You Are Invited! Come As You Are
Come as you are! Of all the invitations we receive to draw closer to the Divine Presence, these words extend an all-encompassing welcome. We especially sense this at the Solanus Casey Center through the spirit and ongoing ministry of Fr. Solanus Casey.
Many times in our lives we think we need to conform to extensive religious expectations or extraordinary saintly practices. We feel the need to be someone who puts on a brave face or prays in a kind and gentle way. A true encounter with God begins with being honest about who we are. When we come before God in prayer we need only to come as we are. That means we come with our fears, with our anger, with our hopes, with our disappointments. We come with our dreams for the future, with our hopes, with our love for family and friends, and with our joys and gratitude. We come with our whole selves.
When people came to see Fr. Solanus, they came with their neediness and their hopes. They laid out their fears and allowed themselves to be vulnerable. With Fr. Solanus’ intercession they opened themselves up for healing of mind and body. God met them exactly where they were at that moment of their lives.
Today when we come before Fr. Solanus’ tomb or before God in prayer, we are encouraged to enter into the Divine Presence just as we are. We are exactly who God lovingly made us to be. God knows our shortcomings. We can’t even begin to hide them from Him. He gathers us up and loves us in spite and with all the things that keep us from being our ideal self. In our prayer, too, we need to be honest and lay it all out. What holds us in fear, in shame, in guilt? What makes our heart soar, our feet skip, our eyes well with gratitude? These are all parts of who we are. This is what we bring to prayer.
It is interesting how when we approach Fr. Solanus’ tomb, we humbly ask for help. We acknowledge our neediness. When people come to the Blessing of the Sick and receive a blessing, they are coming as they are with their illnesses and issues in need of healing. At the Solanus Center we find ourselves immersed in its peaceful setting, and we feel a whispered sense that it is going to be “okay” and moreover that we are “okay.” The atmosphere fostered by the welcoming spirit of Fr. Solanus encourages and supports us to come as we are and meet God in that moment in love and grace.
Hospitality Coordinator at Solanus Casey Center