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Thursday, February 24, 2011

shielding children from suffering

"Even suffering is part of the truth of our life. Thus, trying to shield the youngest from every difficulty and experience of suffering, we risk creating, despite our good intentions, fragile persons of little generosity: The capacity to love, in fact, corresponds to the capacity to suffer, and to suffer together."   
--- Pope Benedict XVI

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

nov 18th feast day

the day of jedi's death is the feast day of st. rose phillipine duchesne. the reason i know this is because a sweet young lady has asked me to be her confirmation sponsor- the name she picked was st. rose duchesne since her feast day was jedi's death. so my mom, in her classic fashion, has crossed the world using phone lines and stamps to find more information about this saint. i really think the internet would blow her mind but she insists on doing things the old fashioned way.
so i got a letter from mom today- a loose leaf wide ruled piece of paper with a quote from st. rose phillipine duchesne written in my mom's beautiful nun-taught cursive.

"the world was saved by the Cross. those who spread teh gospel preached only the cross. and solid virtues flourish only in its shadow. the necessity of carrying the cross and of living as a follower of Jesus Christ in toil and tears prevents the return of so many brothers who have wandered from the truth. we do not want a religion that is sad, they say, or one that requires suffering; we want pleasures. they want paradise without paying the price of suffering, but can they give lie to the gospel?"

or deny humanity? the mere fact is- life is hard. i will never understand the christian's who believe in "prosperity gospel"- the message that if you are a true follower, then God will bless you abundantly with good things and riches and nothing but ease. and should you, for example, fall ill with cancer that would show the world that you were not a true follower- that God had turned his back on you.
the whole things seems SO UTTERLY illogical. suffering is humanity. God's only son wasn't spared suffering. as a matter of fact He was given a huge piece of suffering pie- a bigger piece than most everyone i know- AND, He didn't even deserve it!
so skating through life- expecting no suffering- expecting God to come swooping down to smooth the way isn't a very christian belief. it's definitely not the message Christ preached.
i still sit in awe at the paradoxical lessons God is always teaching. it's odd that i find comfort when the cross is preached. such a prickly, uncomfortable, burdensome, unattractive message. but it's so comforting- we are ALL in this together. together with Christ.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

running away

i wonder if mother teresa ever wished she could run away. i bet not.
i do sometimes. the only thing that stops me is the deep feeling inside that it won't solve anything. it won't take the pain away. it will always find me. it seems that the only place i can keep the pain away for any length of time is to be busy beyond my ability.
it's hard to have patience for kids who freak out about a cup being slightly too far away at the table. or kids that freak out and cry when they find out that the last stamp was used without their knowing.
i just want to say- "it's my turn. it's my turn to cry- to freak out and blubber on about things not being the way i want them to be"
sometimes i wonder how much of their freaking out is because of jedidiah or collateral damage or because they are kids and kids freak out about things alot.
i'm hoping that our trip to italy satisfies my desire to run away. i don't like feeling this way.

Friday, February 11, 2011

white noise

there was a time, right after jedidiah had died, when we took the van to get cleaned at the automatic wash. towards the end of the wash when those loud jets were blowing on the car- i just wanted to stop, freeze there in the loudness- the noise all around me, blocking everything out.
i was reminded of that when i laid back in the hot tub at the gym. i propped my feet up on the seat and just floated there- my ears below the water, listening to the jets. i closed my eyes and then i could remember jedidiah. so clear was the memory. i watched him flex and bend his wrists the way he did when he was cold during diaper chages. i looked at his eyebrows raise as he tried to track something above his head. i remembered the weight of his tiny head in my hands. the soft feel of his skin, his cheek, his silky hair. it was so nice.
my day is constantly full of noise, action, 'to do' lists. i never really have time to sit and remember him. but i know i need to work that into my schedule.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

the biggest struggle as of late

what to do with my fertility?
every time my fertility comes around i am faced with thoughts that overwhelm.
another baby would feel like an inferior replacement right now. i know pregnancy is 9 months and i would have time to adjust to the prospect but i simply am not ready. just being fertile is a painful reminder. i had a baby three months ago! i shouldn't be fertile yet! but i am and why i am is why i am not ready to put my fertility to use. so we abstain during the fertile time- and wait for clearer thoughts. the thought of a baby stands on it's own- without thoughts of inferior replacement.
will that ever happen? will i ever think of pregnancy and childbirth the same again?
whenever i see a pregnant woman i don't have that joyful feeling inside me as much as i used to. i now see her and think how maybe she is carrying a secret burden that her body belies.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

little reminders

we were away all weekend- having a little family getaway to ski up in
the smoky mountains of tennessee. we went hiking this morning and got
on the road to come back in time for 5:30pm mass at st monica's. we
got to mass a little late- and look what was on the ceiling of the
samantha pointed it out and mary jane belted out "it's jedidiah's
the matching balloon is now crumpled on the floor in my room but this
one was a nice little reminder.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

protecting myself

during jedi's pregnancy it began. i started cautioning the kids to "be careful", "get down from there", "don't skate so fast or you'll fall".
i kept thinking to myself- "i'm already on a cliff- a trip to the emergency room for a broken femur would push me over"
that attitude made the world "all about me". instead of fostering the kids sense of adventure and zeal for life, i was trying to push them into a more convenient shape. something that wouldn't burden me as much when i shouldered it.
this sentiment goes to levels deeper than "taming dare devil kids". it goes to other levels- not reaching out to help someone in need- not being open to God's call, the challenge of the spirit- not trusting that God will provide if i just say 'yes'.
my pastor, fr. jack has given some great homilies over the past few weeks. the one i'm referring to isn't posted on the link because it was a weekday mass homily.
i can't remember the exact words but it was something along the lines of not worrying so much about this or that detail. this world is passing- fleeting- so very temporary. and i am putting too much stock in all that is dust.
the ONE thing i need to think about is "what God wants me to do right NOW!"
i get so caught up in "what if" situations- economic and governmental collapse, invasion, slavery, poverty, war, famine. but when i think of fr. jack's words it doesn't bother me much anymore. what does God want me to do NOW?
get up and make breakfast. live. love. say yes.

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