I woke up in a bad, bad mood. A certain 1 year old woke up every 3 hours throughout the night wanting to nurse. She usually wakes me up once a night for that and I happily oblige because she does her business in 10 minutes and then we all fall back into blissful, heavenly rest. But last night. It was excessive. I woke up desperately tired and ill-tempered. Not to mention that exhaustion (and pretty much any other unusual circumstance) allows the melancholic side of my temperament to wrest control from the phlegmatic and subsequently everything becomes impossibly difficult and futile (maybe that's how they find people to fail at simple everyday tasks in infomercials. I digress). Why do I live? Woe is me. All of this is your fault.
This morning I dragged myself out of bed propelled only with bitterness and frustration to interact with Lilly brusquely, snap at her, snap at my husband. The little everyday annoyances became huge, magnified by the sudden remembrance of every similar affront of the past which was previously forgotten. Forget any progress made subsequently. I was seeing everything through darkness, colored by anger. A fine Easter morning, you might say. It reached a point when my husband graciously came through the door bearing breakfast tacos which I only just barely had time to scarf down to meet the fasting requirement before Mass. I was stewing and complaining about how I had to eat, get the baby dressed and make it out the door within 10 minutes of the current time. In typical male you-have-a-problem-so-here's-a-solution fashion my husband said, "why don't you get the baby dressed and then you can eat your taco in the car." I barked back, "I can't do that because I have to finish eating by 9:30 because of the fasting requirement." He looked at me and shook his head, "so many rules."
It was a straw too many. We have had this "discussion" many, many times before. In fact, it's not a discussion. He just enjoys needling me about my Catholic faith. "Just shut up!" was all I could think to reply to his assertion. I see myself in slow motion, knowing that responding in anger and rekindling a fire of bitterness was sinful but not caring. In that second all I wanted was the satisfaction of retaliating with a verbal slap in the face. I wished the words could leave a fat lip. He offered yet a second solution, "why don't you just skip Mass this time." Now wading in anger, every instance in the past 3 years in which he discouraged me from going to Mass came to the fore and became a burden I could hardly bear. It was definitely time to leave.
When I got to Mass everything changed. I remembered why I was there. He is risen, conquered sin and and death so that I can have freedom from sin, grace to overcome! I needed communion. I imagined the host bloody and beating, sliding down into my core and changing my cold, angry heart to become warm and tender like His. A piece of He who begged from the cross, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). And the grace to become like Him who is love and mercy and forgiveness.
For my husband doesn't understand. I have no alternative but to forgive him. He doesn't understand. Father's homily hit me square between the eyes. It was about the way so many people are drowning in despair or some form of desperation or another because they have made a life without God. I remembered how desperately I need God in my life and how without him I recede to mere selfishness and sin. The morning's episode vividly reminded me how lost I would be without Him. So much for spiritual pride. It's all Him. Everything is grace.