Life is Worth Living

Life Goes On

As I sit here and type, life goes on all around me.  Sounds of Julian Lage’s latest album drift in from the dining room.  I can hear the three older children chatting and laughing while washing the dinner dishes.  A few of the other children are playing on the swing set out my window with my husband.  And I just finished folding a load of laundry.  It’s rather peaceful around here.

But in the meantime, the media spins and screams and dictates and shames all day long.

What to do?  Today I thought I’d offer a few suggestions that might help.  Read through them if you want.  Take what you need and discard anything that overwhelms you.

A Few Thoughts to Consider

  1. Sigh.  Maybe it’s time for a “media” break?  If the news is getting to you, shut it off.

I hate to be a downer, but I don’t think this is going away anytime soon.  Think of 9/11.  Think of all the security measures that resulted from that tragic event–the security measures that came and stayed.

As our culture becomes more and more obsessed about health (and less and less concerned about the soul), there will be fewer and fewer personal freedoms.  I wouldn’t be surprised if this didn’t happen every year–I mean a Mandated Stay at Home Law every winter and spring.  New viruses will come after all, and we’ve just set a precedent–lock down for everyone.

That’s kind of a depressing thought, however true I think it is.  So for me, I’ve got to step away from the media for awhile.

2.  This may sound a bit crazy, but assess your local situation as regards to the Sacraments.  Are your bishops and priests finding ways to nourish your souls?  If not, consider moving to where these things are happening.  For if our culture continues on this current trend of limiting personal freedoms and shutting down the Sacraments, it will be necessary to have courageous bishops and priests willing to sacrifice their lives, perhaps literally, to ensure the survival of the Faith.

If you’re curious, our priest here delivered a dynamite homily yesterday about seeing this current situation for what it is.  He starts at about 17:20, and I can tell you, he had our attention.  (Yes, that’s my kid screaming about halfway through.  Embarrassing.)  We are so thankful for his witness.  And for our bishop.

3.  Organize your family life.  You need a schedule for everyone’s sanity.  If you struggle with this concept, get a copy of Holly Pierlot’s A Mother’s Rule of Life.  She gets her priorities right–prayer first, everything else next, etc.

4.  Speaking of prayer…have you considered praying the breviary?  These are the ancient prayers, psalms, and readings of the Church.  They are the Church’s Divine Office–a heartbeat of love to the Father.  Of course I would recommend praying the Roman Breviary, but if that’s too much for you, start with the Christian Prayer book.

If you’d like more information on the breviary and it’s history, read Pius Parsch’s The Breviary Explained.  My husband couldn’t put it down.  Consider giving that book to your husband for Father’s Day.

5.  Learn how to garden.  Now I am no expert at this, but over the years my husband and I have just plugged away at it, and it’s always been rewarding.  Even if we have crop failures, like the year we thought we planted cucumbers, but didn’t, or the time the carrots didn’t come up, or the time the boys pulled all the onions because they thought they were weeds…  But something always does manage to grow, and it’s fun eating it.

6.  Enjoy a glass of wine with your husband tonight.  Let the kids watch Lilies of the Field and play a hand of cards.

And Just For Fun

A reader was recently inspired by my post on Art Walls.  She made one of her own, which I’ll post below.

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It looks great!  I especially love The Little Flower.

Did anyone else make one?

Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday: a Silent Retreat & a Birthday

How did your week go?  Here are a few highlights from mine.

  1. I recently returned from a silent retreat in South Dakota.  This is a picture of Sts. Isodore and Maria Catholic Church where I did the majority of my holy hours.  I snapped this shot as I was pulling up last Thursday evening, for as you know, phones are verboten during a retreat, so I couldn’t take any more pictures.

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2.  Who needs a phone during a retreat anyway?  Even if one were to say to me, “But, but, but I need my phone for an alarm clock and to look at my sweet breviary apps.”  I’d still say nope.  We all know that screens do something to us.  The constant scrolling with endless options are tiring.  Rather, you might consider saving your money and buying this and learning how to use it.  Flip some pages.  Be uncomfortable.  And as for an alarm…where I went on silent retreat, they had old-fashioned alarm clocks in our private rooms, and they had cheap watches for sale in their book store, should you not have one.

3.  There is a misconception about silent retreats.  Some people are inclined to think it like a vacation.  Let me tell you, it is not.  It is work; it is a labor of love.  My spiritual director recommends scheduling 5 holy hours during the day, wherein one prays before the Blessed Sacrament.  This is in addition to Mass and Confession.  Then there are other devotions one may want to do–Stations of the Cross, Rosary, ect.  Not to mention fasting in some sort of way.  No, it is not a vacation.

4.  But it is worth it.  We may not always be faithful to God, but He is always faithful to us.  He loves us dearly and sees our little sacrifices.  He is quick to stoop down to His little ones and hold us, should we want Him to.  If you’re thinking of a silent retreat, just schedule it and go!

5.  And lastly, the Eldest had a birthday this week.  She turned 13, and I finally have a teenager!  (Her birth story from 13 years ago is HERE.)

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And here she is, modeling her new watch, given to her by her grandparents.

Happy Birthday, my sweet Maria!