From the Magnificat's "Reflection of the Day":
"The first goal of spiritual combat, that toward which our efforts must above all else be directed, is not to always obtain a victory (over our temptations, our weaknesses, etc.), rather it is to learn to maintain peace of heart under all circumstances, even in the case of defeat."
-Father Jacques Philippe
Umm. Yeah. I am a total and complete failure at maintaining peace of heart. I forget every single day to ask for the graces needed to stay peaceful amid the hardships. I forget every single day when faced with the smallest annoyance, to turn to Him. I start out with the best intentions. Then I get out of bed. I may even get the coffee made with a peaceful heart. But then my day starts in earnest and I falter, I flounder, I struggle. I am anxious like Martha. I desire to have the peace of Mary.
Father Philippe continues,
"It is uniquely the grace of God that will obtain the victory for us, whose grace will be the more efficacious and rapid, the more we place maintaining our interior peace and sense of confident abandonment in the hands of our Father in heaven."
As I pondered this reflection this morning, I thought in songs again. Music is a balm for my soul. I found the track I was looking for. Audio Adrenaline's "Get Down". If I was a savvy blogger, I would link you right to it, but let's be real. I don't know how. Anyway, it did help me find some focus. At this point, I had finished the breakfast dishes and was kneading the bread dough, so I just let the music play. Next was "My Favorite Things". Really, who can stay down when Julie Andrews sings about "Silver white winters that melt into springs"? Just that image alone brings hope. So, now I am thinking I need my own list of favorite things. One of them happens to be kneading the dough that is to become freshly baked bread. Another one happens to be how the aroma of that bread fills the house and heart with a cozy feeling.
Through Sousa's marches, bluegrass standards, and Roger Miller singing "King of the Road", I felt refreshed and lighter in spirit. I wish I could say that feeling stayed with me, but I would not be honest if I did. I left the dough to rise, walked into the classroom and poof, I turned back into the struggling, not so nice person that I detest. This is where I wish I could just give myself over to God with confident abandonment, like a giant Nestea plunge. Fall into His hands and let his grace stream down over my soul, washing away every little anxiety. Yet, here I am, on the edge, not able to let go.
It is so gray today. The leafless trees stand starkly contrasted against the too gray sky. No sun, and I am chilled from my toes to my nose. I am trying to find the courage to let God in and fill my soul with the sunshine and color and warmth that the grayest day cannot hide.