Last weekend, I had two of our precious Godchildren with me here while My Darling assisted Mama Midwife and her husband and assorted others move their earthly possessions
Still. It's just not the same. She should move back.
Sunday was such a beautiful inspiration! Our family volunteered for our diocesan celebration for couples observing their 50th year of married life together. My Darling and I will be celebrating 12 years of marriage tomorrow, so these folks are definitely heroes to us!
The rehearsals for this choir are trotting along at a pace. I've found that it's best to prepare myself mentally before heading in to the choir room. It's just really intense--you know those days where by bed time you feel like it's been an entire week since the day began? Yeah. Like that. Only musically. Again with that whole music nerd thing. But the totally cool thing is that our rehearsal director can give us a 7- or 8-note example of what he doesn't want, followed by what he does want, and the entire choir just does it. It's the way a choir should work, and it's absolutely mind-blowing. I lurve it.
I discovered an awesome blog, written by some very knowledgeable fellow from Madison, WI, having to do with all things Liturgical. Great for the GIRM nerd who wants some good, relevant reading, and excellent ideas for music, general intercessions, understanding anything to do with the Church and why we do what we do liturgically. Give him a read. I hear he's a superb musician, as well.
And now for the best part of my week.
Last night, as we settled down for our Rosary, I was feeling a bit ruffled. The evening was one full of domestic challenges, minor squabbles, small bits of disrespect, and general family life late on a Friday evening. I was at that point of just wanting the kids in bed so I could catch up on some reading or something--I was looking toward morning with the hope of things being better...or as He tells us in His Word, "His graces are new every morning." I love that promise.
BUT. (Always with the "but".)
In the book I finished reading not long ago, Death on a Friday Afternoon, by Fr. Richard Neuhaus, we are admonished, "Don't rush to the joy of Easter!" In other words, to some extent, savor the suffering. Be with Our Lord in His suffering by not rushing through our own. Find Him in the small moments of frustration just as we seek Him in greater earthly sufferings. (A decent review of this wonderful book is here; another, more in-depth can be found here.)
So I sat on the couch with my Monkey in my lap, his plastic Rosary clutched in his little fist, his head leaning back against my shoulder. The Pickle and the Reepicheep curled up with their blankets in their customary spots, and the Frog held the Pudgy Bug close.
I held my Rosary stretched between my hands, to show the Monkey how it goes. We've been encouraging the kids to each lead "their" decade. Always, we go through the children, asking them what the Mysteries are for the day: "Frog, what's the first Luminous Mystery?" "Reepicheep, what's the third Joyful Mystery?" -And so on. So this week, I've been asking them what the mystery is, and then, "Would you please lead the decade?"
My Darling holds the Pudgy Bug and leads us in the Rosary. Months ago, mind you. The Pudge is far pudgier now.
Last night, though, I was leading, because I just wanted to immerse myself in the prayers, meditating on Him, and be more interior than having to monitor the kids. Sinful, I know. But there it is. As we came to the third Sorrowful Mystery (the crowning with thorns), I said to the Monkey, "Now we pray the Our Father, because there is a bead here all by itself." He pinched the bead between his little fingers, and began, "Our Father, Who art in heaven..." (Except that in his little toothless way, he says, "Our Fazzer..."--like he's German, but without too much accent...terribly adorable...). I hadn't asked him; it was completely unprompted.
Now, just the other night, it had been next to impossible to get him to even pray out loud, much less lead anything. But here he was, leading first the Our Father, and then the entire decade of Hail Marys. We came to the fourth Sorrowful Mystery, Our Lord carries His Cross, and he did it again. He led the decade.
And then the fifth Sorrowful Mystery, the crucifixion and death of Our Lord. And he led that, too.
I was dissolved into tears. I was a pile of mushy heart. I was laid bare by a three-year-old dear boy.
You know, sometimes, if you wait just long enough, being with Him in your suffering, He shows you His mercy and love in such concrete ways that you can't not be aware of His presence.
Thanks be to God.