25 March 2013

A commuter's communion with God

A few weeks ago I was on the GO train to Toronto filled with morning commuters. I would shortly be arriving at Union Station where I would then transfer to a VIA Rail train to Montréal. Although my mind was initially on the lecture I would be delivering at the end of my journey the following day, I became aware, sitting across the aisle from me, of a middle-aged woman who looked to be Filipino. She was reading from a very small tattered booklet that appeared to lack a cover. After reading she would close her eyes for a time and then resume reading again. She was obviously not dozing. As I myself had prayed the daily office using my e-reader back at the Hamilton GO station, I knew exactly what she must be doing. I had to resist the inclination to ask to see her well-worn booklet. Instead I silently prayed that God would answer her prayer.

Because I am not a regular commuter into Toronto, I will likely never see this woman again. I may have been the only person on the train who knew that she was praying, but because of this, I felt as if the two of us have something — or rather Someone — very precious in common. Someone whose sacrifice on the cross we observe with gratitude during this Holy Week.

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