Laudetur Iesus Christus!
Nunc et in aeternum! Amen.
Saturday of the Twenty-First Week in Ordinary Time
Okay, so I haven’t posted in a few days. Tings been busy. Not really. I have just been lazy.
Since, as we established before, I am lazy, I am munching on a delicious bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. I love those things. I could eat them every day. The best part is when the bag is empty save for the wheat pieces and pulverized sugar are at the bottom. Oh yes. That’s like heaven in a bowl. My favorite part. I eat the wheat biscuit things to get to that. It’s like eating Cracker Jack to get to the prize (though the prizes nowadays suck heretical lollipops).
I decided yesterday that I was going to weed around the house. I have these times when I decide to do random things like clean the stove with a toothbrush or polish random schtuff. So I went to Mass, came home, ate some breakie, changed into some outdoorsy clothes (including my oh-so-chic Victoria’s Secret tank top I got redonk on sale when I was in college), popped the earbuds into my full-charged iPod, got my tools and got to it.
Of course I pick the one day of the week that is 90 degrees. And my body can’t process heat to save its life. *facepalm*
(I did make a dent in it. Imma work on it piecemeal over a few days; I made another dent in it today.)
After I pray my daily Rosary sans beads, I listen to my new favorite podcast: the Catholic Guy podcast. If I had more disposable income, I would totally get a satellite radio so I could listen to this daily show. It’s amazing. It’s hosted by Lino Rulli and his co-host Father Rob Keighron and it’s geared to Catholic young adults but it can be listened to by anyone though this isn’t your typical Catholic radio show. The sense of humor is spot on with mine and I just love the banter and randomness that occurs! The best part? The Theology is solid and it’s not sanctimonious which is something that REALLY annoys me about some Catholic shows. Not everyone has a gaggle of hyper-Catholic kids, homeschools, and can recite Catechism paragraphs from memory. Not dissing any of that because I do aspire to at least do the last thing (along with citing Scripture and the Code of Canon Law from memory) but still, that doesn’t make those of us who are not that any less Catholic.
I used to get in trouble with some of the more sanctimonious Catholics in college when I would crack jokes about selling indulgences to pay for books and tuition. “That’s not appropriate, Allison.” (They always called me Allison) Or when I would critique the liturgical practices on campus as being direct violations of more Church documents than I could list. “You’re being judgmental, Allison. This is how the community worships God.” To which I would reply, “But I want how the Church worships. I could care less how the community does it if it’s not in line with what the Church wants.”
The best one would be when I would see a cute guy and (mind you my nickname in college was “Sister Allie”) would say, “Dang, I’d rather spread the Mystical Body of Christ physically than spiritually.” Which, for those with senses of humor worth something, means “Dang, I’d like to get to know him and contemplate marriage and children with him.” Mind you, my idea of “cute” is: practicing Catholic, has at the very least an appreciation for the TLM, has a sense of humor, and is a bit of a geek/nerd.
So yeah, I am on my knees pulling weeds, fighting mutant vine creatures that spread faster than a meme on the Internet apparently (they just kept coming), and laughing at this podcast. The ladies walking their dogs by our house probably think “That girl who lives there has something terribly wrong with her; she kept laughing to herself and chortling.”
Then my mind has a thought (it happens sometimes) that while lacking in originality got me thinking (which is something I need to moderate).
It seems that whenever I go through and pull the weeds, the little buggers come back faster and with a vengeance. And when I weed, I make sure I get the roots, I will dig until I get the roots. Some of those weeds have deeper root systems than the things I want to stay! Bah.
That and, “Dang, there be some wicked huge insects around here.”
Thank God for thick manly leather gardening gloves. Maybe there was a reason why I could not find my chic feminine flowery gardening gloves. Some of those insects were something nasty. Now I get creeped out flipping the bricks to make sure I got every last bit of alien plantlife.
At least they weren’t those wolf spiders we would get when I was in college.
Imagine for a moment that it’s one in the morning and you have decided that you are done doing homework for the night and you should try to get a few hours of shut-eye.
But first, being the creature of ritual I am, I had to take a shower.
So I get myself situated, grab my shower caddy, and head to the common shower room.
Advantage to 1am showers: you always get the shower stall you like. Mine was the roomy one with the nice seat and stand on which I could place my stuff. One of the perks of living in the former nursing home of a religious congregation.
So I am doing my stuff, my hair is lathered up, and I am shaving my legs (yes, I shaved my legs in college … some girls didn’t).
I stand up straight to rinse my hair and this thing is looking into my eyes …
I think I died five times in a row when I saw that giant arthropod of doom. When you are exposed and unsuspecting, things like this can make you die several times.
But then I put my big girl pants on and said, “This thing ain’t gonna get in the way of my cleanliness.” I kid you not. Such is my fixation. I will spit in the eye/s of doom to make sure my hair is immaculately clean and my body sufficiently scrubbed and moisturized. I have my priorities. Call it vanity. I call it taking care of the Temple of the Holy Spirit that is my body.
So I rinsed my hair (bypassed conditioning this one time), rinsed the soap off my bod, and dried myself briskly all while watching this thing.
I got my arse outta that bathroom as fast as I could once I was decent. I sprinted down the hall and into my room. I locked the door in a juvenile way of reassurring myself that it wasn’t going to get me now.
After I had sufficiently assured myself that it wasn’t going to kill me and eat my soul like a Go-gurt. I went to bed.
The next day, I told one of my friends who also lived in the hall with me about what happened.
“Allie, that was a wolf spider. Those things will attack you. They are predators.”
Dang. My angel must have been staring it down. That’s the only explanation I have for why it didn’t attack me and eat my soul.
Where the heck was I going with this anyway?
Heck if I know.
Anyway, once I was over the fact that I was going to town on these weeds whose root systems must have been designed by God Himself because they were so deep and complex (of course they were, He is the Source of all creation), ignoring the ginormous insects that apparently live in the dirt (whodathunkit?), and laughing at the podcast to which I was listening, another thought happened.
I need to see a priest or a therapist about these thoughts. I am not used to having them so often.
Aren’t weeds in a garden like the figurative weeds in the spiritual life? Of course, then I think of Saint Therese and her Little Flower spiel and the Lord and His whole parable of the weeds among wheat thing.
The garden of one’s soul is like the temporal garden. You can’t just go through once and take out all the weeds. Those buggers come back over and over again. If you don’t take care of the weeds in your soul, they can take root and begin to take over the flowerbed of your soul. You have to be persistent and persevere in living a holy life.
I can attest to this reality. The Evil One is a the Great Saboteur. He will do anything and everything to get you to falter in your journey to perfect union with God.
You can never rest on your laurels. You can never take off your gardening gloves and think, “Well, I have done enough pruning. I don’t need to eliminate anymore things. What’s there won’t spread. I won’t let it. Once it starts to spread, I’ll get rid of it then.” Or we think that we did a bang-up job taking everything out that ought not be there so we don’t need to worry about that aspect of our lives anymore.
Sure, we may be doing well right now. But we must be always vigilant because the Evil One wants us to enter into a false sense of security. He wants that because then, we have let our guard down and he can work on us. He can undermine all the good work we have done by the grace of God.
There have been times when I have been lulled into that false sense of security and those “little weeds” that “won’t do anything too bad” or “won’t spread” did just those things. They caused my soul and spiritual life much damage.
And those things do spread. The root systems of sin spread much faster than the roots of virtue because the roots of sin take the easiest possible path while the growth in virtue is very seldom gained easily so it takes time and perseverance. Their roots also go deep when allowed to do so. When the weeds of the soul get their roots deep, they can be very difficult to eliminate, let alone reduce.
The roots of sin can also do a number on the roots of virtue that have already begun to grow. They suck all the nutrients out of the soul. The nutrients being grace, of course, because sin (be it venial or mortal) is to one degree or another damaging the life of grace in the soul of the individual.
Sin, like some weeds, can actually look quite innocuous or even pleasing to the eye. Some of the weeds I have pulled the past two days have not necessarily been the crab grass or the ugly spiky leafed plants; I have pulled some flowery weeds. They look pretty and harmless but they are still doing damage to the garden. They are still taking up resources that ought to be for the flowers of virtue.
Much like those flowers, sin has to be purged completely from the soul. Even if the sin seems harmless. There is no such thing as a “harmless sin.” Just like there is no such thing as a “harmless weed.”
Besides, even one weed makes a garden look bad. You can have the most beautiful flowers in your garden but if you have a few weeds peeking through, you can bet that the first thing to be noticed upon examination will be the weeds. The weeds detract from the beauty of the flowers of the garden.
The soul can be adorned with the most beautiful virtues but when there are sins and vices present, it detracts from the beauty and health of the soul.
When you die, do you want the Lord to look at your garden and see weeds of sin among the flowers of virtue? Even one weed is too much because those things can do a lot of damage; they can subvert a lot of hard work toward living a life of virtue and truth.
So yes, those were my profoundly cliche thoughts while weeding the past couple days. I would continue with it tomorrow but it’s the Lord’s day so I can’t do servile work, even if I am listening to a Catholic podcast. Somehow I don’t think that nullifies any degree of the “work-ness” of weeding.
I feel like making dinner now. Yes. Imma whip something up on the stove. What? Heck if I know. I’ll make it work. :)
Have a nice evening!