On a Hard Day

Lately I feel like I lose my spirituality the moment I walk in the door at work. I go to daily mass and love the silence, intimacy and contemplation that comes with receiving the Eucharist and then praying the rosary. I wish I could hold on to that peace all day but when I walked into work this morning I was bombarded with a passive aggressive note from the boss, a phone ringing off the hook, difficult personalities barging in to start their day, and I wanted my silence back. I was even resentful that I didn’t get it. I worked really hard in one area only to be reprimanded for not working in another. And my pride doesn’t bounce back from that sort of thing the way I wish it would. It lingers in the frustration. And I’m left blogging at the end of the day wondering how I find Jesus in these moments that are stressful. In these moments that fly by so fast. In these moments where I am impatient with everything and everyone who doesn’t see things my way. In these moments where I am so unlike Jesus who is still within me, still communing with me.

I’m hoping that His love will make all the difference. I’m hoping I’ll learn how to find Him even in the midst of an ordinary life with its ordinary stresses. I’m hoping that His love will be worth it not just in the end but here in my neediness while I’m begging for it in the middle.

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Striving to Strive

I have a chronic condition, one that will remain with me the rest of my days. It’s treatable but occasionally the suffering is difficult because it is not the type that renders my life unlivable or warrants a rest, rather it is the kind that sometimes exhausts me interiorly and I get impatient.

There was a time pre-diagnosis where the suffering was constant and I was in fighting shape. I read the Bible a ton and I refused to quit, trusting not in what I could see but what I could not yet see. I sought to have an attitude of general surrender and live in the present moment which yielded much fruit (including this blog!).

But as I was diagnosed and began a regimen of medication things returned to normal. I got used to a very ordinary existence with a full-time job and plenty of friends and family commitments to keep me busy. Ironically, I find it harder in a way to keep up that same faith amid the routine of everyday living. It’s so easy to lose sight of one’s eternal destiny, the promise of a heavenly home, as one handles the many things that demand one’s attention.

Overall, I lead a very comfortable life and this comfort is actually part of the problem. Not to say that comfort is bad, simply that the more comfort I experience the more attached I become to it. I say this because I’ve noticed that now when I experience bouts of my illness instead of being willing to fight like a warrior for the end goal I want to whine about what it takes away from me and how it gets in the way of what I want to do.

Whenever I experience the struggle instead of being molded by it to grow and become the type of woman I want to be I get impatient for the struggle to be over and for things to return to my version of normal. I was listening to an ever so brief podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz this morning who had a really good podcast on waiting on God’s timing that really gets to the heart of the matter. The idea he shared was that the only way God speaks to us is not in the future, not when we reach the goal, but now as we are striving. And the key to striving for anything successfully is the one thing it’s harder to do when suffering: be willing to wait.

So who knows, maybe one day by a serious amount of grace I’ll be a patient person…

Knowledge is Power?

So as a former educator I am very familiar with the slogan “knowledge is power.”

It’s certainly a popular notion. If you’re going to vote and be part of a democratic society then you should be informed and educated. However, there is less consensus recently on what people should be informed and educated about. But to me knowledge is a tricky thing. Important? Certainly. But I have met many knowledgeable people in my day, and a great many of them still lack wisdom. And without wisdom what is the point of knowledge? You just know a lot of isolated facts that have no larger meaning, that reveal nothing to you about the mystery of life.

Because to me there are two ways to walk the path of understanding. The first is with humility, where you start seeking knowledge and discover things that result in you gaining wisdom. The second is with pride, where you start seeking knowledge that results in you gaining a superiority complex from what you discovered.

I like to write because it helps me walk the path to understanding, and I hope you know which way I’m striving after, because if you don’t then not only have I failed you, I’ve failed myself.