Sweeter than Honey

Still life with honey, honeycomb, pollen and propolis by Grafvision (DollarPhotoClub.com)

Still life with honey, honeycomb, pollen and propolis by Grafvision (DollarPhotoClub.com)

Two days before our beloved pastor left for a new assignment, I was bravely surrendering all my attachment to him. Over many years I had come to love him. Memories of attending a 10-part teaching series on Spiritual Direction surfaced as my first encounter with him in 1994. He worked for the diocese for 25 years in the formation of priests, in marriage preparation and gave every kind of retreat. Our parish was his first assignment since the earliest days of his priesthood.

He came to us during a turbulent time in our parish. He was just the one to facilitate healing among factions. It is hard to imagine a better homilist. He prayed our family through many personal struggles and joyfully celebrated our victories. Even so, I bravely was prepared to tell him goodbye after five years of his devoted service.

I knew to focus on the Lord and not on Fr. Bob as I received communion from him that last time. In my hand, he placed a triangular bit of the large host he had broken and consecrated. As I put it into my mouth it’s sweet taste surprised me! Never had I experienced that! I felt the Lord was bestowing on me a special grace that I didn’t expect, but warmly welcomed.

Psalm 19

It called to my mind how Psalm 19:11 describes the Lord as, “Sweeter also than honey or drippings from the comb.” I was experiencing exactly what the psalm described. Even the taste of the wine did not mask the sweetness of the host but only made it sweeter.

I knelt down in thanksgiving and heard Fr. Bob read the Communion Verse: “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord!” I smiled to myself. Only the Lord knew I needed a bit of consolation that day. He gave me a new taste of joy in the Eucharist and confirmed it in the Communion Verse.

Surprised!

After Mass, I told Fr. Bob about the unusual sweetness of the host. He stepped back in shock! He was just as surprised as I was that the Lord would use him in my life—again!

God’s consolations come whether we know we need them or not. He knows. And they come not only in times of great suffering, but in our every-day struggles to surrender to his will.

When has God consoled you when you most needed it?

(© 2012 revised 2017 Nancy HC Ward)

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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4 Responses to Sweeter than Honey

  1. Harmony says:

    Father God as I watched the news my heart broke for those caguht up in the earthquake. Lord I ask that you be the God of peace and strength to these people. Father I pray for the rescue teams, may they not falter or faint as they search for survivors. May they be successful Lord in their mission. Be with their families Lord as the emergency services work in dangerous buildings. Keep them safe Lord. Father, I bring the grieving to your throne of mercy. Comfort them Lord, carry them in the days and weeks ahead.For those who fear another quake, may they be stilled Lord. May your gospel of salvation and peace be heard. Amen.

  2. Sara says:

    Once again teacher, you have made me (and I'm sure many otrhes), ponder the lives we are living. As you mention, the things you once loved to do and never thought twice about, are slowly being taken away. Your blogs make us realize what we do and have and also take for granted in our lives are gifts from God. He gives and He takes away. I hate the fact that you have ALS BUT, because you have it, you are teaching the rest of us many things. We are NOT taking things for granted anymore .we realize our walk with the Lord is NOT what we would like it to be and therefore, we are praying more and devoting more time to His word. You are our 21st century John the Baptist. God Bless you and thank you.

  3. Nancy says:

    P.S. Early this morning I looked at the drafts I had not yet published and selected this one. Last week I edited this post from an entry in my spiritual journal. At mass today my husband nudged me when we heard the Responsorial Psalm: “How sweet to my taste is your promise!” This was a little gift from heaven confirming that God is with in us so many details of our lives.

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