Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nesting and pondering.

The nesting instinct has been so strong for the past few weeks, I feel like a hibernating bear. Electronically, this has meant (an obvious) dirth in blog posts, emails, and the various twerps and tweeps of the world wide web. The house isn't much cleaner, the kids aren't fluent in Latin or Greek, but my little heart has been healing and gaining strength for the coming changes and upheavals of the spring.

The nesting this time around has been an interior nesting, a dwelling in silence along with this new little person inside me. She's our third girl, and we've named her Ana Therese--for the prophetess Anna-in-the-temple and my dear friend St. Therese of Lisieux (who surely has earned a name in our family).

Had she been a boy, I think I would have pushed for the name Hans Urs von Balthasar. I would have lost that battle, but his words have become an inseparable part of this pregnancy. Here are some of my treasures from Prayer:

"Harassed by life, exhausted, we look about us for somewhere to be quiet, a place for refreshment. We yearn to restore our spirits to God, to simply let go in him and gain new strength to go on living. But we fail to look for him where he is waiting for us, where he is to be found: in his Son, who is his Word."


"Perhaps we think that God's word has been heard on earth for so long that by now it is almost used up, that it is about time for some new word, as if we had the right to demand one. We fail to see that it is we ourselves who are used up and alienated, whereas the word resounds with the same vitality and freshness as ever; it is just as near to us as it always was."

and, finally

"The better a man learns to pray, the more deeply he finds that all his stammering is only an answer to God's speaking to him; this in turn implies that any understanding between God and man must be on the basis of God's language. It was God who spoke first..."

It was God who spoke first, and we listened.

I'm listening now, trying to formulate some sort of Lent for myself and the family. Any physical cross, such as pregnancy or chronic illness or autoimmunities, can make the idea of a Lenten penance ridiculous: "Me? I have to give up something more?" But the deal is that, first, God spoke first; second, he said he wants to be our everything; and third, all of us still have something we cling to and that we put above him. That's what has to go this Lent.

We all have crosses (some heavier than others). But suffering does not save us. Giving it to God saves us. It was God who spoke first. We must reply in his language, the language of the Cross.

Come, sweet Lent. Show me where I still worship other gods. And smash them.


Anonymous said...

When I heard you were getting the book "Prayer." I dusted it off my shelf and am starting it again. Thanks, it is what I need to hear.

My Anna was born on Feb. 2. We called her Sarah the whole time she was in utero. When she was born it somehow didn't fit. A lot of names were thrown out for a second time and this time Anna passed. It wasn't until our good friend Sr. Helen visited us that she connected the two. God named her because her parents aren't that together!

Blessings on your family. My first three are all girls. Then we had a run of boys. Sadly the run is over with 3 in heaven and 6 with us. But I am blessed everyday and brought to my knees at the bottom of the cross.

La TempĂȘte said...

What a beautiful post.

Annita, Mom2Seven said...

Lovely thoughts.

Jon and Keri said...

Every time I read your posts I am always inspired to love and reflect more! Thank you! If you want to make the drive, please come visit!

lissla lissar said...


Our second is due just before Easter, and I'm thinking about Lent with some bewilderment- what can I manage to do through the last month of pregnancy and possibly a few weeks of newbornhood? Still thinking about it.

Annie said...

I think Hans has a nice ring when paired with your last name. :)