Monday, June 16, 2014

Giving the Rest to God

I am slowly learning to faithfully do my duty and give the rest to God. Often I am preoccupied with worries about the outcomes of my endeavors. In my work as a mother raising her children in the Catholic faith within a mixed marriage, the odds are stacked against my children being faithful adults. Statistically it's the father's faith, the father's church attendance that makes all the difference regardless of the faithfulness of the mother.

Despite the dismal statistics, my duty is to be faithful. Doing nothing is not an option. It's my prerogative to live a simple and integrated Catholic life, to at least be an example of faith that is not compartmentalized. Faith which strives against hypocrisy and yet admits fault when necessary. To be an example of frequent reception of the sacraments, even *gasp* reconciliation. An example of someone who is not afraid to give until it hurts and yet is not a martyr. To be the image of an intelligent person who yet believes in God and miracles and mystery and also has reasons to believe. I need to be the kind of person who lives and loves openly.

I think that's part of the blessing of being the lone Christian example in the family. It has made me mindful about how I need to grow and change and strive for holiness. I'm like a rough little pebble suddenly tossed into the river of God's grace, lumping and bumping along my path until my sharp edges are worn clean off. I'm definitely a work in progress!

Lately I have been thinking about how I will teach my children to pray, how I can be an example that prayer and recourse to God is a normal state of affairs. I remember praying as a little child with my mother. I enjoyed spending the time with her, but our prayer meetings were few and did not extend past age 4 or so. I hope that I can be more consistent with that. I know I should start praying before meals even though such a thing still feels so awkward to me since we didn't do it at home growing up.

In a somewhat providential turn of affairs, I won a giveaway for The Little Oratory! I am excited for the book to come in the mail eventually...I really do need some guidance in the area of family prayer!

Side note: one of the things I love about Catholic mom blogs is seeing the Catholic faith lived out in the context of family life. So often I use my parents as a negative example, what not to do. I appreciate having other families to look toward as being a positive example!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Crucifix

I have been Catholic for over 2 years, but I don't have a crucifix in my home. My husband has observed that crosses seem to mysteriously multiply in our house, really without any effort on my part. But I have never been given a crucifix.

I have thought lately about making the wall right by my side of the bed into more of a prayerful spot since my bed has become my Scripture reading spot. I'm hoping my husband won't object to this little corner of the house bearing a few religious images (we're not enthroning the Sacred Heart in the living room, okay?!). Several days ago I spotted a pretty little crucifix on Etsy and am hoping that it can sit on the wall right next to my little thumb-tacked image of Divine Mercy and my rose pillow that reminds me of the Blessed Mother and St. Therese.

And seriously, the crucifix? It is simple and beautiful. Here is the Etsy image since I have to wait for this baby to ship from Ukraine!

I had such a hard time choosing from this particular Etsy shop. Seriously, look at this one. And this one! Ultimately this simple one was lovely and within my budget (that's a plus!) and I really wanted a metal corpus for my first crucifix. In all likelihood I will purchase another one someday when I have fun money again...I will hang it in my actual closet if I have to!

We're oratory underground up in Casa Stone.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Bookmark: Fr. Cizek

"God has a special purpose, a special love, a special providence for all those he has created...It means, for example, that every moment of our life has a purpose, that every action of ours, no matter how dull or routine or trivial it may seem in itself, has a dignity and a worth beyond human understanding. No man's life is insignificant in God's sight, nor are his works insignificant--no matter what the world or his neighbors or family or friends may think of them." -Fr. Cizek.
(Pulled from another book, A Heart on Fire: Rediscovering Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by James Kubicki, S.J.)

Friday, June 6, 2014

The Idol of Comfort

I read this post by Jen @ Conversion Diary the other day, and it made me wonder what my antagonist is: what do I desire more than I desire God. I took it to prayer and the answer which sprang immediately to mind was, "comfort." At first I thought, "okaaaay." Then I thought about the way I seem to focus so much on maintaining my peace, my status quo, my self image, my residence firmly in my comfort zone. I thought about times when I though I felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit and then wriggled out of following the prompting because, "I must be imagining that. That's not me. I couldn't do that." I finally had to admit, "yeah, sounds about right."

Recently I stopped wearing my veils or coverings at Mass. I did it partially to mark the joy of the Easter season, and partially (probably mostly, if we're honest) because I was tired of being the weirdo. I have used this time to think about whether or not I will take it up again come Ordinary Time, and lo, Pentecost is nigh!

Last Friday I went to a Catholic Girl's Night Out event in San Antonio arranged by the Alexander House. The first hour of the event was a nearly all-women Mass (much to the surprise of the officiating priest). During the sign of peace I turned around to find that the young woman behind me was wearing a veil. Kneeling a moment later I prayed, "if you want me to wear the veil again, let me know, Lord." The rest of the Mass went on as usual and was lovely. In the gap between Mass and the guest speaker, we prayed a collective rosary. I kept thinking about the veiled woman, wanting to ask her about her experience with it.

As the rosary was begun I shifted in my seat and looked left and right. Everyone was kneeling, everyone was praying. I didn't feel like praying the rosary, but in the interest of blending in and the mere fact that I was re-consecrating myself to Jesus through Mary the next day, I went ahead and knelt myself though I did not have any beads on me. I reached to my throat and tightly grasped my miraculous medal.

Moments later I felt a nudge on my back. I turned and found the veiled woman offering me her extra rosary. I prayed on her beads the rest of the time and when I tried to hand them back to her afterward, she said, simply, "keep it."

Looks like I'll be veiling again soon! And also re-reading this blog post by another San Antonio woman for additional inspiration. Also, this!

Funny enough, I purchased some scarves here a couple of weeks ago using a coupon code for 3 free scarves, and when they came in I immediately thought that they would make good church scarves. Seems like I'll be testing them out sooner than I anticipated.