Giving God thanks ahead of time
A couple of weeks ago, I was in Detroit, Michigan, for ministry and knew I wanted to go to the monastery where Blessed Solanus Casey was buried because he holds a very special place in my heart. The gift shop at the monastery gives away free third-class relics and because I was going to be speaking about him at a ministry event that night, I was going to ask for them in bulk. Before my friend and I went to the monastery, we stopped at a local bakery to get some fresh bread and had a lovely conversation with the woman there about God, how He makes Himself known, and how He’s pretty obvious about it.
When we got to the monastery, the parking lot was closed and there was a note on the door that said the monastery was closed due to a power outage caused by a recent storm. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I immediately started crying; it felt like a rejection from God; like, somehow, I had angered Him, and this was a punishment.
I started thanking God ahead of time for restoring the power, knowing that God could do anything He wanted. Giving God thanks ahead of time was also something Blessed Solanus preached about all the time with people. God is good now, in every circumstance, so we praise and thank Him for what He’s already doing and will do in our lives. My friend found a nearby Catholic Church named the Sweetest Heart of Mary Parish where we were able to pray. I didn’t hide from God the fact that I felt rejected or that I was sad.
During that time of prayer, I felt the Lord saying that He wanted my entire attention. He had no interest in sharing my devotion, even with other good things, like the intercession of the saints. He reminded me that He wanted my whole heart, not just a piece, but everything. He also reminded me that everything was a gift from Him. I’m not owed anything in this life.
It was one of the most beautiful and intimate times of prayer; I was reminded that even my devotion to Blessed Solanus Casey, although a good thing, is a means to an end. And that end is Jesus. Jesus is my ultimate prize. He is my ultimate comforter, my ultimate peace. He is my everything.
Once we left the church, we drove by the monastery one more time just to check and see if it was open, and to our absolute delight, the power was back on! I was able to venerate Blessed Solanus’ body, thanking him for his intercession for me and for his friendship. The gift shop was closed, so at first, I didn’t think I was able to get any relics, but that was okay with me because the Lord had already been so kind and generous. He had already shown me that He is enough, even if I have disappointments.
As we were leaving, we saw a priest from the monastery on the sidewalk, told him the whole story, and asked if he had access to a large quantity of relics. He said to give him one minute, and he would meet us inside. As we were waiting, again, I was thinking, “Lord, even if this doesn’t happen, I’ve already received so many graces from you. You are enough.”
However, the priest came back out with a bag of 87 third-class relics, which was enough to give to everyone in the audience I was speaking to that night.
God is never outdone in generosity. He is continually giving good gifts to woo us into a relationship with Him. I was completely stunned at the way God so carefully orchestrated my day, even in the disappointments and sadness. He still found a way to draw me deeper into relationship with Him.