Friday, June 9, 2017

Pondering the Present at The Potty. By:C.C.

"The duty of the moment is what you should be doing at any given time, in whatever place God has put you.If you have a child, your duty at the moment may be to change a dirty diaper.So you do it. But you don't just change that diaper, you change it to the best of your ability, with great love for both God and that child. You can see Christ in that child. (Catherine Doherty, Dear Parents)

We can often box ourselves into a prison of sorts in seeking beyond where God has called us. To rest in the present with a calm of heart requires us to remain ever rested in God, as the great St. Augustine reminds us...“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”

To rest in God leads us naturally to reside in our present circumstances with an immensity of purpose. Though simple things may seem they become imbued with incredible meaning when seen in the light of God's grace to us.
There are moments perhaps of lusting for another time and place, to be somewhere beyond the "nitty gritty" and the seeming monotonous things of our days overtake the zest we have planned for ourselves just outside  our reach. In this we are victim of failing to recognize the extraordinary presence of Christ within where we are. We miss His majesty within each moment.
Refining ourselves to such an awareness is a huge spiritual work brought on through much surrender. motherhood in particular proposes such an invitation to surrender. A shedding of self and pruning of virtue. Surely we must deafen the shouts and sounds of the "mom wars " circling around and hear the noise and battle within our own soul, calling us ever so gently to servitude at the Lord's feet through the service to our children and families. This is , in my opinion a forgotten art, a forgotten treasure and viewpoint ripped apart by illusions of pro-women ideologies. 

Children invite sacrifice, in fact if you are a stranger to it, sacrifice comes like a thief, or cry in the night and shatters self so beautifully, or destructively depending on your perception of course. 

The closer we live to God and away from self the easier, or more peaceful this transition can be. There is incredible grace, for we are used to living for Another, because of Another. When we can have reverence for our own existence then being a parent, being a mother is a divine task.
But surely we are victim to a generation of "stuff" marketed to "aid" women in their task of motherhood from contraptions to tools, to some of the most outlandish and expensive items, which in turn fail to praise and identify that the most irreplaceable most essential of all aids comes from what a mother's love can alone achieve. 

I wish we sought more to build up and highlight the power and immensity of a mother's touch instead of sending them reaching out for items. Reaching them past the universe of divinely given treasures within them and out in the battle zone of moms.... moms who have "this" and have "that". The judgments are outlandish and how destructive it is to see the supposed "War on Women" being spearheaded by other women! True femininity is a radical hiddenness in the heart of Christ and the bosom of our Lady. To reconcile ourselves to this hiddenness is the revealing of the most beautiful mystery.
Void of God, all of us, each of us, from moms to dads, to grandmoms, have essentially nothing. 

Most recently I began potty training my daughter. Simultaneously, and rather appropriately, I also took one of Catherine Doherty's books off the shelf and immersed myself in reading. Naturally, as a Catherine I am drawn to her.....oh, perhaps a bit biased in it, but she has been a source of tremendous wisdom. 

Nothing has prepared me for patiently awaiting each "doodie" in potty training, like her teaching on the "Duty of the Moment". Quite frankly, potty training has attuned me to be present in the moment like nothing else. My restlessness in sitting at Eliana's feet in the early days of training (literally sat there for what felt like an eternity in the first day) revealed to me how distracted I was from the present moment most days. How much I was truly like Martha. It is amazing how much meditation on the foot of Cross is made possible at my daughter's feet on the potty! 

I recognized so quickly, that even though I am home with her each day and tending to her needs and the immense needs of up-keeping the home and the kitchen,I often forget the power of just sitting with her. Distracted by what may seem to be the "Duty of the moment", and looking past the most important. 

I am reminded of Jesus' words to Martha, and the witness of Mary (Luke 10:38-42), this has reconciled for me the call to stillness, to silence, to presence before those we serve and to truly listen for Christ speaking to us in these most simple things.

Imbued with great love of God nothing is void of meaning or purpose. Even the potty, even the dirty diapers within our lives show to us the numerous blessings of Christ. (CC)

By God's grace potty training has gone very well. :)

Here is a video of her in all of her potty joy, excited for her potty reward of strawberries....and no she did not dive in the bowl, a timely cut off indeed!!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

We are What Jesus is Still Doing by: C.C.

"There are also many other things that Jesus did,
but if these were to be described individually,
I do not think the whole world would contain the books
that would be written." (John 21:25)

The unknown graces of God become more evident to us through faithful obedience and trust in God's will. At the close of today's Gospel reading  we are offered an opportunity to infer the immensity of "many other things that Jesus did". Through a faithful lens we are left with awe and amazement at thinking that the Scriptural accounts of Jesus' life still only graze the surface of what He did.
Perhaps naturally we can then think of what Jesus is still doing presently, in the souls of many throughout the world. Can we imagine if the world were flooded with the individual testimonies and unknown graces of God? Surely no book could ever contain the entirety of works. 

For this reason it is apparent to us that what Jesus did and those things we come to learn throughout the Gospel stories are not far removed from our present day or some isolated historic event. They are ever present to us in faith. It is nearer to us than we may think or perceive but hardness of heart often keeps us at a distance from knowing the "God who is , who was, and is to come at the end of the ages." 

So many seek purpose for their lives, so many are without sense of what it is they are called to do while here on earth and to Whom they most belong. Some of these questions, void of God lead one to despair. It is tragic. 

We as the faithful are testament to "the many other things that Jesus" is still doing, to all that He has done. We are not to run out and attempt to site in numerous books all that the Lord has done for us perhaps, but we continue the sharing of this unknown grace by the testimony of our very lives. By the simplicity of our actions, and by the hiddenness of our prayer.

As the Church now celebrates the Confirmation of thousands of youth we are offered a visible sign of what Jesus is still doing. To dismiss this as solely a thing of passage or some necessary  ritual of sorts is to miss Christ among us completely. The Sacraments in a special way shine forth to us Christ active among us. We can experience panic and even sadness at the seeming decline of vocations, but we are never without God's providence. How much then should we rejoice at the witness of one holy obedient man laying down his life in service to God through the priesthood? If we trust God and if we believe in all that Jesus did and promised us then we must too be joyfully expectant for His provisions.

Each of us are a visible sign of what Christ is still doing.Though, Imperfect we may be. St. Teresa of Avila reminds us “Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours,Yours are the eyes through which to look out Christ's compassion to the world Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good; Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.” 

May we strive always to shine forth the beauty of Christ in all that we do, and continue to reveal the beauty of the divine story.(CC)