Click me! Click me!
And please enjoy this cool picture I found while surfing the internetz:
It's the Eye in the Sky!
(Challenge: Find Christian meaning in this^ song)
“How can we help you?”
I’ve been out with the Evangelization Teams only once. That time, I misunderstood the schedule and arrived at the church hall a day early for a discernment talk, only to find myself caught up in an E.T. meeting. On a spur-of-the-moment decision, I figured I would go out with them that day, and I did. After being paired with two older women and taking up the position of Pray-er, we drove to a neighborhood of about twenty houses and began knocking. The majority of the houses we visited were empty, their occupants out a-visiting themselves on that rainy Saturday. Nevertheless, a few persons came to the door, and were asked our question.
“How can we help you?”
We never specified what sort of help. We’d do anything for them, spiritual or menial. Change a lightbulb, fix a Rosary (it was a beautiful Job’s tears Rosary), get Father to bring them communion, etc. However, the majority of people understood us as asking if they needed prayers. Their responses generally ran like this:
“Nope, I’m good. The family’s good. No one’s sick.”
“Well, there is this girl that lives over-the-way and she has leukemia. Can you pray for her?”
Now, as nice as it is to hear of other’s care for the sick, and as cheering as it is to know that a family is in good health, I noticed a trend in these answers that soon unsettled me, not least of all because I recognized them in myself. Why is it that we only ask for prayers when we are in trouble, especially illness or other things too large for us to handle on our own?
"How did you tell your parents?"
"How did your parents take it?"
My parents handled the prospect rather well, considering. Oh, yes, I had to hear my mother joyfully exclaim how wonderful it would be if my brother became a priest even as she cried over my becoming a sister. There was an occasion when she compared my leaving and joining to my being dead. I have a friend who joined the cloister a while back, and her mom took the separation rather hard. Their experience, I think, scared my mother very much even though I made it clear my "cloisterphobia" would never allow me to join such a convent as my friend. But my parents never said that they did not want to me become a Sister. They never forbid me from discerning. They love God, and know that it means to do His Will with an open heart.
Parents are supposed to prepare their children to make life decisions, and one of the greatest decisions is Vocation. Parents, naturally, worry about their children making the proper choice. However, they cannot make the decision for their child; and it comes to a point when they cannot even help. The fact is, parents are involved. Their love, their attachment, their worry...though not bad things (they are good things, and necessary!) can cloud their vision. They cannot view the situation or their child's spiritual state objectively. Meanwhile, the child--confused and worried over discernment itself--wants to please his/her parents. S/he will feel guilty if s/he thinks she isn't doing what her parents would like her to do. S/he will feel as though she needs to do what they want him/her to. And sometimes, what the parents would like their child to do just isn't what is objectively best for the child and their relationship with God.
"Pray for your mom. Don't try so hard to make her accept your decision. Do not try to defend your own. It will only cause grief and the only thing that helps this situation is time -- lots of it. Years of it. Instead, focus your attention on loving your mom with all your strength. She's likely thinking about loosing you every time she sees you. If she offers you a barbed comment about your future choice, or that you should be dating, give her a hug and say "thanks for the love" sincerely and without sarcasm. Then drop it. You want your last months/moments with your mom to be memories she can hold onto when she wants to call and hear your voice but can't, when she wants to visit but can't etc...... Most of all --do not feel guilty. You are not causing your mother pain by your decision - her own attachments are. (Don't tell her this.... her attachments are good attachments..... she should be attached! She's your mom!) Give your pain to Our Lady and ask her to love your mom with all She's got! Rest in the arms of your crucified Beloved. He understands."
Off-Topic Picture. I like it.
My youth director saw the words of this stanza being sung from his own perspective, the perspective of a sinner who “drifted apart” from Christ, only to find that there Christ was by his side—He had never left. Lying in bed at night while you pray, thinking of all those times that you abandoned God in favor of sin...haven't you ever wondered how He could forgive so unfaithful a lover? How "blind" is His Love, in that respect!
~Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Credo for Today