Sunday, February 28, 2016

I don't know what to call it. Random with some vague theme running through.

“He who, being God, humbled himself, lowered himself, debased himself: to serve. It is service in hope, and this is the joy of Christian service.”  Morning Meditation, 11 November 2014

We're in a teaching moment around here these days. I have to say I'm pleased it's coming in the middle of Lent. Some of the children who live around here are having a difficult time with being right, being first, and being lauded. Let me say, firstly, all children (like all human beings) should be loved and honored as the children of God they are...being created in His image makes each of us special in a spectacular way. I'm talking about needing to be first and then tell everyone about it.

Society, it seems, centers around "ME", so we're working on finding "JOY" in life (Jesus, Others, Yourself)...I stole that from Fr. Richard who borrowed it from someone else. Ultimately, humility is the word of the week around here.

We live in a bubble, I admit that. We limit, in a big way, most things that are popular culture. My children don't know many popular songs and they read only a sprinkling of books that were published after 1950ish. The other day little boy was in the car with DH and asked to listen to music. Then he said, "I don't want any kids' stuff, I want fast Jesus music...give me K-LOVE!" They're wild with their father, we only listen to WAOB ;0)

Anyway, despite our attempts to isolate them from all negative influences, some of those deadly sins still manage to creep in...

Again, a feeling of well-being and accomplishment is healthy and important, especially in growing kids. They need to feel like they are competent to learn and grow and survive on their own. Pride, though, is a slippery slope. Let me say first that I couldn't even find many images for pride because almost everything that comes up is a rainbow. It's good, again, to have a high self-worth but it annoys me a bit when something gets hijacked like that.

Back on topic. We have to be constantly, constantly vigilant. The evil one has so many ways to trap us into wasting time, losing focus, or otherwise choosing the wrong path and turning our lives away from Our Father. Just yesterday in the mail...

DH joked that he didn't realize I was a feminist who enjoyed People magazine (the label was made out to "Ms...") Sadly I didn't order it and I don't want it. Not because I wouldn't read it. I would read it cover-to-cover. Why? Not sure. There seem to be times when I need something mindless to do because I'm so tired and I can't do anything productive (and just going to sleep seems to make no sense to my brain). Gratefully, I was not tired when the mail came so I recognized the temptation and into the recycling bin it went (after I checked the date and saw June 2016 as the subscription I have to do this 4 more times. Ug). Vigilance is so important because we live in a world that makes so many things seem so good even though, in our hearts, we know that they're pulling us away from our intended path.

We took a detour from our normal routine this weekend and went to the monastery for vigil Mass. I love it there. I love order priests, they are so down-to-earth and forthright (Father took 5 minutes after Mass to explain the Christian themes in Frozen to the kids). I love the church there. The paint is peeling but people just see it as a sign of respectful old age, well-used from years of prayer and thanksgiving. Things age, people age, that is our post-Eden reality. Nothing truly lasts but God and His love for us. It's OK to fall short of perfection...there are many things more important than surface appearance.

While at Mass we heard some really important reminders as we journey through Lent. The second reading reminded us that we should be watchful because, even if we think we're standing firm, we are at risk of falling...vigilance.
These things happened as examples for us,
so that we might not desire evil things, as they did.
Do not grumble as some of them did,
and suffered death by the destroyer.
These things happened to them as an example,
and they have been written down as a warning to us,
upon whom the end of the ages has come.
Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing secure
should take care not to fall.
- 1 Cor 10
Then Father spoke about how the lives of the Saints are the "antidote for the toxicity of today's society". How simple and how true! You don't need the latest Catholic thinker/blogger/housewife to point you on your the Saints and the Bible and pray...simple and effective. (really, don't look to me for your religious authority...they did it earlier and better!)

We went to vigil Mass so that we could stand at 40 Days for Life with our home parish. It was good to see our parish and our 40 days family there at the same time. It is good to share prayers and time with those whom we share common ground. It is necessary to make and keep these connections as we move through life. It helps strengthen one's resolve.

While we were there one of our 40 days friends gifted us with the most beautiful origami pieces...including a nun!!! I am amazed at the gifts of artistic skill the Creator has gifted on some of the people in my life. How blessed we are to know these people and share in their gifts.
I got a box of baby butterflies!
Finally, since this has already been the longest post ever, I took two of my little people roller skating this weekend. What fun we had and how good it was for me to watch them move through the fear and uncertainty to the joy of progress. I'm so enjoying my growing kids and the gift I have to watch them mature and become people in their own right.

Continued prayers that your Lent will allow you to rise each time you fall and receive forgiveness each time you fail. God is so good to us! Let's show Him how much He is loved!

We are blessed.

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