Monday, April 27, 2009

Vicissitudes defined and lived...

VICISSITUDE a change in fortune or in a situation, esp. for the worse, from the Latin vicissitudo.

I always thought this word meant simply the ups and downs of life, the peaks and valleys, the ins and outs, ups and downs. I was wrong. Good thing I looked it up. Well, maybe another dictionary has another meaning.

Life never changes just for the know, the whole "blessing in disguise" thing. It does seem that trouble comes in groups....down to farther down to in very deep. Often, when we are in the midst of tribulation, we say to ourselves, "Well, this is okay because without this pain, I won't really appreciate pleasure again."

That is the secular view. A practicing Catholic sees pain and suffering as with us always. We are not on the continual downslope ever. Joy and pain cooexit in time. As a wise woman I know likes to say, "It is all good." Eternity looms more present than we realize and offers the chance to breathe and laugh and live, even as we mourn our losses.

So, I was thinking of the gift of faith, why some have it and some reject it. Others, like me, accept it, but struggle to possess it as God would have us possess it. Like all moms, I am winding our academic year down, trying to discern plans for the upcoming academic year 2009-10. Educating children and young people is an adventure, an adventure on which I would not want to embark without the gift of faith. This Saturday, God willing, at our parish, in celebration of our young son's First Holy Communion, we will sing:

...Melt the clouds of Sin and Sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Getting back in the groove...

Blogged over here today. We are watching World War II movies.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Photo essay -- Lent and Easter 2009

Easter blessings -- I am back!

Did anyone notice I was missing? Ha ha. Moving is hard work. It is getting easier. I was so busy cleaning, packing, hauling, unpacking, putting away, taking out, putting away again...well, whew...I can highly recommend moving from a house you've inhabited for nearly 15 years as a most appropriate Lenten activity. That's all I'm sayin' that way I can try hard to offer it up to our sweet Savior, though He really needs nothing from poor ole me.

The blessings: found lots of stuff that I'd forgot I had, tried to detach from stuff, even though it seemed it was all about the stuff...have found, so far, that our greatest blessing is not the house, while it is grand and swell...It is our wonderful band of cul-de-sac friends. The neighbors here are fast becoming good friends. There are boys for our son to play with. The dogs love the yard. The girls love the kitchen and the room to have sleep overs. Dad is so very content with his new office and basement, that is more of garden apartment than a basement. I love the front porch first and the kitchen a close second.

We celebrated our cousin's bday on Sat and a lovely Easter luncheon with our dear family friends, Lisa and Tom and their kiddos. Alleluia! He is Risen! May we pray hard and work hard, so as to live for Eternity! One thing I thought about alot, as I undertook a blogging and facebooking hiatus over Lent, was this -- every thought, every action -- it all matters to God. We all know the saying "you play, you pay". I am really one to mess around, to talk and fritter away my time.

It is not my time. It belongs to Another. I wish I could truly live this reality to its fullest. I have no illusions about myself. I am weak flesh. I have a good heart, but I need more discipline. The discipline of Lent does involve some courage. I crept out of bed just at sunrise on Easter Sunday, drove to Mass to a parish I'd never entered. I realized how warm and accompanied I felt even though I was cold and alone. I love Jesus, the Christ. He died for me, weak sinner that I am. I continue to offend Him and He keeps loving me, through His faithful and through His Church. He offers Himself humbly in the Eucharist to transform our weak flesh. His Body and Blood in the Eucharist ought to rock us to the core. I love the Blessed Virgin, as she is Queen of Angels; while, at the same time, being a very intimate mother to all her children. She grieves at the sin in the world. She teaches us to be more sensitive to personal sin, to work hard to approach her Son as we ought. I wish I had the words to properly express the quiet and deep satisfaction I felt this past weekend with the end of Lent 2009.