteous, but sinners, came for me. The One Who promised salvation to a thief, with His dying words, looked upon me too with incomparable pity and compassion.
The One Who created all things out of nothing, so arranged circumstances that one day I was lost, and the next, I was with Him, and He did it all in such a way that I still cannot explain it.
Oh, what a gentle and tender God we have! What Kindness! What Patience! What Compassion! What Love!
It was my “Annunciation,” and I experienced what the angel Gabriel said to Mary on that Annunciation Day so long ago: For with God, nothing will be impossible.
Jesus, Who was brutally beaten and nailed to a Cross for me, did not think it too much more to carry me through the fear and into trust, and while I clung to Him, to carry me even into the dreaded confessional. And His Goodness made it all so easy….over in minutes….a lifetime of sin and misery washed away in His Most Precious Blood. I thought I was dreaming!
Was it really over? Was I His now? Could I really go to Heaven? Was I like the people I had watched at Mass all of my life, yearning to be among them….those who approached to receive Him, souls shining with Grace? Me too? At last?
My Jesus, how can I ever tell all that You have done for me? Yet all Who know You have their own story. For, Your Love knows no limits in Its pursuit of souls. If they but whisper Your Name, You will come, and You will make a way for all, as You did for me.
Precious Jesus, I love that You chose the Feast of the Annunciation to be the hour of my reconciliation to You. It is the Feast of the Incarnation, when the Word was made Flesh and dwelt among us…Your entrance into our race and our world, to be Savior.
My Jesus, I have celebrated this Feast with such joy, throughout the many years since You picked up Your prodigal child, and carried me off to our Father’s House. But my heart breaks for those who still dwell in darkness. I know their pain and their hopelessness. I know their fear and their helplessness. And, I pray for them.
I implore You to pour out Your Grace upon them, draw them to Your Merciful Heart, and carry them off in Your arms, that they may never be separated from You again.
O Sweet Lamb of God, no one who puts their trust in You will ever be forsaken.
And on this beautiful anniversary, I thank You once again, my King, for all that You have done for me. I will surely need eternity to tell of it….and the tongues of a thousand angels. I love you my Jesus, my All!