Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sacramental Moments

Sacrament - outward visible signs of inward spiritual grace to which the promise of Christ is attached.

Frederick Buechner writes about sacramental moments and describes them as times when something holy occurs.  Not only can they be sacramental rites of the church - eucharist, baptism, marriage - but they can be those blessed moments when the divine breaks through into the realm of ordinary, and graces us with the promise of Christ.

So, may I describe my sacramental moments of the past week?

JSB, currently receiving treatment in State Psychiatric Hospital, is thriving.  So says his case manager to us.  We haven't heard anyone use that word about him since perhaps when he was a baby having a well child check up.

Furball and I visit him on Sundays and are now able to take him off the hospital grounds for a three-hour pass.  Lunch at a non-institutional restaurant, some shopping, and just being together.  It's pleasant.  The three of us together doing regular things, things we haven't been able to do for years.  Things so many take for granted.

That in and of itself is sacramental.  But, foremost in my mind are two brief moments, where my heart swelled with joy and there was no question that the presence of Christ was profoundly experienced.

When we last saw JSB, I gave him a big hug.  I haven't been able to do this because for the past couple of years, he has been suffering from delusions that preclude him from loving me, let alone hugging me.  He wrapped his arms around me and said, "You're a good woman, mom."  

Five simple words left me profoundly blessed and forever grateful. 

Later that afternoon, my cell rang, and it was Pony Girl.  Pony Girl is three years younger than JSB.  Her relationship with her brother has been painful, confusing, and complicated. To ask a child to compassionately understand schizophrenic behavior is downright impossible.  It is hard enough to expect that from an adult.

She asked how he was.  I asked her if she wanted to speak to him.  They had a sweet conversation which ended by each telling the other that they missed each other.  I was in tears right there in the middle of the mall.

So, thank you, God.  For what you are doing as the Great Physician to heal JSB and the strained relationships in our family.  Thank you for breaking through time and time again.  Thank you for the lessons we have learned because of this experience; for richness and depth.  Thank you for leading us all to deeper waters and for calming the storm.

Thank you, Blessed Savior, for hope. 


  1. Diane,
    I found your blog through our love of the Breviary. Your blog is beautifully and thoughtfully written. Pleae know that JSB is on my prayer list.

  2. Thanks, Peg. I appreciate the compliment and your prayers for JSB. It's nice to know there's a fellow Breviary lover out there:)


Site Meter