Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from September, 2016

Being faithful in the midst of pain

When we are in pain, it seems as if the whole world revolves around us - or should. We only pay attention to our immediate situation.

When our kids were younger, Eldest Son had a lot of problems. There was a time - months and months - where his issues seems to need all of Dear Husband's and my attention. I clearly remember thinking one day, "Whoa - I have GOT to pay attention to the other kids." It's not like I was neglecting them ... no, I was. Maybe it was necessary; we were literally trying to save our son's future, but it didn't make the realization hurt any less. And I couldn't get the time with them back.

Maybe it's a job. Maybe it's a health issue. Maybe it's caring for a child or an elderly parent. Whatever it is, we get sucked into a situation where hurt is involved and we begin to act like an ER doctor - plugging holes, clearing airways, keeping the person alive. That's it. We are keeping the situation alive.

Then things quiet d…

Anointing of the Sick and a mission I didn't ask for

At Mass, this past Sunday, we celebrated the Anointing of the Sick. I've never figured out why more people don't avail themselves of this sacrament, especially since it's one where the recipient really doesn't have to DO anything (other than pray and receive the grace - easy peasy!)

Anyway, "K," our pastoral associate, asked if I'd like to receive, and I said yes. (Actually, I nearly shouted "yes" but we were in church right before Mass started. I contained my enthusiasm.) She told me there were two other people, and she would seat them next to me in the front pew. One was a older lady bent over from osteoporosis, who told me she was nervous - "I've never done this." I tried to assure her that it was not only painless and easy, but quite helpful.

Father began his sermon  by announcing that we were celebrating this sacrament following the homily. Then he said that the sick - whether it was an illness of mind, body or spirit - were …

Suffering: Not about courage

I was awake at 5 a.m. this morning. That netted me about 5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, which is pretty good for me these days. I was sleeping in the recliner in my office, a common deal for me now, as the recliner is more comfortable than a bed. (One weird sidebar of this whole "tumor on my spine" thing is that my leg and foot often fall asleep if I'm in bed. Who knew?)

Right across from my recliner is a crucifix, then an icon of the Nativity, and finally a print from Assisi showing four holy places of the life of St. Francis. If you're awake at 5 a.m., and you're not feeding a baby or getting ready for work, you have the luxury of talking to Jesus for a bit. Having a crucifix there is a good conversation starter.

I was talking to Jesus about how He managed to carry that cross. Just the physical trauma of it; I know He was God, but He was just walking around in human skin. He had no Superman powers. He stilled stubbed His toe and it hurt. He got headaches (can…

Sleeping on the floor with Jesus

I live the Franciscan life by choice - after all, Dear Husband and I are in formation with a Franciscan order of sisters, they've been our spiritual advisors and  have been for many years. I've said here before I'm not a very good Franciscan, as I own far too many shoes, but Franciscan spirituality is in the marrow of my bones.

Youngest Son and I were talking yesterday about Franciscans, and I told him about how "hard-core" the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal are. I told my son that when I went to the March for Life a few years back, I walked most of the way with some of these Friars. They were barefoot. In January. In DC. And singing joyfully the entire way.

They sleep on the floor. No pillows, no mattress. They truly don't own anything. They are in service to the poor in the radical way St. Francis was. My son thought this was crazy, and it is. Crazy in that it's radical love for Christ, and that always looks crazy to our sin-steeped world.

Little did…

Learning from Mother Teresa

I admit: I never had much of a warm, fuzzy spot for Mother Teresa. I realize she's a holy woman, a saint, and I admired her work while on earth. But, you know how it is: just like we warm up to people here on earth and find our besties, we do the same with saints. I never considered Mother Teresa one of my heavenly besties.

Because of my job (which includes writing a blog post every day and finding good stuff for the company's social media), I've spent a lot of time reading about Mother Teresa, and learning from her directly via her letters and diary.

[Just let me step aside here for a moment and remind you of the world's most frightening prayer, from St. Ignatius of Loyola.]

I know in my head and in my gut that I'm supposed to do God's will. I know that if I choose this, my life will be better than any plans I could come up with. And yet ... I'd still rather do things MY way.

Heal me Lord! I'm in so much pain. Just heal me. I know you can.

Fix my kid, J…

So close to Jesus

This past Sunday, at Mass, Dear Husband and I had the great good fortune of having a dad, toddler and infant sit next to us in the front pew.

"Good fortune?" you say. Sounds horrible. Kids are so distracting. Put 'em in the nursery.

Nope. We sit up in the front pew, and always invite parents with young kids to come and sit with us. Having raised 5 hyper kids, we can pretty much ignore anything, plus kids do much better when they can see what's going on.

I have to admit, I wanted the toddler to act up a bit so I could whisper to the dad, "I'll watch the baby if you have to take him out."

Instead, we saw something rather remarkable.

Oh, the toddler (not quite 2) was a toddler. He was a bit anty. He wasn't quite sure that he liked seeing his mommy in front, cantoring, where he couldn't get to her. He whined and fussed a bit.

But during the Consecration, his enormous blue eyes locked onto the priest. That baby boy saw Jesus up there. You could just…