Tiredness

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Just a little sleepy 😉

I am an energetic person by nature, a happy person by temperament (and God’s grace!) . . . but sometimes (like today), I am just tired. Tired and grouchy-feeling. How tempting it is to be discouraged by these feelings of tiredness and grouchiness, to be frustrated when I give into them and consequently don’t have that same I’m-so-happy-to-be-around-my-family shine as I usually do.

What am I doing?! I groan inwardly. I just went to Mass this morning!

And I did. In a little chapel with Lena and three friends and a marvelous priest. Everything was soft and still. Hoc est enim Corpus Meum. What a gift. For a little while now, I’ve been praying hard for the eventual gift of daily Latin Mass nearby, that I can attend every morning. But for now, once a week has been amazing!

I drove Lena and myself home through a light drizzle, the two of us chattering happily. I came in and had my fasting breakfast. I went upstairs and took a shower. And . . . I came out tired.

I’m sure it has something to do with being human. With early mornings, less food, family members being gone, teaching a classroom of girls, running up and down our lane until I can’t breathe (i.e., training for a 5K) and, because of my lack of virtue, so often failing to accept these feelings of tiredness and grumpiness as Crosses, and to embrace them with a joy that radiates to where no one can tell that I’m feeling grumpy at all. I’m working on the joy. Do you know how it is when the smallest acts of simple decent human kindness seem almost impossible to achieve? (I know . . . it’s the signal that I need a nap 😉 I think I will lie down shortly . . . )

My youngest sister has a cold. Lemon and melaleuca are being diffused in the living room. I gave her a mini-concert and played on the guitar, singing songs I’d written, for half an hour earlier. Things are gray outside. Lena is leaving on Friday. A whole week without her is a strange prospect; quite possibly a very light foretaste of the future in which she might be in her house at Ephesus and I’m in my house surrounded by a future beautiful brood of children. Does God intend for the majority of our earthly sisterhood, our close earthly companionship that has been particularly close ever since our early teen years, to be spent apart, joined together by letters and prayers, but by only the barest human contact?

Of course, the thought brings both spiritual joy and human tears. Joy for vocation and for becoming saints. This is what Lena and I want more than anything! But tears for the little daily things that will pass away and leave a void capable of being filled only by God; the countless conversations, the little jokes, the giggles, the hugs, the knowing of what the other is thinking and feeling in a way only sisters can, the shared daily prayers and devotions, Mass together, two white mantillas side-by-side. To some degree, it would still pass away even if we were both married . . . but not as radically as this. The little things will pass for a time, but the love will remain. Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. And I am already rejoicing with excitement and gratitude at what God may have in store for my dear sister, and for me, and for our sisterhood.

This Lent has been unlike any other. The fasting is a great challenge; not just the absence of food, but using the absence of food to gain mastery over oneself and grow in virtue. That is the hardest part. It has been exactly two weeks now since Lent began. Three weeks to corrupt a vice, three weeks to instill a virtue. At this rate, I’m 2/3 of the way through corrupting the vice of intemperance . . . and then, after another week or so, I’ll begin to instill the virtue of fasting.

Perseverance!

Fr. Ripperger’s talks at Sensus Traditionis have been one of my mainstays. It is unspeakably consoling to receive truth and guidance in the form of masculine, priestly, fatherly direction. I can’t seem to get enough. I also just finished his “The Spirituality of the Ancient Liturgy” from Latin Mass Magazine, and this paragraph struck me particularly (no wonder, after having just attended Mass!):

The ancient ritual also gives one a taste of heaven, so to speak. Since the altar marks the dividing line between the profane and sacred, between the heavenly and the earthly, and the priest ascends to the altar to offer Sacrifice, the traditional rite leaves one with a sense of being drawn into heaven with the priest. This feature naturally draws us into prayer and gives the sense of the transcendent and supernatural that are key in the spiritual life. The numerous references to the saints foster devotion rather than minimizing it. The Latin provides a sense of mystery. The beauty of the ritual, the surroundings that naturally flow from the ritual itself (such as the churches that are designed for the ritual), the chant – all of these things lead to contemplation, the seeking after that which is above.

Life is beautiful, because God is Supreme Beauty and He provides so many channels of grace for us through the Sacraments, through prayer, through pursuing the virtues. We can all be saints if only we continuously trust and try. Perhaps the tired days are the most beautiful days of all; or they can be, if only I ask for His grace and participate in it with joy 😉 Always and everywhere, Deo Gratias!

P.S. Keep praying for Baby Isaac’s complete healing! https://www.facebook.com/Prayers-for-Baby-Isaac-1977272082313227/

Sig

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Fr. Ripperger on Ember and Rogation Days . . . and Poetry

+J.M.J.+

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I meant to mention that, later on today, I’ll be listening to Fr. Ripperger’s talk on Ember and Rogation Days at Sensus Traditionis (scroll down to “Conferences given by Fr. Ripperger in Tulsa“) and I definitely look forward to learning more 🙂

Also, my youngest sister inspired me yesterday by her flawless memorization of John Gillespie Magee’s “High Flight.” We spent some time outside together this morning, trading poetry in the sunshine. What a glorious poem!

High Flight
John Gillespie Magee

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds –
and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of –
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I’ve chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God.

Impressed as I was by her, suffice it to say that I was similarly motivated this morning to copy down and memorize Robert Herrick’s “His Meditation Upon Death,” which seems so appropriate for this holy season of Lent. (It’s been too long since I’ve memorized a poem . . . needless to say, it’s a challenge!)

His Meditation Upon Death
by Robert Herrick

Be those few hours, which I have yet to spend,
Blest with the meditation of my end :
Though they be few in number, I’m content :
If otherwise, I stand indifferent.
Nor makes it matter Nestor’s years to tell,
If man lives long, and if he live not well.
A multitude of days still heaped on,
Seldom brings order, but confusion.
Might I make choice, long life should be withstood;
Nor would I care how short it were, if good :
Which to effect, let ev’ry passing-bell
Possess my thoughts, “next comes my doleful knell”;

And when the night persuades me to my bed,
I’ll think I’m going to be buried.
So shall the blankets which come over me
Present those turfs which once must cover me :
And with as firm behaviour I will meet
The sheet I sleep in as my winding-sheet.
When sleep shall bathe his body in mine eyes,
I will believe that then my body dies :
And if I chance to wake and rise thereon,
I’ll have in mind my resurrection
Which must produce me to that General Doom,
To which the peasant, so the prince, must come,
To hear the Judge give sentence on the throne,
Without the least hope of affection.
Tears, at that day, shall make but weak defence,
When hell and horror fright the conscience.
Let me, though late, yet at the last, begin
To shun the least temptation to a sin;
Though to be tempted be no sin, until
Man to th’ alluring object gives his will.
Such let my life assure me, when my breath
Goes thieving from me, I am safe in death;
Which is the height of comfort : when I fall,
I rise triumphant in my funeral.

And yes, I had to look up who Nestor was . . .

Sig

Lenten Embertide :: Links for Reading

+J.M.J.+

Spring, by Abel Grimmer, 1607

A whole week of Lent is already past, and here we are at the Lenten Embertide!

O Lord our Lord, how admirable is thy name in the whole earth! For thy magnificence is elevated above the heavens.

Psalm 8

I thought I’d gather up a few links for helpful reading material as we seek to participate more deeply in these three holy days (Wednesday, Friday and Saturday), which, as the Minute Missive reminded this morning,

The intention of the Ember Days is to thank God for the gifts of nature, to ask His help in using them in moderation and to assist the needy.

From Blessed Jacopo de Voragine:

The fasting of the Quatretemps, called in English Ember days, the Pope Calixtus ordained them. And this fast is kept four times in the year, and for divers reasons.

For the first time, which is in March, is hot and moist. The second, in summer, is hot and dry. The third, in harvest, is cold and dry. The fourth in winter is cold and moist. Then let us fast in March which is printemps for to repress the heat of the flesh boiling, and to quench luxury or to temper it. In summer we ought to fast to the end that we chastise the burning and ardour of avarice. In harvest for to repress the drought of pride, and in winter for to chastise the coldness of untruth and of malice.

Ember Days :: Fish Eaters
Lenten Embertide :: Fish Eaters

As Fish Eaters’ article on the Ember Days also refers to the four temperaments, here is the link to Fr. Conrad Hock’s writings on that subject:

The Four Temperaments and the Spiritual Life

These days are, traditionally, ones of fasting as well as of abstinence (partial on Wednesday and Saturday, total on Friday).

All things have their season,
and in their times all things pass under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3

From now on, a personal resolution of mine is to make an extra effort to soak in more of Our Lord’s creation by being outside on the Ember Days 🙂

May Our Lord continue to bless your Lent!

P.S. And please continue to pray for Baby Isaac, who is daily making progress but still in need of a miracle. Also, out of your charity, consider making a donation to his family! May God reward you.

Sig

A Kind of Spiritual Summer :: Embracing Lent

Angel

A most blessed Ash Wednesday to you all. Truly, I am so grateful that Lent is here at last . . . I plan to be blogging less over these forty days (at this point, once per week), and when I do post here, most likely it will be to share something I have read or heard pertaining to this holy season–which, in fact, I am going to do today 🙂

Repentance

-Butler’s Lives of the Saints

Man, drawn from the dust, must return to it, and all that he does meanwhile, with the exception of what good he may achieve, is but dust and vanity; the good alone survives . . . Nothing is, in fact, more calculated to lead the sinner to enter into himself than the remembrance of his last end. Nothing is better fitted to beat down pride and put a check on futile projects and guilty purposes than the terrible and sad memento, “Remember that thou art but dust!”

-Antiphon from Blessing of the Ashes

Hear us, O Lord, for Thy mercy is kind: look upon us, O Lord, according to the multitude of Thy tender mercies. Save me, O God: for the waters are come in even unto my soul. Glory be to the Father. Hear us, O Lord . . .

-Prayers for the Gift of Tears

      -Collect:

Almighty and most merciful God, Who, to quench the thirst of Thy people, didst draw a fountain of living water out of a rock, draw from our stony hearts tears of compunction, that we may be able to mourn for our sins and win forgiveness for them by Thy mercy.

      -Secret:

O Lord God, in Thy mercy look down on the offerings which we make to Thy divine Majesty for our sins, and draw from our eyes such floods of tears as may quench the burning flames which we deserve.

     -Postcommunion:

Mercifully pour into our hearts, O Lord God, the grace of the Holy Ghost, which, by sighs and tears, may wash away the stains of our sins and obtain for us, by Thy goodness, the forgiveness which we desire.

Fasting

-St. John Chrysostom

(taken from Fish Eaters)

7. …We have this fast too as an ally, and as an assistant in this good intercession. Therefore, as when the winter is over and the summer is appearing, the sailor draws his vessel to the deep; and the soldier burnishes his arms, and makes ready his steed for the battle; and the husbandman sharpens his sickle; and the traveller boldly undertakes a long journey, and the wrestler strips and bares himself for the contest. So too, when the fast makes its appearance, like a kind of spiritual summer, let us as soldiers burnish our weapons; and as husbandmen let us sharpen our sickle; and as sailors let us order our thoughts against the waves of extravagant desires; and as travellers let us set out on the journey towards heaven; and as wrestlers let us strip for the contest. For the believer is at once a husbandman, and a sailor, and a soldier, a wrestler, and a traveller. Hence St. Paul saith, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers. Put on therefore the whole armour of God.” Hast thou observed the wrestler? Hast thou observed the soldier? If thou art a wrestler, it is necessary for thee to engage in the conflict naked. If a soldier, it behoves thee to stand in the battle line armed at all points. How then are both these things possible, to be naked, and yet not naked; to be clothed, and yet not clothed! How? I will tell thee. Divest thyself of worldly business, and thou hast become a wrestler. Put on the spiritual armour, and thou hast become a soldier. Strip thyself of worldly cares, for the season is one of wrestling. Clothe thyself with the spiritual armour, for we have a heavy warfare to wage with demons. Therefore also it is needful we should be naked, so as to offer nothing that the devil may take hold of, while he is wrestling with us; and to be fully armed at all points, so as on no side to receive a deadly blow. Cultivate thy soul. Cut away the thorns. Sow the word of godliness. Propagate and nurse with much care the fair plants of divine wisdom, and thou hast become a husbandman. And Paul will say to thee, “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.” He too himself practised this art. Therefore writing to the Corinthians, he said, “I have planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” Sharpen thy sickle, which thou hast blunted through gluttony–sharpen it by fasting. Lay hold of the pathway which leads towards heaven; rugged and narrow as it is, lay hold of it, and journey on. And how mayest thou be able to do these things? By subduing thy body, and bringing it into subjection. For when the way grows narrow, the corpulence that comes of gluttony is a great hindrance. Keep down the waves of inordinate desires. Repel the tempest of evil thoughts. Preserve the bark; display much skill, and thou hast become a pilot. But we shall have the fast for a groundwork and instructor in all these things.

11. I have said these things, not that we may disparage fasting, but that we may honour fasting; for the honour of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially disparages it. Dost thou fast? Give me proof of it by thy works! Is it said by what kind of works? If thou seest a poor man, take pity on him! If thou seest an enemy, be reconciled to him! If thou seest a friend gaining honour, envy him not! If thou seest a handsome woman, pass her by! For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being pure from rapine and avarice. Let the feet fast, but ceasing from running to the unlawful spectacles. Let the eyes fast, being taught never to fix themselves rudely upon handsome countenances, or to busy themselves with strange beauties. For looking is the food of the eyes, but if this be such as is unlawful or forbidden, it mars the fast; and upsets the whole safety of the soul; but if it be lawful and safe, it adorns fasting. For it would be among things the most absurd to abstain from lawful food because of the fast, but with the eyes to touch even what is forbidden. Dost thou not eat flesh? Feed not upon lasciviousness by means of the eyes. Let the ear fast also. The fasting of the ear consists in refusing to receive evil speakings and calumnies. “Thou shalt not receive a false report,” it says.

-Fr. Ripperger

His talk on “Fasting” is found at Sensus Traditionis, under #7. But I highly recommend listening through all of his talks throughout Lent . . . and complying with the requirements of Penanceware 😉 (Today, I listened to “The Sacred Heart,” under #1. )

Love of God

Let us strive to contemplate the Passion of Our Lord with contrition and love, and to grow greatly in love of Him and the desire to please Him for the sake of His Heart.

 

I pray your Lent is richly blessed with many graces to corrupt vice, cultivate virtue, and return to God wholeheartedly. Please, out of your charity, pray for my family and me as we strive to do the same!

Sig

 

Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis . . .

A very blessed Quinquagesima Sunday, as well as the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes . . . my Name Day! 🙂 Quickly, I am dropping in to re-post an urgent prayer request from my friend Emma at Gloria In Exclesis Deo. Out of your charity, please pause for a moment and pray for this man to be given the grace of a holy death. Here is her original post:
+JMJ+
 
 
Please pray for the soul of a faithful Catholic who is nearing his last breath.  This gentleman was instrumental in bringing the Traditional Latin Mass to our diocese.  Because of his work, my life has totally changed.    
Our Lady of Lourdes, pray for us!
I beg you all for prayers for this gentleman.  Pray that he will be given the grace of a holy death and that Our Blessed Mother may guide him up to the Holy Throne of God.  Pray for his soul!  Pass this on to all you know.
 
I humbly thank you all from the depths of my soul.  God bless you.
 
In the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
 
Emma   
Sig