God's mercy 4: this.
My brother came home kind of late (all right, maybe 10:30 isn't late for most people but it is for the person who goes to bed at 9:30...me). He wanted to cook something so he took it upon himself to do so, and the walls in our apartment are pretty thin, so I heard most of his chopping and finding of pans and whatever other good stuff he was doing. Usually, I am pretty dead asleep by 10:30 and don't have a problem with outside noise, but for some reason, last night was an exception and I got a night full of fitful, often interrupted sleep. This morning, around 5, I found myself tossing around, trying to get myself back into the blissful state of not being awake, but it didn't work, and my alarm still rang out its Taylor Swift theme at 5:45, despite the fact that getting out of bed at that moment seemed about as fun as getting my eyes pecked out by crows.
Option 1: Get up and go to 6:30 mass.
Option 2: Stay in bed and not go to mass, try to get back to sleep, and not be able to go to mass at lunch because of lunch plans, and not be able to go at night, because of evening plans.
Full disclosure, I had pretty much 0 desire to go to mass, besides the fact that it's what I do every day and I'm a creature of habit (and I have a great conscience). Mostly, I was like "yo, Jesus, you don't seem to want to show up, so I won't either", which is obviously the completely wrong attitude, but my 5:45 am brain doesn't have the willpower to create a good attitude. All I could see was me, sitting in mass with groggy eyes and foggy brain, listening to readings I wouldn't remember and sitting there for the 45 minutes afterward looking at the Tabernacle and asking, over and over, for Him to show up.
My habits and conscience and the nagging knowledge that Jesus would actually show up, whether it feels like He does or not, eventually got me out of bed and to mass (on time, surprisingly).
Full disclosure, I sat there with groggy eyes and I don't really remember the readings, though I do remember part of the homily (snaps for me, right?), and I didn't sit there for 45 minutes afterward asking for Him to show up. Instead, I fell asleep. Like, dead asleep. Like, I woke up and hadn't realized the guy next to me had left. I fell asleep, leaning my elbows on my knees, in a pencil skirt.
That in itself is a miracle, if you ask me.
Earlier today, during my run to the ice machine to get ice to crunch on, I ran into a seminarian who was like "You're a prayer warrior! I always see you in the chapel!"
I wanted to tell him that the chapel feels empty for me these days, and that it is largely out of habit that I go, and maybe a little hope, hoping that today will be the day I hear Him saying my name.
I wanted to tell him that I go because if I didn't, I'd be a lot more of a hot mess than I am now, and it's that knowledge that keeps me sitting in the silence.
But when I fell asleep in the chapel earlier, I woke up feeling like I'd slept a good nights sleep, and like someone had hugged me. It felt like how it feels when God doesn't feel far away (if that makes sense). Like prayer is rest. This time, it was literal resting.
And that is a great mercy.