Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24, 2014- St. Monica, Pray for Us!

            This is week eleven of eighteen in my official training schedule.  The second half is by far harder than the first, each week I stack on a few more miles.  I have been consistently hitting the treadmill for my Monday runs as I can absolutely feel the difference- it is touted to offer thirty percent less impact on the body than running on the pavement.  I think that is true, and it is a Godsend because my body is still fighting back from long run Saturday.
            I ran my four with the hill workout while watching Downton Abbey once again.  I also did my core workout, but cut out the squats with weights and just concentrated on the wall sits for the quad work.  It was much better on my knee. 
            Another blue kind of day- they are forecasting another round of polar vortex-type weather this week.  Yippee.  I cleaned the house including the bathrooms (pat pat pat) and decided to take some time off and read a little; my new copy of From the Housetops came in the mail.  This booklet, put out by the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary is one I have been getting for years.  Very conservative publication.  The featured saint for this issue is St. Monica, patron saint of mothers.
Mr. Professional Photobomber slinking in on my shot of the booklet.

            While I pretty much know the life of St. Monica, it was really good to learn more, especially since I can so ardently relate to her sorrows right now in my life.  She wept and prayed for twenty years for the conversion of her son, St. Augustine.  She never gave up and her persistent prayer was heard by God.
            Reading about her on one hand makes me feel recharged in my efforts for my own children, most especially my oldest daughter, but on the other I ring my hands that I am not praying, not sacrificing enough for the souls of my children.  If I get too focused on that subject, however, it will honestly rip my heart out!  There is absolutely nothing, and I mean nothing that is more important in this world for me, there is no mission that defines my life more than the salvation of my children’s souls.  I know most mothers feel the same way.
            I can hear my mother now, as she too grieved for the spiritual welfare of her sons, “Heaven will not be heaven if one of my children is not with me.” And also, so many times she would say as she lived her life in the trenches, “Someday I will go before God and He will ask me to account for how I raised my children.  Did I raise them to know, love, and serve Him?  I want to tell Him yes Lord; I did not lose a single one.”   
            But our world is so loud!  The lure of worldly things is so overwhelming, from all sides the hounds of hell pursue!  How can God’s still, quiet voice be heard over the chaos of self-seeking liberalism and a false definition of what love is, what real truth is?  Our modern generation is so “enlightened” and so much wiser than the old-fashioned silliness of our parents.  And so my daughter doesn’t go to church anymore.  She doesn’t call, she rarely communicates with us (well, unless she needs something).  She is young and striving for independence, I know- and that can be good.  But I fret over her strength to stand up for her faith, to be that light for Christ in making right decisions. 
              Thanks ONLY to the grace of God, these reminders only make me roll up my sleeves more and get to work.  The devil is trying really hard to make me think that it is a waste of my time:  Her life is fine; it really isn’t that big a deal.  I over-think too much.  A little sin is not going to matter.  Quit being such a goody goody.  Embracing crosses is useless, why burden myself with them when it really won’t make that much of a difference.
            There are so many levels of hurt and rejection that have been heaped on over the years in this relationship.  But I tell ya, if anything or anyone is going to get me to say yes to the cross, it is this.  It is her.  I say yes, and I only pray that God gives me the strength, the fortitude, the love to battle with even the smallest of slivers that pop up in my journey of ordinary holiness.    
            Help me Lord!  Sanctify me!  Give me the strength to do all that You have created me to do.  I say yes, and I thank you with a full heart for the grace to say it, for my forth reason: for all those you have given me to love…

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