Laudetur Iesus Christus
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
(Anticipating) Seventeenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
My parentals and my sister are at a wedding today on the west side, I’ve been by me-self since early this afternoon so I have had to keep myself amused and/or occupied. I made a dent in one of my essays and then went over to my grandparents’ for dinner and we watched the Olympics for a bit. I came home and worked a bit more.
Then I remembered!
I have to take care of some delicates that I cannot machine wash lest they get all messed up and be misshapen and blech.
So I grabbed the items to be washed, filled my washtub (yes, I have my own washtub) with cold water, and put in two capfuls of this:
The lavender scent and just the routine immediately brought back memories of when I was in the convent and when I was in college. At the latter, it was the lady-wear that should never be put in a wash machine that Lord knows what has been put in it before (you’d be surprised what I used to find in them). At the former, it was the myriad of pairs of nude-colored nylons that I wore with my jumper daily along with the lady wear (some of which were probably violations of poverty if I didn’t get them on such ridiculous savings before I entered).
I was just mad that I could not find my pair of these:
Yes, I have a pair of those. They are good for preventing runs in delicate fabric when maintaining and donning them.
There are few things more soothing to me than washing delicates. It’s one of the things that makes me feel absolutely domestic.
She was a wife and Mother after all, you know. She gave a special dignity to even the most “menial” and “mundane” things done by homemakers: from changing sheets and doing laundry to mending clothes and preparing meals. If the Queen of Heaven and Earth can do it with love, how could other women not attend to household charges with the same love and devotion when we have such a wonderful Model in Our Lady?
These past few weeks have taught me many things:
-I can make all the plans I want but if the Lord does not will them, they shan’t happen but rather something much better.
-Trusting in Providence is a must even if it is a hard thing to do (because of our fallen-ness and pride).
-When things seem the most dire, those are the times when we must trust in God all the more though it may become all the harder.
-Whenever the Evil One is rearing his ugly pockmarked face, say a prayer (the Saint Michael prayer and the Ave are my favorites) and he will flee in horror.
-Pray, pray, pray, and, oh yeah, pray, especially when you feel your trust faltering.
-A few minutes spent in quiet prayer are worth more than a few hours spent fretting and hyper-analyzing and far more productive too.
-Sometimes it’s all right to get a good cry out but don’t direct it at self-pity or “woe is me;” send every salty, stingy, painful tear up to Our Lady and ask her to give them to the Lord.
-Our Lord, Our Lady, and all the saints are anxious to help us, if only we ask them and trust them completely.
I have to admit there have been times where it has felt like hope was lost about certain things that must happen for me to get into grad school or get there. Then I realize that it’s “his ugliness” rearing his head and trying to subvert my trust in the Providence of God and make me fall into one degree of despair or another.
The Evil One knows that this is something very near and dear to me. He knows that I am getting very excited about the prospect of going to school. He knows that I am getting excited about the possibility of my getting my license so I can finally go where I want (read: Latin Mass and class). He hates all forms of joy and hope because he has none.
The nine novenas I have been praying have been such sources of peace for me. The time I have spent kneeling in church have been another source of peace for me. The time praying my Office and attending Holy Mass have been my solace. It’s like when I start praying in church or when I flip on my mantilla for private prayer in my room that the Lord is putting me in the opening in His Sacred Heart and Our Lady is covering me in her lovely dark blue mantle that is dotted with golden stars. I feel such security.
It’s at those times when I feel the most security and hope. Like whatever happens, it is God’s will, it will not necessary be what I want but it’s for the best. And I am all right with that.
I wish I could feel that more consistently. I have been getting better but there are still times when I forget to trust and I fall into levels of darkness and doubt.
Those really suck. And that’s putting it nicely.
But then I grab my Michael medal and kiss it or I pull out my scapular and kiss it. Some think those little actions are nothing but at the very least they are small demonstrations of trust.
All these experiences both past, present, and to come are though immediately aimed at one or another goal all have one shared end: helping me grow in perfection.
Remember, Christ wants us to be like Him. Sure we may not be divine but we are made in His Image and Likeness. Does that not mean that we must strive to the best of our ability to mirror Him in all we do?
Christ trusted perfectly. We are called to do the like. No matter how hard it may be. No matter how much we may have to suffer. Part of that trust also includes believing the God will take care of us. Because He will. Trust that God will provide. Give everything over to Him and, as Father Solanus Casey used to say, “Thank God ahead of time for all that He will do for you.”
Christ loved perfectly. We are called to follow Him that way too. No matter what, we must all love everything and everyone the Lord puts in our lives: from our closest friend to our most disliked “enemy.” All persons are made in the Image and Likeness of God and therefore they are deserving of some degree of respect, no matter what. It’s hard but the way to salvation is not an express lane with no one ahead of us. It’s a long, narrow path that has some obstructions in it that must be overcome. Some are bigger than others. Some need to just be stepped over. Other need some ingenuity and all require help from the Lord.
Christ practiced perfect fidelity. Not once did He err in His faithfulness to His Father. Nor should we. Even when He was sweating blood most profusely in His agony, He was faithful in submitting to the will of His Father knowing that it would result in more pain and suffering than we could ever fathom. We are to be faithful to Him in all things. We are to develop and maintain a DAILY prayer life. We are to attend Mass at the very least every Sunday and holy days of obligation. We are to be faithful to every teaching of the Church, not out of rote habit but consciously aware that all that Holy Mother Church teaches has been revealed to her by God Who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Sounds pretty legit and trustworthy to me.
And, if for some reason, we fall, we are not to give the Evil One the satisfaction of spitting on us or kicking us while we’re down. We are called to pick ourselves up by the grace of God (realize our flaws and sins), dust ourselves off (through Confession and absolution), and carry on stronger (firm purpose of amendment and penance). We may be a bit bumped, bruised, and sore but we do come out stronger in the end. It takes time, trust, patience, and discipline.
I am determined to forge on. I can’t despair. I can’t stop trusting because that’s what the Evil One wants and I hate that guy so why would I want to make him “happy?” Pah. I want to spit in his eye … with holy water.
On a related note: Has anyone had any experiences with the five-day “novena” to Saint Therese where you ask her to “pick [you] a rose from the Heavenly Garden?” I just finished the first one yesterday and I am starting a new one on Monday. Imma bug, pester, and prod her and all my other saints to whom I am offering novenas … and the Infant of Prague … Him in particular. He’s so cute!
All right, I have to get ready for bed, pray Vespers and Compline, and hit the sack. While you’re praying for me (thank you, btw), pray for another special intention for me. It’s not for me but for a good friend of mine. Isn’t intercessory prayer wonderful?
Have a nice night!