Bruised Insight

Our family attended Good Friday services for the first time this year, and I thought the entire service was absolutely beautiful.  I loved every minute of it, from the time the priests lay at the foot of the altar in prayer to the veneration of the Cross.  Unfortunately, I could not be 100% involved because “my friend” decided to make an appearance…stupid MS.

While standing for the very long gospel, I started to get dizzy.  I tried to ignore it for a little while, but it just grew in intensity.  My legs began to get weak, I got extremely hot, my vision got blurry, and I just knew I was going to pass out.  Fanning myself with a bulletin, I desperately looked around for The Husband.  He and The Younger Boy left our pew to go to the cry room so as not to disturb everyone around us.  The Younger Boy had a cough all last week, and although he wasn’t sick (according to our pediatrician) his cough sounded horrible.  We were about five minutes away from being knocked out by old ladies throwing cough drops at us when The Husband and The Younger Boy left.

So, now I’m worried that I’m going to pass out, and it’s just me and The Older Boy in the pew.  I’m not worried about my health; I’m not worried about hurting myself if I fall.  No, I’m worried about the embarrassment of passing out in church.  I’d be that lady.  As in, Did you see that lady who passed out in church?  No thank you.  I’m a big enough embarrassment to myself when I’m feeling fine; we don’t need to add anything new.

Pride will be the downfall of me.  No doubt.

I end up sitting halfway through the gospel, desperately hanging on to what little dignity I have left.  I know I look like a mess; I feel like a mess.  Please God, don’t let me pass out in church.  Please God, don’t let me throw up.  The sitting helps, and after a short while, I was feeling a little better.

By the time we go to venerate the Cross, I’m feeling a little more normal, so I decide to participate.  However, once we were back in the pew, I felt horrible again.  The room was spinning, my stomach was churning, and I felt extremely weak.  Thanks MS for the vertigo…you big jerk.

photo courtesy of WebMD

photo courtesy of WebMD

I’m starting to get discouraged, when I remember the Ninja-Priest-Friend talking to me about carrying my cross.  He’s constantly telling me that, and honestly, sometimes I just don’t want to hear it.  I understand that this is a trial I’ve been given.  I understand that it’s an opportunity to grow closer to Christ.  I understand these things on an intellectual level.  But, on an emotional level, it’s sometimes hard to deal with.  I look at the beautiful crucifix behind the altar, and I remember the homily from Holy Thursday Mass.  Fr. Mario (a different priest) had compared Jesus to the Passover lambs of the Old Testament.  He was completely unblemished, and even after His crucifixion, he had no broken bones.  I looked down at my arms, still bruised from IV treatments weeks ago, and I have an extreme moment of clarity. Continue reading

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Quiet Celebration

No big post today.  Nope, today I am quietly celebrating two years of coming back Home to Christ.  Today was the day I made the conscious decision to live a better life, to be a better Christian, a better mother.

I was living in a lukewarm relationship with Christ, and thanks to a priest named Fr. Randy Moreau (I only knew him a short while, but he made quite the impact!), I realized my hypocrisy.  Today was the day I decided lukewarm wasn’t good enough.  Today was the day I realized my children needed someone to show them how to live a Christian life, not just tell them.  I needed to be their teacher, not preacher.

I often tell The Ninja-Priest-Friend, “this Christian stuff is hard.”  And, although I’m saying it in a lighthearted manner, he knows what I mean.  I struggle daily.  Being a follower of Christ is not easy.  It’s not for the weak-hearted or the weak-minded.  This world is tough, and temptation is everywhere.

I’ve fallen a hundred times, and I know I’ll fall a hundred more.

But I keep getting up.  Sometimes it takes me longer than others to pull myself up.  Sometimes I need help.  Sometimes I get up bruised and torn.

But I get up.

If you’re struggling today, it’s okay.  Just be sure you get up.  :)

 

 

In Mourning…

Today is Good Friday, the day that we solemnly reflect on Christ’s sacrifice for us.  Let us pray:

O Jesus, Who by reason of Thy burning love for us
hast willed to be crucified
and to shed Thy Most Precious Blood
for the redemption and salvation of our souls,
look down upon us here gathered together
in remembrance of Thy most sorrowful Passion and Death,
fully trusting in Thy mercy;
cleanse us from sin by Thy grace,
sanctify our toil,
give unto us and unto all those who are dear to us our
daily bread,
sweeten our sufferings,
bless our families,
and to the nations so sorely afflicted,
grant Thy peace,
which is the only true peace,
so that by obeying Thy commandments,
we may come at last to the glory of Heaven.
Amen.

Cubicle Crucifix

Wistfully looking out of the window, I have to keep forcing myself to pay attention to the task at hand.  I’m having a minor surgery in a few days, which has led me to the local Catholic hospital for the pre-op fun.  The man across from me is shooting off a barrage of questions at an inhuman speed.  He’s perky and energetic, and it seems out-of-place, considering that his questions are whether or not I have a history of cancer, bowel issues, or a sexually transmitted disease.

I continually shake my head, intermittently inserting a “Nope”, when I see it. Continue reading