Madonna House

Not a Very Nice Idea of Me

by Fr. Bob Wild

When we are at a celebration of the Eucharist and there’s singing (and probably a number of distractions as well), we ordinarily do not experience any fear of approaching God.

At the time for Communion, we simply approach and receive into our being the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But then there are the times we are alone with God. It may be in a chapel or church. Maybe it’s dark. The sanctuary lamp is flickering. When we’re alone with God, isn’t it true that we often experience fear in approaching him?

One of my fears for a long time was that I felt (believed?) that if I ever got too close to God, something really awful was going to happen to me.

Isn’t that what happened to the saints? If I got too close to God I might break out with the stigmata or I might contract some terrible disease which I would be asked to suffer for the sins of the world.

One night, as I was wallowing in this fear, I heard in my heart, ‘‘That’s not a very nice idea to have of Me—that your Savior, your Best Friend, would just be waiting for the opportune time to give you some great suffering.”

It was so clear to me what a truly horrible notion of Jesus that was. Then I thought of the Eucharist. From that night on I have never been bothered by that thought.

Every day Jesus demonstrates, in the most direct way his creative love could devise, how close he wants to be to me.

Therefore, when you are alone, when this fear of God comes over you, when you doubt that you are called to anything more than a superficial intimacy with the Lord—and above all, when you have those absurd notions that if you get too close to God he’s going to smash you over the head—whenever you think like that, remember the Eucharist. Hear Jesus saying, Take and eat; this is my Body (Mt 26:26).

Trust that word more than all the lying words your mind is conjuring up in the darkness. Realize most of all how those crazy thoughts must hurt the Lord. He loves us so much, and we hurt him so much by our lack of trust in his love.