“I am so very sorry for your loss,” the woman told me. “I wish there were something I could do.” I stood there in stunned silence, holding my phone in one hand and my four-year-old’s sticky paw in the other, attempting to process what she saying. Gone. Can’t get them backPlease visit Real Catholic Mom to read the full post.
The baby is asleep on my chest, the 5-year-old is snuggled so close that she has my left elbow pinned to my side, and the 7-year-old is seated between my feet, leaning against my knees. Clearly these children of mine have no concept of the idea of personal space. I’ll be honest, it’s enough to make an extrovert feel pretty claustrophobic. Plus, I have to pee, and I don’t know how I can do that without waking the two girls up.
And then my 7-year-old son nonchalantly turned his head to the side and sniffed my leg
If my words deceive you, the fault is all mine.
If my aloneness wounds you, we are both to blame.
But if my silence elicits your love, the world itself will rejoice.
Silence teaches us to know reality by respecting it where words have defiled it – Thomas Merton
Image Credit: Pixabay
In my youth, I freely traded away my passion for indolence, indiscretion, and indulgence.
In my middle years, I grudgingly exchanged my days for hard work, hierarchy, and humiliation.
In my old age, I have gratefully yielded to the stiffness of my body, the sureness of my being, and the softening of my heart.
The reason why we don’t take time is a feeling that we have to keep moving. This is a real sickness
On July 17th, 1794, near the end of Robespierre’s reign of terror, a few brave women became some of the bravest martyrs in France.
The Sisters of Compiègne were a group of nuns who instead of running from the French Revolution, stayed out of their commitment to God. The humanist Revolution had set itself against the Catholic Church, making the convent a target because the church refused to bow to the power of the Revolution .
The fourteen nun and their two servants were imprisoned in their convent after being named as traitors. Their imprisonment never stopped them from offering themselves to God as a penance for their countrymen; they believed that this was appropriate for their suffering. Their incarceration lasted approximately a year and a half before they were seized by the Committee of Public Safety.
On July 12, the sisters were moved to the prison in Paris to await their appointments with Madame Guillotine.
On July 17, the tumbrels took them to the scaffold. On their short journey, the prioress looked at the good sisters and saw that they were shaking and nearly fainting from hunger. She didn’t want people to mistake their low blood sugar for fear, and began to ask the people around them for help. They were given cups of chocolate to drink as they sang “Veni Creator Spiritus,” “Salve Regina,”and “Laudate Dominum” as they each waited their turn.
It’s in honor of these brave women, and the kind soul who gave them something to drink, that we’re drinking hot chocolate in July. Pass the whipped cream and lift a mug to the noble and holy Sisters of Compiègne!
Is55:10-11 Rom 8:18-23 Matt 13:1-23
Today’s Gospel included the parable of the seeds that fall on different kinds of ground. Some are rocky or thorn-filled, and the tiny seeds die. Others are fertile ground and the tender plants grow into a bountiful harvest. We tend to spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the seeds and the plants, and not a lot of time thinking on the dirt.
My grandparents were farmers, and if I learned anything from them, it was that the conditions of the dirt can be changed. Rocks can be excavated, thorns weeded out, and nutrients can be added to soil which is over-worked and worn-out; so that even the most barren fields can be made arable again.
This is such good news for all of us.
The conditions of our souls when the “seeds” of faith fall upon us, like the state of the soil, can be changed with work and a sense of purpose. Becoming a place where the Word of God can take deep root and grow tall, is a matter of effort and intention. We have to cultivate our souls, digging out the bitterness and resentments in life which poison our souls, removing the anger and deeply-rooted sins, and nourishing them with prayer, fasting, and study.
Allowing our Faith to grow within us and evangelizing others isn’t a passive thing or a matter of chance. We’re not merely to scatter seeds indiscriminately and then let the newly sprouted faith struggle to survive on its own. We need to cultivate it, creating a rich and fertile environment for it to grow and blossom, weeding out the things which would strangle it or steal its ability to grow. We need to tend our souls with the loving husbandry of a master gardener so that they become a bountiful harvest. Only then can our own seeds of faith be healthy and strong enough to find root in the lives of those around us.
photo credit By شهریار (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
There is a place that I’ve run to.
A place of new beauty and old comforts. Although scorned in my youth, its pull has become all the greater, its purpose less hidden, as time both overpowers and embraces me.
Primed with the wisdom, the teachings, the obsessions, and, yes, the phoniness of generations past, therein dwells the very formation of my being, and the final passage towards its crowning birth.
I dip my cup