Monday, June 25, 2012

A Resounding Gong

                Saturday my husband’s journey to holiness became a bit emotional.  A family member called in crisis due to a pending death of a family friend.  Now as I have stated in the past, many in my family believe in God, but they never attend church, actively pray, or study (the three big components of helping faith grow in my opinion).  When the call came, I answered.  Because the person was my family, I was a bit confused by the request to speak to my husband.  The voice on the other end was blunt, to the point, and held no room for chitchat. 
                I listened to my husband talking relieved he had been asked for.  Most of my life I have felt responsible for my families faith.  I have attempted to be the perfect person to show them the way of Christ (falling short of course).  I have opened up dialogue to point the way.  At times I have felt success for a fleeting moment only to be disappointed.  Other times, fights have ensued.  A few years ago I gave up.  I went to the local Catholic book store and bought a Saint Monica medal.  Through prayer, she led her son, Augustine, to the church.  He became a doctor of theology.  Now, unless I am directly asked or can’t help myself, I keep my mouth shut.  I just pray.
                As I listened to the one side of the conversation, praying for both sides of the telephone connection, I realized I am a resounding gong to my family.  I still lead by my imperfect example.  There are some who don’t like me.  They rarely ask questions or even bring up the subject.  I am okay with this.  In the past, I would have been upset not to be able to help during this crisis.  I will admit; I would have been jealous.  Now I am just happy to see the Holy Spirit at work.  Really, that is the key.  It isn’t you or I who have to bring Christ to our loved ones; it is the Holy Spirit who has to do it.
                The crisis isn’t over.  We are all praying.  The Holy Spirit will have to get to work and she will be spectacular even if I don’t see an outcome.  Let go and let God.  I have heard these words over and over.  They are definitely hard to do.  I am not responsible for my extended family’s faith.  They are.  As for my children’s faith, I still take responsibility for them until they no longer live under my roof.  Sorry kids, no getting out of Mass when you are confirmed!!!
                Blessings to you all.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

An Ordinary Life

                Over the past couple of months, I can’t even guess at how many times I have opened up a word document typing away at a thought.  The next thing I know the black words that pop out at me turn to a gray so light the letters begin to fade.  The dry spell of my faith study consumes my writing life as well.  Today I am determined to write a post even if my readers also see the dryness.  To top off my spiritual drama, my back went out causing me to be in bed for two weeks.  I am still struggling with the pain and being very careful not to reinjure it.  Due to the physical stress, the fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis wanted to show me they are still around.  I would be lying if I claimed I have remained in good spirits.  Depression and grumpiness have been a part of my days off and on, but I continue to plague these emotions with a positive attitude and enjoying life’s simple moments.
                Today I enjoyed a phone conversation with my mother-in-law and I expressed my frustration with this desert I am in the middle of.  “Why don’t you write about it?”  Well, I don’t want to bore my readers nor do I want to wallow in self pity.  Like she stated though, I am still walking on my journey.  So what am I doing to travel through?  I am praying, reading non-faith books, attending Mass when my pain isn’t so bad, watching television, cleaning and gardening when I am doing well, visiting my dad, hanging out with the kids and husband, and attempting writing.  Really, besides studying faith, I am doing all the things I usually do with added resting times.  In other words, I think I am being boring. 
Take yesterday for example, my daughter and I went to visit friends.  What a blessing they are!  The girls disappeared playing both in the house and outside.  One of the girls introduced me to her two new puppies Dorothy and Toto (stuffed animals).  Another girl and I discussed who her teacher will be in the fall.  I witnessed two others playing dentist with a spray bottle and everything.  My friend and I chatted while she fed her youngest.  After putting the little one down for a nap, we strolled through her yard looking at the greenhouse, garden, and chicken coup.  Best of all we chatted.  The conversation went all over from school, composting techniques, gardening tips, husbands, kids, family, all ordinary things.  I could claim that the amazing part of the afternoon is having the presence of the Holy Spirit with us.  However with this friend, I am blessed to have this feeling of grace present in our relationship all the time making it an ordinary event.
Yes, I have been living a dry ordinary existence.  I have loved almost every moment of it.  At Mass on Sunday, Father asked us if we felt holy enough.  Many heads, including my own, shook them no.  He claimed this is a wonderful thing because if we did feel holy enough, we wouldn’t remain humble.  Today I come to you not very holy living an ordinary life filled with contentment.  I challenge you to do the same.
Blessings to you all.