No saint, I've been wandering around, getting spiritual nourishment here and there. My struggles with the Roman Catholic church are adequately described elsewhere in this blog. But, when pressed, that is the understanding I have. No other well-meaning interpretation will do.
We all want church to be what we need it to be. Actually, it's not our choice.
Father Z. writes a very good blog. I deem it that for the usual reasons, but also because I cannot stay away for long, no matter what other Christian denomination I'm hunting around in at the time. So he recently posted this quote:
To be deep in history is to cease being a Protestant. -- John Henry Newman
... which is from:
An Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845)
- To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.
- Introduction, Part 5.
- In a higher world it is otherwise, but here below to live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
- Chapter 1, Section 1, Part 7.
I am so taken with this - knowing it to be true, in my case, for sure - that I may just need to get a daily reminder, a touchstone... a coffee mug!
I also love this quote: To live is to change, and to be perfect is to have changed often.
Well, it may be that the Lord wants me to be perfect. (He knows He'll have to help - a lot.)
In Divine Intimacy, the meditation for today is entitled, "Blessed Are The Peacemakers."
"... the gift of wisdom corresponds to the beatitude of peace, 'Blessed are the peacemakers.' Only one who lives under the influence of this gift can truly judge and regulate everything according to God, so that nothing, not even suffering, can disturb his interior peace, for he knows that even the most painful happenings are permitted and ordered by God for the good of His elect. 'To them that love God, all things work together unto good' (Rom 8,28)."This I know, from actual experience through what is getting to be a long life (Deo gratias).
Furthermore, my patron saint, St. Thérèse of Lisieux, has been doing a very characteristic thing: she has made herself known to a dear woman who helps many, and who has helped me so much:
This week I have been intrigued by the God Breezes that have been filling my sails. From all directions I have been led to study a Catholic Saint. I was raised Church of Christ and the saints have never been a part of my spiritual upbringing. As a teenager I had a St. Christopher medal but I didn't know what it was.
My sister Paddi started our study by watching a video about Mother Teresa in the middle of the night. You know when you can't sleep and the mid-night editor is coaxing you to get up and write or study. The next day she told me about her night.St. Thérèse said that she would spend her heaven in doing good upon earth, and she is a woman of her word. She sought me out long before I dared consider joining the Catholic Church. For a long time I thought / hoped I had a vocation to Carmel. It didn't turn out that way, but I've never forgotten what I've learned from her.
She said that Mother Teresa took her name from Saint Therese, the Little Flower; that our purpose on this Earth is no less or greater than Mother Teresa's. I knew nothing about St. Therese of Lisieux other than mentions of her in emails from FlyBabies over the years. All of a sudden the image of St. Therese started showing up in my Facebook newsfeed.
First there was a video. I watched it as I was waiting to get my haircut by my sweet hairdresser, Teresa. Then there was a bust of St. Therese from one of the first FlyBabies I ever met, Pam. She posted it on her Facebook page. It had been in her husband's grandparent's bedroom. Then I realized that October 1st was the 117 anniversary of her entrance into Heaven. This started my quest to find out more about her life and death.
I downloaded her autobiography on my Kindle, ordered a movie from Amazon, and then I found the unabridged autobiography in audio. On Friday I had to drive for six hours and I listened the whole way. Saturday morning I got up and looked out the front door. The first thing I saw was an October yellow rose. I took that as a sign to continue my study today.
The movie was touching. The message confirmed what I have always known and taught. We have to find joy in the little things we do every day. When we let go of our martyred attitudes and bless our family with simple actions of love; we can turn the mundane chores into acts of kindness. We all deserve to have a home that blesses us.
When we strive for perfection it bogs us down. We lose the joy; this is why we tell you to "make it fun" and "good enough is good enough". Treating ourselves with the same love and kindness that we would show a little child is the key to letting go of the heartache. This was the story of St. Therese of Lisieux. She found her vocation in blessing others with her smile, a kind word, or a helpful gesture. Her acts of love blessed those around her.
I will continue my study of St. Therese over the next few weeks. At the end of this month, Michele and I have to go to Wisconsin. This journey was not one that I was excited about until I found that the National Shrine of St. Therese of Lisieux is on the way. I can't wait. When I told Michele about the St. Therese God Breezes; she said that St. Therese was her patron saint. God sure does have a precious way to get our attention. Michele is a joy to travel with because she has the heart of a child and is delighted at the things we see along our journey.
So today set about your tasks with a loving heart. Show yourself and your family that love is really all there is! Love is in our actions; not just our words. My God bless your hands and heart as you set about your routines.
So, assuming God really does want me to work on coming back home, I stopped by Conversion Diary to ask for a saint to help me discern what to do.
Invoked as Peacemaker.
OK, at this point, there may be a reader or two who says, "Catholic superstitious nonsense!" Yeah, yeah, whatever. Bless your heart. Go run away and play.
Those of us who are Catholic know, from long experience, that this is not unusual at all. God has a marvelous sense of humor, boundless love, and engages fully in creation every minute of everywhere, and he gets a particular charge out of answering dumb little prayers from stubborn sheep.
So, if I, the sheep, sense something in the spiritual air that says, "no, really, you're meant to be home," and then all of this falls together, neatly, gently, easily... I'd better listen.
So ... listen with me?