Sunday, May 22, 2005

Trinity Sunday

Happy Trinity Sunday!

We sat down to dinner this evening and discussed, with Isabella (age 3), the persons of the Trinity.

Baby Stephen just listened while playing with his toes.

We went back to the discussion about St. Patrick and how he explained the Trinity to non-believers. Three persons, one God-just like a shamrock-one shamrock, three leaves.

I then asked Isabella if she had any questions about God.

She said no.

I asked again, thinking she must have something to ask.

Again, she said "Nope".

Even when it comes to one of the greatest mysteries of the Faith, a child has no questions. Could it be that we make things more complicated than they need be?

I pray for the innocence and complete trust of a child.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The President is coming to town...

The President is coming to town.

And I can’t go see him.

Darn it!

I am frustrated because I like President Bush. I respect him. He has had to make decisions I can’t even begin to understand. And he is the leader of the country I love. I am a proud American. But I digress; my frustration is because the leader of our country isn’t even able to have open audiences that we can know where he will be on a certain day. I understand security and fear of attacks, etc. But, I feel such a strong desire to see him and I feel like I am always on the outside looking in.

My three year old loves President Bush. She prays for him each night and is sure to point to him when he is on the television. Unfortunately, when he is a mere 10 minutes from us we still don’t know where he will be in order to catch a glimpse. I would love to see the look on my daughter’s face as she saw him in person. Seeing the President of the United States is an opportunity that has the potential to teach and mold her.

When I heard the news that he would be here I got so excited. It isn’t every day that the President of the United States comes in town. With the exception of painting a flag on my rooftop, hoping Air Force One will pass over it, how can I let this man know my family supports him and the office he holds? But over the last few hours my excitement has withered because I know I will be setting myself up for disappointment. He needs to be protected and there are many other families who want to see him too, not just mine.

How far have we come as Americans that our own leader is like a fish in a fishbowl? We can look but there is a barrier between us. We always know what he is saying but we don’t get the opportunity to experience this firsthand.
I hope he has a good trip to Rochester but as I am watching my television next week, as the reporters tell of his visit I will probably feel a bit detached. Okay, and maybe a little selfish and disappointed.

Whether he is 10 minutes or 10 hours away-he will look the same on television.

Dear God, please bless and protect our President. May he fight for life, at all stages, and the freedom which God intended for mankind. God Bless America.

Rediscovering your faith

What does it mean to “rediscover” your faith?

I was baptized Catholic when I was a baby and was brought up with all of the Church teachings by my parents. I attended Catholic school until about 5th grade and went to bible school too.

There came a time when I “stalled”. It wasn’t that I didn’t accept the Church and the laws Christ set forth, but I didn’t do any work myself. I accepted the teachings without understanding why. I think part of it was laziness, I expected to grow in my faith without doing anything about it.

Right, like sitting on the couch with a bag of Cheetos ever got anyone to heaven.

I remember being in college and I was very, very sad. I cried on my bed feeling alone and confused about my direction. At that very moment I just “saw” myself with my head in Christ’s arms (on his lap) and Him stroking my hair, comforting me. I am not saying I had a vision, just a strong feeling.

At that moment I knew I wasn’t alone and I felt a new connection with Christ. I began to be more involved at Church, and actively pursued the truth of the Faith. Instead of getting by with the standard “I don’t know why I believe it but a nun once told me I should” I yearned to have a deeper understanding. And my life hasn’t been the same since.

I go through “dry” periods of my faith when it is hard to pay attention during the Mass or in my daily prayer. But in those times I try to remember that this is common for many people. There are also moments where I am so on fire with the faith that I feel like I could take on the world. This is also very common to others. But it is perseverance, fortitude, which gives me strength on my journey.

I also thank God for my husband and children. By knowing my vocation as a wife and mother I am completely invested in learning more about Christ’s teachings for the sake of myself, but also for them. How can I be a good mother and wife if I don’t know Christ? Also, how can I answer my child’s questions if I am not aware of the laws that Christ set forth in the Church? I have enough trouble answering my daughter when she asks me “Mommy, how can God be here and in heaven?”.

Rediscovering your faith means just that, looking at from a different point of view. For instance, I have prayed the rosary my whole life. But did I really understand that it was a meditation of Christ’s life, taken directly from scripture? I didn’t know, until last year, that every word of the Holy Mass is scriptural. I was taught the Catechism when I was a child but I am no longer a child and need to look at it through the eyes of an adult.

I desire to take what I have learned as a young girl and understand it in a different and deeper manner. It also is difficult at times. But, it is a constant journey but one that isn’t done alone.

For one, Christ is always by your side.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A lesson in Envy...

To all you moms who make it look easy…

I don’t like you very much.

How is it that you can attend daily Mass, recite the Rosary afterward, take your kiddos to school, go shopping, have a perfectly clean house, play outside, take your kids to 5 different activities, serve a 4 course dinner (with all the food groups equally represented) and then sit leisurely with your husband and watch a movie. To top it off you do so without wrinkling your clothes and your hair looks great.

Envy. I think I suffer from envy.

The problem with envy is that it creeps up on you-well, me. It hit me when I went to the mall the other week. I could have spent hundreds of dollars on stuff to make me look put together. But, I didn’t feel put together and THAT was the problem.

The Bible Says:

You shall not covet . . . anything that is your neighbor's. . . . You shall not desire your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his ass, or anything that is your neighbor's. Ex 20:17; Deut 5:21.

2535: The sensitive appetite leads us to desire pleasant things we do not have, e.g., the desire to eat when we are hungry or to warm ourselves when we are cold. These desires are good in themselves; but often they exceed the limits of reason and drive us to covet unjustly what is not ours and belongs to another or is owed to him. (The Catechism of the Catholic Church)

2540: Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility: (The Catechism of the Catholic Church)

So I think the answer is an examination of conscience on a daily basis. I don’t want to be uncharitable or sad as a result of keeping score of what others have. We also have the beautiful Sacrament of Confession-to help us keep our souls clean as a whistle.

The moms who seem to have it together are blessed and maybe God put them in my path for me to work harder in some areas of my life. And no, it isn't that I don't like you, maybe it is just awe. I see qualities of value, providing services to your family in an efficient manner.

The toughest thing right now for me to let go of? It is how these moms don't wrinkle during the day.
Me? I look like a steam roller paid a quick visit to my house by 5:30 PM.

I am still convinced that these ladies have an iron in their car. A cordless maybe?


Monday, May 02, 2005

Conversations with a 3 year old

Isabella: Mommy, I want to be a Bride when I grow up
Me: That's great, who are going to marry?
Isabella: Daddy!.....
(Daddy and Mommy chuckle)
Isabella: And when Stephen (baby) grows up he's going to be a Broom.

Broom...Groom.... it's the same thing, I guess.

What joy children bring to their parents. I guess this is what keeps us sane.
My only regret? That they grow up so fast.
I think I need to start praying now for detachment, so that when they accept their vocation I will be able to let go.