Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
Sunday of the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Saint Mary Magdalen, Apostle to the Apostles)
Dio è buono. Dio è molto buono. Davvero molto buono. Meglio di quanto mi merito. (English: “God is good. God is very good. Very good indeed. Better than I deserve.”)
I am sorry for the altogether negative mood that was my last post but I needed to get it off my chest in other ways than finding solace at the bottom of a Pellegrino bottle and in hours spent doing counted-cross stitch (though that is fun).
It wasn’t me sugar-coating things. It was what it was. It is what it is.
But that’s where the Lord comes in.
Sometimes, He’ll give it to ya like a 2×4 to the back of the head or a wooden ruler to the knuckles (when we are being bad little children of His). Those are the times when it’s like, “Wham! Bam! Thank you, ma’am!” Very overt (at least to the person) and it would require quite a bit of spiritual blindness to not notice it.
But most of the time, He’s like a rain cloud, gently showering the needed love and grace on the parched earth of our souls. He doesn’t necessarily deliver the loud roar of thunder nor the flashing lightning. He tends to stick with rain. Gently giving the grace to the soul in a very subtle way and enlivening it once again.
He did that to me today. And so much more. And something is telling me that it’s going to continue.
Did I mention that His timing is impeccable? Well, it is. It always is.
It started this morning while I was getting ready for Mass. I usually watch/listen to EWTN while getting ready (during the week, it’s the news).
I could kick myself for not recalling what psalm it was specifically. Actually, I cannot kick myself physically anyway so we’ll have to settle for a facepalm.
Okay, moving on …
In case some of you are not familiar, EWTN has little video clip things that they use as filler between programs since they don’t have commercials. Depending on how much time needs to be killed, they can be short little ditties or longer talks on theological topics (my favorites are the ones on Church history by Father Charles Connor).
Well, they only had a bit of time to cover so it was a reading from one of the Psalms.
All I can remember is that it had to do with trusting in the Lord and how if we trust in Him, no matter what, He will take care of us and our glory will mirror His.
At least, that’s what I gleaned from it.
Then came the peace and the small stupid grin on my face. I looked at my Infant and said, “Okay, okay, I get the picture.” Then I realized that He was still dressed in white so I changed Him into His green vestment. He’s so divinely cute!
He was probably all, “She still has no idea … *lovingly vexed sigh*” Oh Lawrd, sighing Baby Jesus must be one of the most adorable awwwww-inducing sounds ever.
Then we got to church for Mass. Sat in the usual spot and pulled out the Breviary and started to pray Lauds. Yes, I go to noon Mass and no, I don’t pray my Office before I get to church. I’m in a routine. I don’t like breaking routine. Besides, I finish it before noon so technically it’s still morning though really I should be onto Sext by then. I am horrible when it comes to Terce, Sext, and None (midmorning, midday, and midafternoon prayer … the Little Hours). I hardly ever say them. I should work on that.
Remember, a good Latin student never declines sex. Of course, “sex” being the number 6 in Latin and thus not to be declined (as in the Latin Declension Song) and not the unitive and procreative act that unites a husband and wife and allows them to participate in God’s act of bringing new life into the world. Nope. The first thing.
Well, He started with just gently filling my heart with peace as I prayed Lauds. It was a feeling like having an inner light within that lifted my spirit and took the weight off my heart.
Then, it happened. And this happened not too long ago (like about a week ago).
As I continue praying, I feel what can only be described as arms going around me and embracing me. It was both a physical sensation and something I acutely felt in my very soul. I didn’t want it to end.
It was almost like the Lord (it had to have been from Him) was replying to one of the very things it has been putting into my heart and mind:
“You know you’ll never have that one guy who steals your heart every time, who will flirt with you shamelessly, and in whose arms you will fall asleep every night.”
How blind can I be? How very dense can I be? You know, this whole “fallen human nature” thing can really cramp one’s desire to develop a relationship with God.
It was like He was saying, “Ummmm, what am I? Chopped liver?”
“No, Lord, You’re not chopped liver. Though if You were, I know You would be sauteed with fresh Italian breadcrumbs and have a goodly portion of polenta on the side prepared with EVOO and a little bit of dry Italian cheese. Oh, and You would have a wonderful wine to accompany You. And then some tiramisu and limoncello.”
*Try not to be too scandalized by that. I tried liver for the first time a while back and have grown to love it. I mean no sacrilege … just me being me.
“Getting back to the topic, Allie …”
It was almost like He was saying: “I am the ‘one Guy’ Who steals your heart every time. And I will always be the One to do that. The only One. I am the One Who wants to and does pursue you constantly. Would I be doing all this if I did not love you so completely, totally, and eternally? I think not. And the whole ‘holding you in his arms every night’ thing? Yeah, well, I hold you in My Heart and My arms always.”
He did it again. He quietly reassured and reminded me.
He did it again. He stole my heart.
Then He says in my heart, “Look up.”
I look up and my eyes fall on the lady who is setting things up to read at Mass.
“And who is that, Allie?”
“That’s … that’s … her! I have been wanting to see her!”
Who is this “her?” She’s a well-known Catholic mediaperson who happens to go to my parish. Whom I have happened to have known since I was little. Who happens to be one whom I asked to fill out my second recommendation form for SHMS. I had not heard anything from her (I emailed her hoping for a “yes.”) and was wracking my brain of who else I could ask to fill one out for me and was about to email one of my old Theology profs from college later today.
Then … there she is.
(After Mass, I found her and she said, “Allie, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about you. I have just been really busy. Just keep reminding me and I will have it to you well before the due date.” WIN.)
“Thank you, Lord.”
“You gotta trust me more, Allie. Trust me in all things and I will take care of you beyond all your understanding. You have to give yourself over to me totally. You have to open yourself up to me.”
“All right, Lord, but You have to help me.”
“I will. You just have to remember it always not just when things are tough or when things are easy or when things are mundane. Always. But don’t fret, I’m always with you.”
How very blind and dense can I be? I have been letting it get to me. To make me falter in my trust in God. Of course, that’s its primary end because when I stop trusting in Him and become more and more reliant on self. When it does that, it becomes much easier for it to slither in, really muck things up, plunge us into despair and, if it gets what it wants, we’ll have a one-way ticket to Hell. Not fun. And definitely not worth it. At all.
Why have I not noticed that He has always been there to be all those things and so much more?
I can be so unfaithful sometimes. Dreadfully so. And yet, I know that He is the only one for me.
Bah. I am just having an unnecessary amount of angst and stress. Wholly unnecessary. All it does is age me and give me headaches.
It just seems like after that whole experience that a few weights had been lifted off my shoulders and I have been revivified in many ways. And it is wonderful.
I know I am still going to wonder about things. But when that happens, I just have to remind myself to keep trusting in the Lord and stop with all the extraneous caterwauling (be it internal or external).
I am in love. Even at the times when I forget it or don’t realize it. I am head over heels, out of the park, hat trick cubed in love with Someone.
I know I am called to some form of consecrated life. Whether it’s religious life or consecrated virginity, I don’t know … yet. All I know is that I love Him and, when all is said and done, He is all I want and need.
Regardless, I will be darned if I am letting some eternally miffed and disgruntled goat-man mess things up for me because it is ontologically green with envy and hatred for me and every other human being. And I am not letting my very self get in the way.
I think all of this comes from fear. Fear of not knowing for certain what is coming. Fear of failure (of course, with God, there is not really failure is there?). Perhaps a bit of a fear of commitment. Fear of a repeat of past experiences.
But that’s what it wants. It wants to throw a wrench into the Lord’s plan for me. I have to spit in its eye and only let that all cause me to trust Him more. Trust Him more in all things from the biggest and most important things to the most basic and mundane thing.
I love Him. That’s all I know. I get in the way more times than I ought (once is too many times) but that should only lead me to trust Him all the more.
It all boils down to trust. I have to trust more. In all things.
I can’t wait until I can go on retreat. I can’t wait until I finally get all these blessed things done. I can’t wait until I have my license (I apparently have a car waiting for me) and am able to go to Latin Mass and just be more independent (not looking forward to paying for gas though … God will provide). I am looking forward to going to school and studying my pa-toot off. I am looking forward to the hundreds of pages I will be reading a week. I am looking forward to all the papers, all the exams, and all the stuff that comes with grad school.
I have so much ahead of me and trusting in and depending on the Lord, I can achieve it.
Things are going to be all right. :)
All right, I have to get ready for bed. Off to slather on a layer of cold cream like something out of the 1950s. lol
Have a nice night!