Linda Coonen - my father's arms

In the Arms of My Father

I don't know much, but I do know that every time I walk into a Catholic Church – anywhere in the world, any time of day or night – it feels like home, like walking into my father's arms. 

My earthly father has been gone over 12 years now, and I miss him every day! When I walk into church, my Heavenly Father welcomes me with the same warm, accepting, pure love that I felt every time my dad hugged me!

Yes, I encounter God  wherever I go.

I am grateful for growing in my spiritual life to the point that not only do I KNOW Jesus is walking beside me every moment, but I actually feel him, and rely on him all day long. Walking into church is coming home to His house.

I thank Him for walking with me each day out in the world.

I take the time to listen to His "stories" of the past, and realizing I was part of that past, because He knew me even before I was conceived in my mother's womb. And I listen to His parables so I may understand His wisdom as I go back out into the world.

He feeds me.

He feeds me not just bread and drink, but of himself. He would never dream of letting me leave His house without being fed. 

Like my earthly father, nothing makes him happier than to have all his children home and sitting around the table eating something he had prepared. He fortifies me for the challenges I will face when I walk out the door. The songs and music I hear are based on His Word, and fills my heart with love and courage.

I stand shoulder to shoulder with people who are striving to grow closer to him, just as I am. We are brothers and sisters in Christ. We bask in His love and His promises. When it is time to leave, he touches my forehead, my heart and shoulder to shoulder to say I am His, and He is mine.

He gives me a final thought and blessing to bring His message out into the world. I know He will always be with me and I KNOW where to find him – body and blood, soul and divinity.

Just like my dad sat at the kitchen table waiting for me to come visit, My Father waits for me in the tabernacle.



Photo by Heather Williams  |  Photo Illustration by John Coonen

Author: Linda Coonen
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