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, 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.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Living Flame of Love - Chapter 1

Before I begin, let me just take a moment to say that I am not an expert in theology in any way.  These thoughts are simply my own experience as I read through this work of St. John of the Cross.

I didn't so much choose this book as it chose me.  I was intending on re-reading "Dark Night of the Soul," which I first read over five years ago, and thought I was buying a collection of his works.  It turns out that this particular edition was just one book, "The Living Flame of Love," and his minor works (poetry, letters, etc.) But once I cracked open the first page I realized that the Lord intended for me to read it, and I have been drawn in.  St. John of the Cross is famous for his poetry, and I'm not sure if all of his works follow the same format, but "Dark Night" and this one begin each chapter with a stanza of his poetry, and expand on that in the chapter.  So my study of this book begins with the first stanza of his poem:

Oh living flame of love!
That woundest tenderly
My soul in its inmost depth
As though art no longer grievous
Perfect thy work, if it be thy will
Break the web of this sweet encounter

Monday, January 15, 2018

Steal Away

I mentioned previously that another one of my goals this year is to be faithful to alone time, and this specifically for me, is alone time with Christ.  Just prior to Christmas my husband graciously offered to allow one night a week for me to have to myself.  Since quiet time is elusive for me,  I have chosen to spend this night at our nearby church in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and tonight is the first night in a very long time that I have been able to come.  It is so, so good for my heart.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Time for Them, Time for Christ

I find myself in a unique time in our family life.  For the last seven years I have been blessed to have all of my children homeschooled.  But the day is very quickly approaching when my oldest will be ready to enter high school, and we have both discerned that for him, the best place to do this will be in a public high school. There is of course a bitter sweetness to it all, as on the one hand I will miss having him at home.  But on the other hand I am so, so excited for what lies just on the horizon for him.  And I know he is ready.

Friday, January 5, 2018

The Mystery Present

"The only possibility of real freedom is the recognition of the Mystery present." (Fr. Julián Carrón, Disarming Beauty)

I am encouraged as I step into this new year, and believe it is not by accident that God has put me where He has in this moment. The recent stirrings of my heart combined with the introspection and goal setting that is common to this time of year have been for me a blessing, and an opportunity to reawaken to life, to live intentionally.