“Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another (in) psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.” (Ephesians 5:18-20)
I don’t understand my husband’s filing system. All I wanted was a nail. A big nail so I could hang up the broom I had just bought for the basement. If you don’t hang a broom, the bristles go all funny. So I wanted a nail to hang it from. No problem. My husband has nails. Lots of them. As well as screws of all descriptions and functions and the various apparatus necessary to attach them where they can best serve their purpose in life. I thought it would be a simple thing to find just the nail I needed for my broom. I thought wrong.
I am a librarian. I know about filing and organizing and finding things in the library. But it soon became apparent that my skills were not transferable to the man-zone I was now in—I could not find a nail in the whole workshop. Screws by the score, but the nails? They must have heard me coming.
After a fruitless search, I tried phoning my husband but for some mysterious reason he was unavailable. I gave up. Nothing to do but wait until he got home. I proceeded onto other chores. A while later as I was dusting, I picked up one of those catch-all ceramic dealies that (I’m assuming) we all have in various strategic corners of the house. Lo! and behold! What did I see in the bottom of the ceramic dealie but a large nail—exactly the kind I had been hunting for to hang my broom!
Now, there are times when God has done something for you and it seems that he wants you to know it. This was one of those times. This insignificant nail for my broom moved me to tears. He knew it was important to me, and he found one for me, first hiding it and then leading me to it.
But that was not all. As I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for the gift of a nail for my broom, I felt reassured, as if he wanted to tell me that none of my needs and prayers—even the unspoken ones—went unnoticed by him. Immediately I thought of the countless prayers I have raised for those whose hearts seem to be far from the Lord, of the many times I invoked the prayer of Divine Mercy over souls.
Waves of gratitude filled my heart, and surging confidence in the Divine Mercy. The words, “Jesus I trust in you,” suddenly held new promise.
I think it is safe to say that all who are drawn to a life of penance have a love for poor sinners and for souls that are far from God. We feel called by Jesus and Mary to fast and pray for souls. In dying to self we are strengthened in our prayers, most especially for souls. For God desires souls more than anything. We feel gratitude at being allowed to give what little we can to assist God in the harvest of souls. Most times we do these things without any indication that it is working. We soldier on in faith and trust because of what we have learned from Jesus, Mary, and the saints.
But sometimes God gives us some encouragement that what we are doing is indeed bearing fruit. Now, whenever I feel despair for a soul, I will think of the nail for my broom, and I will offer prayers of complete trust in the God of Divine Mercy, singing to the Lord in my heart, and giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.