25 October 2014

That family thing

Mama Needs Coffee has great series of posts about natural family planning.

When I was fourteen and in the tractor beam of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, it was 1970, and The Changes were well underway.  The worst part of it, in hindsight, was no Internet.  One had one's school, friends, family, and church, and there just wasn't much going on outside of that bubble.

Today, Catholic women can find one another, support and help one another.  It is a great blessing.

In any generation, a young woman entering the convent is in for a long period of learning, transition, and dying to self.  But the life is structured for that, ideally supportive and encouraging even as faults are pointed out for correction.

It is asking much of today's independent young Catholic women to live a fully Catholic married life.  It's hard enough for sincere Christian women in Protestant churches to manage married life.  But the Catholic life, whether in orders, under vows, single, or married, has the same overriding foundation:  complete abandonment to God.

I've spent many years seeking my true pasture.  One of the guides along the way was Oswald Chambers.  I still find great value in the book of daily meditations arranged by his wife after his death, My Utmost for His Highest.  Chambers wasn't a Catholic; but he wasn't without insight.  "Beware of a surrender which you make to God in an ecstasy; you are apt to take it back again.  It is a question of being united with Jesus in His death until nothing ever appears to you that did not appeal to Him." (September 13, Classic edition.)

It is still a struggle for me to obey God implicitly, without arguing, especially when my life brims with blessings and grace.  Have you noticed how full of warning and limitation the world's voices are?  And the life that garners the most scorn and hatred is the one where there are lots of children and much noise and a mom and dad who are literally vowed to one another, so there is no question that this is the life, and we solve problems within that life.

A blog post by Mrs. Darwin has stayed firmly in my mind ever since I read it.  I usually do not watch videos at any time, but I did play the one at the bottom of this post.   Watch, and listen.  I have seen the same lovely expressions of serenity and joy, despite all the distractions, on the faces of nuns.

Can moms who do not know the Lord do this without, sooner or later, turning on their husbands and children and ruining the whole day?  Moms who do know the Lord have a hard enough time keeping it together, if pride comes nibbling, or self says, "I should have some quiet, here."

We Catholics talk about religious life as "active" (teaching, nursing, etc.) or "contemplative" (prayer and work inside the monastery).  Marriage is religious life too - the most panchaotic active religious life there could possibly be. 

And the women who somehow - somehow - manage to blog, even if it is with a babe on the lap - are the missionaries, the teachers, the encouragers.

I am one of those who took the coward's way out, on so many levels.  When I was 14, it was pretty certain that no Catholic young man would be near, and that turned out to be the case.  Then those in the local church decided to entertain that spirit of something "new" - the same reek that wafted around the Synod last week - and I sadly wandered away.

The mothers who blog lead me back, steadfastly playing the music of love and faith as their children play and grow.

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