Presence Matters

I have a 4-year-old at home who is suffering from what I call “accompaniment syndrome”. It may be a form of separation anxiety, or maybe he’s just a momma’s boy but it sure can be trying at times. “Mommy, can you come to watch TV with me?” “Mommy, can you stay in the bathroom until I’m done?” “Mommy, can you sit next to me while I eat?” “Mommy, can you play with me?” All endearing requests if he were the only aspect of my world, but come on! I have 3 other kids and a husband. I cannot be joined at the hip with you all day long!

As I tend to do when I have two or three seconds of silence to reflect, I am able to relate it to my spiritual life. In today’s first reading, Paul was in Corinth, where he met Aquila and his wife Priscilla. It says that he “stayed with them and worked”. He simply accompanied them with his presence. Surely he comforted them, ministered to them and offered them friendship. Isn’t this essentially what my son is asking me to do?

In the Gospel, Jesus is preparing His followers for His Ascension into heaven. He tells them “A little while and you will no longer see me.” He is preparing them for when He will no longer physically accompany them. And they are distraught. In the same way that my 4-year-old whines and cries almost every morning when I have to leave for work, the disciples were mourning Jesus’ absence.  Our presence matters.

While I know that God is always present to me, I often question how present I am to Him. My prayer life is sorely lacking, my patience is gravely thin, and I often don’t even think about my first and one true Love. Even when I don’t make time to pray, even when I have no idea what the readings at Mass were, I can still be present to my God by inviting Him into the everyday moments. Small utterances throughout the day, a plea for help, a complaint, a word of praise, a thank you, maybe even a shared joke or two. What matters is our presence to each other, Him to me and me to Him.

Lord, help me to truly be present to others today and to be present to You as well. Help me to realize that Your presence abiding in me matters to others, and together we can make a difference. Our presence matters…

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Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. Attending Catholic schools her whole life, she was an avid sportswoman, a (mostly) straight A student and a totally type A sister. She loves tackling home projects, keeping tabs on the family finances and finding unique ways to love. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. Her favorite things to do are finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby, and grocery shopping with a latte in her hand. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on and, runs her own blog at and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for the past 18 years.