Mid winter, bending into late... My ride home from work is in the daylight which is a step in the right direction. I'm not a winter person, don't ski or snowshoe, own a snowmobile, whatever. This winter my recreation has been snow removal, via shovel. I've lost a couple of pounds, but it hasn't done my back any good. Still, in times of trial, or stress or even like now, me with the flu, one is forced to look at the world a bit differently. Here in CT we only have narrow paths that bring me to the bird feeder, another out to the mulch pile. Finally one that goes around the house for the cat. Our world becomes smaller, and we become more dependent on things. Some will spend the long dark hours of winter watching more television, reading long novels, eating, etc, who knows what, more computer time even. Dependence. Last Thursday afternoon I could feel it coming on, for all my colds or flu, (whatever!) come on the same way; scratchy throat and bouts of sneezing. By 5:30pm I was home sitting in my rocker with my fleece lined winter jacket, scarf and hat still on me, and wrapped in a blanket. That's how Helen found me. She fed me (literally!) a few forkfuls of supper and put me to bed. Dependence. Friday I called in sick to work, God willing that will probably be my only sick day, one a year, always the flu. Friday, Saturday, I was useless. Today, finally, feeling somewhat normal. Two days doing none of the things I normally do, just a time of quiet, a time for the Rosary, to reflect, to pray. I limped my way down the hall to the Prayer room we've fashioned out of the old family room. Knelt on the kneeler in front of the big Crucifix hanging on the wall. It was quiet, so quiet, no one home but me. The Joyful Mysteries. Our Blessed Mother. Trying to concentrate on each Mystery, for me, a great chore, but in the cool quiet of the Prayer Room, it was different. My life had slowed down a bit and one decade flowed into the next, The Early Life passing before me. I know when I'm home sick I'm pretty useless, because I am so sick, but its nice, everyone takes care of me. But I become so dependent on them, and usually this bothers me; I'm the one who takes care of everybody (well, actually Helen takes care of everybody, but you know what I mean...) but this time I just went with the flow. I have to admit, it was nice not being at work for one day, even if I had to suffer through the flu. People miss work for a lot worse things.
I was talking about dependence. Helen's church (two different parish's, long story...) just started a Consecration to Jesus through Mary using True Devotion To Mary by St. Louis De Montfort. I'd never used this book for my consecration, but I'm truly astounded by the depth that the Saint has in his knowledge of the Blessed Virgin. I will not be long here, but how he explains the meaning of being a slave to Christ and a slave to Mary makes so much sense in the deepest depths of my heart and soul, that I knew that something was giving inside of me, long held beliefs and safety nets we're going to come down, and they have. A slave to Christ. A slave to Mary. Dependence. The world of man and the world of God, two different forms of dependence. With one we have to gather and gain, rise, defeat, and the other we give all away. I can't give proper words to the graces that He poured out on me these last two days. Being sick forced me to slow down, and I was able to read, and hear read words that ignited a firestorm within me. A homily today at the Latin Mass about grace that turned my thinking upside down. How one can live a holy life, church every day, Rosary, confession, helping others, and then while waiting in purgatory, God gives tremendous graces to a sinner who repents on their deathbed. Straight past you to Heaven. The Grace of God, something we will never understand.
But HE understands it.
And somewhere in my heart of hearts I understood it just a little bit today, in the church, among the sweet smell of High Mass incense, something opened and poured out into my soul, like a rush of warmth.
God is God. He is love, He is just and he is mysterious. And I'm at a loss for words.