Thursday, March 29, 2012

Mercy and Our True Measure

This excerpt from the Magnificat hit me so hard that I had to share. If I could only perfect these few paragraphs...

"If you wish always to press forward on the path of virtue without stopping, you should pay great attention to things which may serve as chances for acquiring virtue, and never let them slip out of your hands. Therefore those are ill-advised who do everything in their power to avoid any kind of obstacle in the path of virtue, in spite of the fact that these might have helped you towards success in their progress. For example, if you wish to gain the habit of patience, you should not avoid the people, things or circumstances which particularly try your patience. Meet them with a good will and the resolve to submit to their unpleasant effect on you, but at the same time prepare yourself to suffer them with unshakeable calmness of spirit. If you do not act thus, you will never learn patience.

You should adopt the same attitude towards any work which displeases you, either in itself or because it is imposed on you by a man you dislike, or because it interferes with the work you do like. In other words, you must not avoid it but, on the contrary, must undertake it without digging in your toes, and must do and finish it through, as though it were the most welcome work, never letting your heart be troubled by it, especially by the thought that, were it not for this business, you would be completely at peace. Otherwise you will never learn to bear the afflictions you will meet; nor will you find the true peace you seek by running away from such things, obviously through self-indulgence; for peace does not dwell in self-indulgent hearts. 

I advise you to do the same in relation to thoughts, which at times invade you and trouble your  mind with memories of human injustices and other inappropriate things. Do not stifle them or drive them away, but let them leave you of their own accord, not through your opposition, but through the patience with which you endure them."   - Father Lorenzo Scupoli

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Humility In Lent

This has been a great Lent so far. And by "great" I mean pretty hard. I set out this lent giving up some of the same old things that are really hard for me and some new things as well. If I had to pick a virtue that summed up my sacrifices it would probably be temperance. Did you hear that God? I said temperance. But no, God has a different virtue for me this lent, a hard virtue, humility.

It took me a few rounds of prideful backlash to realize what God was doing. If it wasn't for The Litany of Humility, I don't think I would have ever recognized how God was trying to work in me. My first response when something humbling is said to me or about me is to do nothing. Then, for the next day or even week sometimes, I replay the instance in my head thinking of what I should have said or I complain to my husband about the horrible injustice done to me. Even if it's small, my pride feeds on feeling sorry for myself in these humbling situations. I'm not going to go into detail about any of the specific events or things that were said because...well, that wouldn't be humble. That would be me, as mentioned above, feeling sorry for myself. Anyways, suffice it to say that through several events I have been humbled and often times thought of as much less than I think of myself. The thing God is trying to show me is how to react to these situations. Why does it bother me so much when I am trampled on or pushed to the side? Should I not desire to be with Christ near the cross being spat on and shoved? The thing I often forget about when trying to grow in a particular virtue is that sometimes it hurts to grow.

When I first went into labor with Miss Belle I remember thinking, "Why did I think I was going to enjoy this?!?!?" That is kind of how I have felt this Lent. Somehow I always go into lent thinking it will be this grace filled ride with painless fasting and effortless spiritual growth. As stupid as it sounds I forget about the literal pain of the cross. When I pick up my tiny little cross which is stamped this season with many opportunities for humility, I forget that sometimes it literally has to hurt to gain the reward at the end. When pain strikes and my pride is hurt, my first reaction is to put up a defense and protect myself. This response is so habitual that I often don't even see the opportunity for growth sitting right in front of me. God has graced me this season to step back and evaluate the way I handle situations in which I am humbled. To see them not as an attack on me, but as an opportunity to grow, to stop complaining, to stop dwelling on how I was wronged and to try and think of myself as I really should: as nothing without Him. He is helping me to stifle my desires for human love and approval and depend on Him for all.

Christ doesn't promise a painless cross, but He does promise strength for the journey and grace to persevere.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


After 10 months of work and some very long nights, I am officially a certified doula through DONA International!!! YAY!!! Happy happy day! Thank you to all the mommies who gave me the privilege of attending their births! The most thanks goes to my husband. Without his UNFAILING support, I would never have been able to do this. There have been many times he has taken off work and stayed with the children for over 24 hours while I am at a birth. He has never once complained and is always so encouraging and supportive. Thank you honey!

Andrea CD(DONA)