As the Family Goes

JP II Quote

"As the family goes, so goes the nation, and so goes the whole world in which we live." John Paul II

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Once Upon a Time, a Friend Asked Me to Write with Her

...and oh, what a transforming experience it has been!  I have been keeping this personal blog for the better part of nine years now (writing more in some years, less in others), but this is the first time I've had a project to work on with another person.  You guys, what a blessing!  Here's how it came to be.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Loved by Extension

My husband has always been more dynamic than me.  When we were dating it used to drive me nuts how people who had known me for years would somehow gravitate more to him than to me.  It offended my childlike need for approval I suppose.  But now after many years of marriage, I take a certain security in it.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday with John of the Cross

The beginning of this day was quite painful for me.  Aptly so, since it is Good Friday.  I have been trying my best to offer my sufferings in union with Christ, and to allow them to draw me into this day with Him.  I know of course that they can't compare to what Our Lord endured for me, but I feel somehow blessed that this day is not serene, and rosy, and chipper.  If I am miserable, I can be miserable for Him.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

From Confession to Confession

Today, after three failed attempts recently to do so, my crew and I finally managed to make it to Confession.  Getting all of us out to receive the Sacrament has always been a difficult task, but I realized just how badly needed it was a few months ago, when my husband nabbed a priest after Mass and asked him to hear his confession.  Immediately our older boys started asking me, “do I have to go?” To which I responded, “you don’t have to go, but you can if you want to.”  Let’s just say they weren’t breaking down the doors to receive Christ’s mercy.  They all took a pass, and I worried that maybe I had not done a good job communicating that this sacrament was indeed a gift and a grace, not something to be feared.  I knew the reason was that I had not made it enough of a priority, and so I vowed to get to regular confession more often.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

On My Heart

When I was a newly expectant mother for the first time, there was a Hallmark commercial that left an imprint on my heart.  It was of a young boy who had made a card for his busy mother, but she was too busy to look at it.  He had planted a surprise (floating, spring-powered butterflies, if memory serves me correctly) inside it, and though he tried time and again to get her to open it, he kept receiving, "not now honey", "I'll look at it later", or something of the like.  Of course the viewer knew how deeply she loved her boy, but she was caught (as most parents are) in a busy life, and had to balance all of it.  When her little boy was tucked into bed and she finally opened his card, she was sad that he was not present for the surprise he was so persistently trying to give her all day. She vowed to make it up to him, and of course visited a Hallmark store the very next day.  When he came in from school she presented him with his very own card filled with butterflies, and the two shared a reconciling surprised moment between the two of them, as the boy knew that even though she was not able to share this with him the day prior, that she was able to now.  Isn't this the story of every parent at some point or another?

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Living Flame of Love - Chapter 2

I continue my study of St. John of the Cross' book with the second chapter, which focuses on the following stanza:

O sweet burn!
O delicious wound!
O tender hand! O gentle touch!
Savouring of everlasting life, 
And paying the whole debt,
In destroying death thou hadst changed it into life.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Lent and Sympathy for Yourself

My toddler is at that age where life is just hard.  The golden age of never doing anything wrong is long past, and life for him is just one series of corrections, of being told what not to do, of being denied that which he wants most.  Of course he is much too young to understand why we can't simply give in to every whim he has, and that our imposing of these limits are for his ultimate good. So like most two-year-olds, he navigates life in an almost perpetual state of frustration. There are two ways we can handle this: we can either become frustrated, a state we succumb to many times, or we can have sympathy on him.  We can realize this is not an easy time for him, and do our best to love him through it. Sympathy for him does not mean we give him everything he wants.  But it does mean that we have empathy and allow our love to guide him where he needs to be, rather than simply getting angry with him.