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Busy Being Not-Busy

Praying

I think that it is time for me to follow her example and get to work! I will be back in a week. May those of you who celebrate the Paschal Mystery have a truly blessed week.

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Whiter Than Snow

Snow, snow, whiter than snow

As a child we used to sing the words “Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.” And I always thought of the piles of dirty snow in spring. Yes, I knew what the songwriter meant. But my eight-year-old mind still automatically thought of dirty snow and how I did not think that “whiter than snow” was especially impressive. Couldn’t they at least have said “whiter than a freshly fallen snow” or something like that?

I am older now, but I still do not “know better”. My mind is rebellious. I Instinctively question poetical metaphors tossed my way. So many of them simply do not work for me. Alas. Maybe someday I will be that wonderful older woman who talks endlessly about “roses in December” and “sunsets”.

But for right now I am simply thrilled that the snow pile pictured above is gone. I took the picture less than a week ago. After last night’s rain, it is no more. That is a wonderful thing since the “snow” metaphor does not fit with my idea of Easter.

Happy Palm Sunday! Thank God the snow is gone!

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Thirsting for God

Agnus Dei

Agnus Dei

Yesterday morning started out with Psalm 63:2-9

O God, you are my God, for you I long;

for you my soul is thirsting.

My body pines for you

like a dry, weary land without water.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary

to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,

my lips will speak your praise.

It was the answer to my worn-out Saturday. While my suffering may be minimal, it is still a very strong reminder that I pine for perfection. I long for God.

It is extremely difficult to balance appreciation for life with the reality that we are also dying, even while we live. My body loves to make sure that I fully know how very imperfect this life is. I am far from able to purely unite my small sufferings with those of the Christ, but I know that it is what I want. And I am supremely happy every time I am able to partake in Mass and pray: “Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: grant us peace”.

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On the Irony of Chubby Statues of Ascetic Saints

Have you ever thought of how ironic it is that there are many statues of Saint Francis of Assisi where he looks rather round? You expect me to believe that a guy who spent his time walking around Italy and eating less than the birds he talked with was round?!

St. Francis Dancing on Water

Image Source

Anyway… I find it equally ironic that people think of Catholicism as a stifling religion removed from nature. I was once in a discussion with a woman who spoke as if pagans had some sort of religious monopoly on nature and gardens in particular. She had never heard of Mary gardens, or Christian hymns referencing gardens, and thought nothing of Gethsemane. Is it normal that I, a Christian, know of paganism’s connection to gardens, but others do not know of Christian appreciation for nature?

I am always happy when morning prayer includes the Canticle from Daniel 3:

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.

Praise and exalt God above all forever.

Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.

You heavens, bless the Lord.

All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.

All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.

Sun and moon, bless the Lord.

Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.

All you winds, bless the Lord.

Fire and heat, bless the Lord.

Cold and chill, bless the Lord.

Dew and rain, bless the Lord.

Frost and chill, bless the Lord.

Ice and snow, bless the Lord.

Nights and days, bless the Lord.

Light and darkness, bless the Lord.

Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.

Praise and exalt God above all forever.

Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.

Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.

You springs, bless the Lord.

Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.

You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.

All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.

All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.

And on it goes. You can read the whole thing if you like, but just typing this up was enough to make me happy. I do not spend nearly enough time “blessing” the Lord. So, in the spirit of joining with all of nature, I am going to follow My Chocolate Heart‘s example and list some things for which I am thankful.

I praise God for:

  • Living within walking distance of my parish. It is so wonderful to be able to walk to Church almost every day! Even better, there are two daily Mass times from which to choose.
  • An amazingly kind and patient husband. Last night I was grouchy for no reason at all. After trying a few things to cheer me up, my husband simply asked “what can I do to make you feel better?” Then he went and made me peppermint tea. I fell asleep quite happy.
  • The chance to visit with my younger sister whom I have not seen since Christmas.
  • Seeds to sprout and eat inside while it is not yet warm enough to plant outside.
  • The knowledge that it is almost time to celebrate Easter!

What are you thankful for?

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Sometimes I need to think about why I should be sad… and work harder!

Today was one of those days when I felt like doing… nothing. It was a grey day and I am tired of grey days. I want spring.

But I got it all done because I had my must-do list and a bit of inspiration. When I feel tired and lazy there is always one way that can get me to work. Check out this or this for an example.

I just have to remember that there are many children out there in pretty nasty situations. And I could help some of them some day. But that day is going to stay far away as long as I am too lazy to get my act together and do the things I must to be able to care for a needy child. I don’t have a romanticized view of adoption or foster parenting. I know that it is emotional agony (among other draining things). I know that I am not yet prepared for it.

But I have a deep desire to be able to help make a little space a little better.

The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit. -Saint Basil

The extra books sitting on my shelf can be sold to provide income to pay off debt. In the process I become not only financially able to parent, I also practice the self-denial and self-discipline which I would need to love a child. And when I hear quotes like the one from Saint Basil, I can only wonder why on earth I haven’t done it already.

If anyone who happens upon this has suggestions either for motivation or ways to prepare for parenting (or other forms of service) I would love to hear about them!

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