Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Our Lady and St. Juan Diego

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Entrustment to Mary = Being Loved When the Pot Calls the Kettle Black

Over the holidays, my husband and children and I traveled to spend some time with my parents and our extended family.  We were staying there for New Year’s and I asked my mom about the celebration of Mass on New Year’s Day, the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God.  Ever since living the spirituality of communion of life with Christ through Mary, I have enjoyed celebrating this Feast more than before.  My mom explained that there was only one Mass offered at her parish, as the Diocese was temporarily waiving the requirement for Catholics to attend Mass on this day.  I recall expressing my disappointment over this waiver, as I thought Mass would be a great way to start off the New Year, not only for myself, but for the whole Church.  I did not understand the purpose of the waiver, and thought of it as permission to ignore this holiest of days.  I agreed it would be somewhat of a challenge to get up that morning, the day after New Year’s Eve, but asked my mom to wake me in time to rally everyone to get ready on time.

Well, little did I know that my previous sore throat would turn into a full-blown head cold AND my little daughter would come to me in the middle of the night, burning up with fever and a croupy cough.  By the time my mother woke me, I could barely open my own eyes, let alone wake 5 young children and a husband.

My mom must have recognized this, because she suggested that she and my dad go to Mass and pray for all of us.  She asked me what my kids’ favorite types of doughnuts were and off she went.  As I laid my head back down, I couldn’t help but see the irony in the situation.  Here I had been, critical in my judgment about the waiver of the obligation, and now I was benefiting from that very waiver.  It turned out to have been a rough night for my husband dealing with our infant son, and so even though one of us technically could have rallied for Mass with our healthy children, it was a gift also to rest and recover from our difficult night without worrying about the obligation. 

As I sit and reflect, I see a few things about myself.  I see an obsession for following the letter of the law and a need to celebrate the spirit of the law.  I see judgmental tendencies, rather than distrusting my own human thinking and trusting in God’s all-knowing plans.  I can picture Him gently smiling at me while I criticized away, knowing all along that I would be missing Mass the very next day.  I see how I was unknowingly judging myself, as I turned out to be in that category of people who would not attend Mass on this Feast Day!    I see how I know nothing.   I am so quick to only see situations from my own perspective, somehow convinced my mind and heart have been so well-formed to know what is best.  What arrogance! Yikes!  And yet – this is whom God loves. I will tell you that I was humbled that morning, and yet so very loved.  My parents came home from Mass, cooked up a hot breakfast, surprised my kids with their favorite doughnuts, and shared the readings and homily of the morning.  God loves each of us, gently and uniquely.  As for my weakness, I am comforted by these words:

In the light of faith, try to look at your own imperfections in such a way that you are not saddened by them:  Christ accepts you as you are.  You can go to Him with all your imperfections and weaknesses.  He will repair what you have done wrong and complete all that you lack….

…One should not “become discouraged over one’s faults,” said [St. Therese of Lisieux], “for children fall often, but they are too little to hurt themselves very much.”  Therese of Lisieux truly liked to entrust her faults and infidelities to Jesus.  She said that, in this way, she wanted to attract His mercy, since He came to sinners and not to the righteous.  How important all this is to us who are saddened by our falls.
Tadeusz Dajczer, The Gift of Faith, 3rd ed. (Ft. Collins, CO:  IAMF, 2012), 81, 82

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