Friday, March 25, 2011

Fiat! A Song for March 25.

I haven't been able to type much lately, and there are about 15 posts percolating in my head. They just never seem to write themselves, though!

But today is a special day, regardless of my--or anyone else's--incoherence. I must mark it!

Here is my beloved John Donne, metaphysical poet extraordinaire (and, in my humble opinion, a witness in his own Anglican way to the theology of the body), on the Incarnation. You really have to read it aloud to get the full effect.


Salvation to all that will is nigh
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo, faithful virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb; and though He there
Can take no sin, nor thou give, yet He will wear,
Taken from thence, flesh, which death's force may try.
Ere by the spheres time was created, thou
Wast in His mind, who is thy Son and Brother,
Whom thou conceivst, conceived; yea thou art now
Thy Maker's maker, and the Father's mother,
Thou hast light in dark, and shutst in little room,
Immensity cloistered in thy dear womb.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Breastplate.

We've been singing this one all morning. Have a beautiful St. Patrick's Day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Things that help.

As we move farther into Lent, I continue to battle the postpartum junk. We adjust prescription dosages, continue on the physical therapy, find friends, and deal with the curve-balls (insurance terror! job searches! the car died! Ana ate a penny!). I have almost no emotional reserves, but nevertheless, as Matis Yahu says, "We got life!"

Speaking of Jewish rappers, I've been compiling a list of things that help with the depression, pain, and irritability. At times, I want a cure (yes, a pill would be great), but I can also accept "daily bread," as in, "give us this day our daily bread."

1. St. Simon the Cyrene. He carried Christ's cross:

"Simon wondered, as he took those beams upon his shoulders, why he was chosen for such a heavy burden, and now he knows. Help me, Jesus, to trust Your loving Providence as you permit suffering to weave itself in and out of my life. Make me understand that You looked at it and held it fondly before You passed it on to me. You watch me and give me strength, just as You did Simon. When I enter Your Kingdom, I shall know, as he knows, what marvels Your Cross has wrought in my soul." ~Mother Angelica.

This quote came in our EWTN monthly flyer. I have no idea where she wrote it or when, but yes. Thank you, Simon.

2. Finding more Simons. How many people I have carrying my cross with me! My husband, my parents, his parents, and my children. At first, I was sick with fear that my cross would crush them. But God has made them Simons (now, if I could just be more like the fallen Christ...).

3. Arise from Darkness, by Fr. Benedict Groeschel. My mom sent this book as a gift, and what a gift. This is a book for those in the dark, those caring for those in the dark, those afraid of the coming dark. He's real, he's a straight talker: "This book is not an answer but a guide to those in darkness. It is about going on in spite of darkness, about survival, and about using the unavoidable dark times of life to grow."

4. The wicked thief. You know, not Dismas. Yes, I've been feeling a lot like the wicked thief next to Christ on the Cross, "If you were really the Son of God, save me!" I love him, because now I have been him. And his words point right to Dismas's words, "Lord Jesus, remember me." During the day, it's always a toss-up which thief I'll be echoing. I'm just praying that my last prayer is Dismas's.

5. Company. I have been amazed at the company I keep: Thank you to everyone who has shared his or her own story of depression and/or chronic pain. This has been by far the greatest blessing--we are not alone.

6. Forgiveness. I've had to ask a lot of forgiveness lately. And dear friends have readily granted it.

7. Hot beverage break! Tea. Coffee. Hot milk. This is a physical ailment, and I thank God for physical consolations!

There are so many little things and thoughts that come during the day. Good things. Promises of Easter.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ash Wednesday.

Part of me wants to say, "Really? Are you serious? Lent?" But mostly, I am so happy to welcome the "purple days," as Miriam named them. After a year of turmoil, it is good to rest in penance and fasting. And there is the promise of Easter.

Somehow, when you are fasting and asking for mercy, all the details and passing dramas fall away. All that matters is the song in my heart, "Lord Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me a sinner." That is why I love this bit from TS Eliot's poem for today:

"Under a juniper-tree the bones sang, scattered and shining
We are glad to be scattered, we did little good to each
Under a tree in the cool of the day, with the blessing of sand,
Forgetting themselves and each other, united
In the quiet of the desert. This is the land which ye
Shall divide by lot. And neither division nor unity
Matters. This is the land. We have our inheritance."

~TS Eliot, "Ash Wednesday, Part II"

The other cool part? You get to spend 40 days in a desert telling Satan to get lost! Check out this painting:

Yeah, Christ is pretty much saying, "Go screw it somewhere else, Diablo! You lose!"

Me, too, Jesus! Giving those powers and principalities the time of day!

Happy Lent.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Why 5-year-olds don't name their siblings.

Miriam: "This baby has a white onesie, so we will call her White Baby!"

Bella: "Dat Baby Doll!"

Miriam: "Yes, and we call you Belly, because you are so fat!"

Bella: "Yesh, I Yam!"

Miriam: "And, Ana, we call you Squishy, because you squish everything."

Ana: "Ng, Gah!"

Miriam: "But really we call you Sucky, because you suck all the time."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011