Thursday, December 9, 2004

Mother Knows Best

The Virgin Mary's little miracles are the among the best

Yesterday the Roman Catholic Church celebrated the 150th anniversary of the solemn proclamation that Mary, the mother of Jesus (a.k.a. Em-Yeshua) was miraculously conceived without sin. It's certainly no big stretch for me to celebrate that event with solemnity and a festive spirit, because I firmly believe in the truth of that 150-year-old proclamation

A co-worker who's interested in becoming a Catholic joined me at Mass last evening and we stopped to have dinner together after the liturgy. She remarked to me how much peace she experienced visiting the parish church with me, even meeting me at this point in her life. She said that she felt like one of those disciples who's ready for the master to show up. I certainly can agree, because my friend from work whom I'll call Lynn, is like a beautiful little sponge, soaking in everything Catholic that surrounds her. Since the liturgy that we attended last night was her first Mass, Lynn is more like a disciple who's just met her Mistress.

Having been raised as a Baptist, Lynn already has a deep love for Jesus on a personal level. Now, she is meeting the Church and Our Mother on a very personal and intimate level. As we left the nave after Mass, we paused to light a candle at the Marian shrine and to say a prayer that the Blessed Virgin would guide Lynn's journey toward Jesus in the Catholic Church.

What a miracle of grace, this conversion process that I witness in Lynn! It rekindles my own desire for continuing conversion - and the Lord knows how much I need that. I'm praying for Lynn, and I ask you gentle readers to pray for both of us, that we might walk together on this narrow path of conversion together in peace and serenity.

There was another little miracle yesterday; my music sorority pin, something that I had lost last winter suddenly appeared on my bedside stand yesterday morning. Needless to say, I immediately affixed it to a garment and intend to keep it there! Thanks, "Mom" for this little miracle on your special day.

Monday, December 6, 2004

Of Vivid Dreams and Earlier Rising

I chose to rise earlier than usual today

I wanted to have more time to pray and write, and so I set my alarm for an entire hour earlier than I have for the last three weeks. Learning this new rhythm will be difficult, but not insurmountable. It seems to be a matter of budgeting what time I have available to me, so that I might be able to set an agenda, sort-of:

5:00 Mental Prayer
5:30 Breakfast and PC time
5:50 Lauds
6:05 Dress
6:15 Leave for Mass

My dry run didn't work so well this morning. By the time I finished my morning toilette (as the French call the face-washing, teeth-brushing routine) it was way too late to leave for Mass. So, I decided to give the Lord my good intentions and set the alarm for 4:45 tomorrow.

I just don't like to rush in the morning... frankly, because I can't do it anymore. The only way that I can rush in the morning is to leave out a step or two, and that's not a pleasant thought. So, rising earlier is paramount.

But, I find that rising early can be a drag, too, especially after a night of vivid dreams. Last night's subconscious fare was a review of everything that I've learned so far in training at my new job. How much fun is that? I cannot complain, though - my bedtime prayer was that the Lord would prepare me for the work week. I would say that my prayer was graciously heard.

Of course, all of these vivid dreams wake me up every 60 to 90 minutes, and that gets old, too. Aging isn't all it's cracked up to be! My desire is to cope with equanimity and grace... Lord, help me!

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Life in the Dense Lane

This new job is mentally draining, but fun

Finally, I have some free time to return to blogging. I've just completed three weeks of customer service training at Bright House Networks, and the amount of content to learn is staggering and quite dense. So, yesterday was spent sleeping and today I've been catching up on correspondence, and now a moment with my readers and my thoughts.

The lumbar spine is still giving me fits, but nowhere as severe as it was three weeks ago. That turned out to be the beginning of a nasty Beh├žet's flare involving my eyes, my skin and oral ulcers, too. It's very unusual for me to have four systems flaring at the same time... and it's quite painful, too. Thanks to Doug for his scripturally-loaded comment to my last post three weeks ago!

I've been rising early for prayer most mornings, and I'm not overly anxious about how often I fall asleep when I make my mental prayer. The good Lord knows that I'm showing up to be with him, and when he rouses me I simply tell him that I love him, that I'm totally his and that everything I have belongs to him. Then, it seems that I eventually fall asleep again, and we start the cycle all over for a full thirty minutes or more. By the end of mental prayer, I'm finally half-awake enough to pray Lauds and face the day.

Praised be Jesus that he should love me so much as to put me to sleep on his heart! Even though I may be seated in my room, Jesus loves me enough to calm my pain, to quiet my thoughts, and to cradle me in his arms so that I might rest in him. It's not a bad thing, you know... it's all good.