Oh Well

In a recent homily, our priest told us we should, “look more redeemed“. 

Darn.  Just when I’d got my “mother-is-a-martyr-and-if-things-don’t-change-around-here-I-am-going-on-strike” face perfected.


11 thoughts on “Oh Well

  1. Well, the ushers could help that “look more redeemed” thing along if they discreetly offered Palmer’s chocolate bunny ears (solid, not hollow) to every frazzled looking mama coming into Mass. Just to know it’s in her purse for later consumption under her bed is smile-able.

    How art thou being martyred this week?

    Would this be a good time to share that I am no longer considering locking up all clean dishes, cups, and glasses until mealtimes, and stocking us well for those 19 snacks a day at all hours around the clock with paper plates and cups?

    Right, I have decided upon doing so. I am tired of mountains of dishes, mountains of words, mountains of sighs, and mountains of things gone missing because they’re upstairs in the adult kids’ rooms! ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH.

    Well.. I have to go *dustmop* now.. under the bed.

  2. Oh, I’m not being martyred, but all too often lately it seems to be my response to stress/anxiety! I’m just taking an honest look at myself here. It is all too easy for me to fall into the “overwhelmed” mode and let everyone know about it and suffer along with me! The priest’s words hit home to me, literally! Our family and others should be able to see our joy as Christians, it should shine through all the routine tasks and burdens and work/home/volunteer duties…so I should stop and ask myself on a regular basis, does my joy shine through? Have I lost my joy? Is it just buried? When I feel that joy missing, for me it is usually a sign that I have slipped away from practising the presence of God – that I am failing to see the sacramental in my daily duties and activities.

  3. Whether one loses joy, or it gets buried (and exhausted)– if it’s not present, it’s not present! I don’t think anyone willingly loses it, hence, there shouldn’t be any guilt attached (not for over-working moms, anyhow). Simply put, it must be replenished or folks start to age and sicken. For you, a loss of joy means it is time then to practise the presence of God. After this 7 mos. of killing winter, after 3 sets of child-raising, now, thus being tied to this house yet again day after day–and watching households of possessions come in while nothing ever goes out, while much of the property is broken/falling apart these latter years (married to a carpenter ), I am overwhelmed: it is undoubtedly time for me to travel! However, cousin and her s.o. will be here in May or June for a couple weeks, daughter and her daughter if not the whole bunch comes midAugust, D returns early Aug. in time for his really big b-day –actually, all family and near-family (Kay, Mark) birthdays except mine start with June 28 and go steadily right into September. Joy’ll have to wait, but I don’t have to tell you that I have truly lost my spunk. I am merely thankful. What I wouldn’t give for a poustinia.. or just somewhere quiet and uncluttered for a while. My conversations with Heaven are too brief, eh?

  4. Methinks the homilist chose his words well. They provoke two questions :
    Why should I look more redeemed?
    What do redeemed people look like?
    Most of us know the answer to the first, but the second?
    We all know people who have influenced us, people to whom we have been attracted because of the light that you’re referring to, Gabrielle.
    So I suppose we need to realise that we too can shine, we can be beacons that attract others by letting our moments be sanctified- no matter how mundane or unglorified they may seem at the time.

  5. I think he may have been referring to how when we go to church, they take on this sad, forlorn look-or so it seems to me. Maybe it’s because we were brought up with the idea that Church is a very serious place to go to. I don’t think I’ll ever learn to fathom the idea that I’ve been invited to a banquet with a Friend, and that I should be feeling joyful about it.

    Can any of us imagine what a joyous thing it would be if we could actually meet Jesus at Mass? We’d be all over ourselves…and Him. I don’t think there would be one person without a huge Cheshire cat grin on his or her face. And we’d all be dancing the jig…Him, too. And then, we’d bring it home with us and we’d look more redeemed to others, too.

    It’s not to say we should be having a party when we go to Church, but the deadly serious posture we’ve been taught to assume is probably killing our joy, too.

    Carol, the invitation still stands, you know.

  6. 🙂 Thank you, Pia. Trust me, I haven’t let go of the idea..

    It’s funny, but it’s actually Mass here that needed to become more serious. I’m now working my way into the Maronite church here (many reasons, not least of all for grandson’s greater blessing one day), and little did I know that Eastern priests and deacons and servers could be so loving, tho’ I should’ve known it from Fr. Rabbit. After Mass, one cannot escape any of them. Fr. keeps his cross in the palm of his hand so that when you take it to wish him a good day, you touch the Cross; and the Deacon and servers are there behind him, attentive to every face that approaches Fr. And if you know Fr. very well, he will hug one, or kiss one’s cheek. Perhaps it is just his personality, not indicative of all Syriac-Maronites, and perhaps it is also due to the tinyness of the church building, but he even spoke with us warmly-quietly during the homily, he really connected, and there wasn’t the slightest doubt that it was all about the Lord. I have noticed a good many folks from our old parish there. I guess I’m just trying to say that the one place I do look redeemed is at this Mass. What a God-lead.

  7. Pia, in terms of Mass, I find every Mass to be different, in the sense of emotions evoked/union/movement…it can depend on our individual mental/emotional state at the time, or the occasion, or the action of the Holy Spirit through the whole congregation. At the same time, there is the consistency of the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist, and the paradoxical seriousness/joy of receiving the Eucharist. We can meet Jesus everywhere, and in everyone, but most especially in the Eucharist, and this is truly the greatest joy, and the source of our joy – the “source and summit”…

    Ann, the shining forth is supernatural, isn’t it, while the sanctification of our daily routine can begin as a practice, and then becomes a supernatural way of living; this is the way I think of it, in any case.

    Pia, I would liked to have seen St. Francis at Mass. 🙂

    Carol, you are indeed overwhelmed and gearing up to be even moreso, and I think you should make it a priority, and make it clear to everyone living there/visiting, that you need a certain amount of time alone every day, whether inside the house or out with nature. One of the problems may be that we don’t tell anybody what we need as lay contemplatives – if we told them we needed time to go to the gym they wouldn’t bat an eyelash, so maybe we have to be forthright in telling everybody we need time alone for prayer, and let the chips fall where they may.

  8. Thank you. I had better plan on trying to say more by email to you girls once again, lest this whole venue tip right over one day. It probably all goes back to not wanting to feel trapped, for I indeed was that, in many ways for far too long– but absolutely, when KT said she has always needed quiet, I was already nodding yes. And it doesn’t take long to recharge spiritually, does it… but if it doesn’t happen, it becomes a serious matter for such as me (and many of you). More by email, perhaps.
    🙂 Love to all here. Have a good weekend.

  9. It’s something i should certainly take on board myself….i think if we all took a few minutes to give ourselves a little ‘you are redeeemed’ pep talk each morning, we’d all be far more pleasant people to interact with!

  10. But this joy has to be something that arises naturally from within us, don’t you think, and if we are those who are strengthened and fed by silence and solitude then we have to organize our day so that silence and solitude is a part of it. Huge challenge, but absolutely necessary.

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