Sunday, September 6, 2015

Ponderings

Yesterday, we went the vigil Mass. I have been on my own this past week while Tony did his tuba thing in Switzerland. There was an acquaintance there who started chatting with me after Mass as I waited for Jack to finish up his duties as Altar Server. Until last night, we have always just made small talk, but for some reason, which I believe was the Holy Spirit, she told me that I am doing a good job, that no one is perfect, that it is all right to "mess up" sometimes. Out of the blue, I tell you!

Then I went to the Commissary to get our groceries for the week. Tony called to check in while we were going up and down the aisles, checking things off the list. Peter was crying and crying because he was tired and hungry. All of a sudden, Tony stopped telling me his story and said, "I love you for being so patient with all that crying going on. You are doing a great job". Peter eventually perked up after letting him eat an entire package of dried mangoes while getting the rest of items we needed. As I was checking out, the cashier observed our little family throwing things onto the conveyor with some amusement. She then looked me in the eye and asked with all sincerity, "How do you do it?" Without thinking, I replied, "With God's grace", to which she gave an emphatic "Amen!"  I tell you, I could feel God in all those exchanges. It led me back to the words of the priest tonight...

My heart has been heavy with worry and angst about so much lately, and I know that is not how God wants me to live. I have been searching for the "right" answers, but I haven't just sat with the one person who has the answers. Jesus. The priest in the confessional gently reminded me that anything that causes confusion is not from God. That I should place my focus on keeping my soul in a state of grace and helping my family to do the same. The rest of it I need to place in Jesus' hands.

The state of affairs in the world and the news lately have played a great part in that worry. I watched a movie this week while Tony was away titled "A Man Called Peter". It is the biography of a Protestant preacher named Peter Marshall. It was a beautiful movie, but the sermon about the dignity of women has been in my mind and heart all week. So much so that I feel compelled to share part of it with you here.


The emancipation of womanhood began with Christianity, and it ends with Christianity. It had its beginning one night nineteen hundred years ago when there came to a woman named Mary a vision and a message from heaven. She saw the rifted clouds of glory and the hidden battlements of heaven. She heard an angelic annunciation of the almost incredible news that she, of all the women on earth...of all the Marys in history...was to be the only one who should ever wear entwined the red rose of maternity and the white rose of virginity. It was told her--and all Keepers of the Springs know how such messages come--that she should be the mother of the Savior of the world.

It was nineteen hundred years ago "when Jesus Himself a baby deigned to be and bathed in baby tears His deity"...and on that night, when that tiny Child lay in the straw of Bethlehem, began the emancipation of womanhood.

When He grew up and began to teach the way of life, He ushered woman into a new place in human relations. He accorded her a new dignity and crowned her with a new glory, so that wherever the Christian evangel has gone for nineteen centuries, the daughters of Mary have been respected, revered, remembered, and loved, f or men have recognized that womanhood is a sacred and a noble thing, that women are of finer clay...are more in touch with the angels of God and have the noblest function that life affords. Wherever Christianity has spread, for nineteen hundred years men have bowed and adored.

It remained for the twentieth century, in the name of progress, in the name of tolerance, in the name of broadmindedness, in the name of freedom, to pull her down from her throne and try to make her like a man.

She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years she had not been equal--she had been superior. But now, they said, she wanted equality, and in order to obtain it, she had to step down. And so it is, that in the name of broadminded tolerance, a man's vices have now become a woman's.
Twentieth-century tolerance has won for woman the right to become intoxicated, the right to have an alcoholic breath, the right to smoke, to work like a man to act like a man--for is she not man's equal? Today they call it "progress"...but tomorrow,oh, you Keepers of the Springs, they must be made to see that it is not progress.

No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction. No people ever became great by lowering their standards. No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality. It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was. It is not progress when purity is not as sweet. It is not progress when womanhood has lost its fragrance. Whatever else it is, it is not progress!


If you want to read the sermon in its entirety, go here. But really, watch the movie!

There is a very cute three year old that needs me to play Sneaky, Snacky, Squirrel with him. Right now. So I must say good-bye!






4 comments:

  1. That is beautiful. We were listening to our new EWTN broadcast the other day, and in a piece about choosing a worthy bride, the host said men must be prepared for a dual income lifestyle, for it is impossible now to live on just one. Davey and I were both disappointed, for a good man should be able to support his family, and a good woman should be a steward of the resources he provides. We work as a team, and have raised a rather large family on that one income together, so we know it can be done. But, yes, it is a degradation of womanhood to force her out of her family and into the world. In her home, she is everything. In the world, she is almost nothing.

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    1. I have always felt blessed that Tony's job allows me to stay home and raise our kids. It is truly a most noble and humbling vocation!

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  2. I posted a quote on FB this morning and I thought of it when I read the first part of your post:
    "There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways."-- Blessed Mother Teresa

    I am so glad those ordinary people felt the Spirit's call to give you what you needed in those moments! You are a good woman and your reward will certainly be in heaven!

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    1. I saw your post. I love Blessed Mother Teresa. Her words are so powerful and true!

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