Aurelija Tarvydas

Parishioner since 2014, currently living in Midtown

The spiritual life has called to me for as long as I can remember though I have not always known how to respond. I’m a seeker by design and therefore have explored many paths to a God-centered existence. What has remained consistent is my desire to experience God’s presence, to feel the light of the Lord within my whole being. I have noticed that I most deeply recognize God’s presence where there is love in action.

For example, seeing an older woman hand her fan to a young pregnant stranger on the subway during a heat wave. Witnessing this type of interaction nearly brings me to tears, so simple yet so profound. The question people often ask after some sort of disaster is “Where was God in all this?” and I wonder, “Where was I?” or “Where were you?”

God’s presence is known through our actions; as the Body of Christ it is our responsibility to live out the Lord’s love. Silent prayer and the Eucharist are what sustain me. Every morning I sit for thirty minutes, quietly soaking in the presence of the Lord. This practice focuses my energy and helps me remember what the meaning of my life is as part of the Body of Christ. Along with meditation I feel a strong connection to the Eucharist. If I could I would attend daily Mass; however, my schedule, at present, does not allow for that. The Eucharist is what keeps my wandering spirit rooted in Catholicism. The grace I receive grants me the strength to follow Christ and when times get tough, which they very often do, I repeat this Bible verse to myself: “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13