Friday, July 13, 2007

The girl who changed my week

Monday was a long day. Mondays tend to be like that, especially when I'm home all day with no activities planned, and even more especially when we're on the down curve from a fun vacation weekend at the beach! My patience was wearing thin with the girls, and by the time Steven arrived home at close to 8:00 p.m. I was shaking and nearly in tears (when I don't eat every few hours I start to get shaky and overwhelmed). We didn't have anything to make for dinner, so I decided to run to the grocery store and get out of the house for a few minutes.

I attempted to hurry through the store, frustrated and still a bit shaky. I grabbed my important items and rushed to the checkout. Without even a glance at the young lady who walked around from the register to help unload my groceries to the conveyer, I was still in a frustrated, panic mode, ready to get home and put something in my stomach.

She must have noticed the agony on my face as she sweetly and somewhat hesitatingly asked, "So how was your weekend?" I was dumbstruck and turned to her, taking a few seconds to explain how we had a wonderful weekend at the beach, but Mondays tend to be hard for me with my two little ones. She was sympathetic and joyful and made me think about my own attitude.

We always talk about charity towards our neighbor. And in that instant, I was thankful for the charity of that sweet young lady. But I was also ashamed that I was not the one to first share a smile or a "thank you" or ask a question to that stranger because I was in a selfish mood. How many strangers do I encounter each day who might see the crucifix and Miraculous Medal around my neck? Have I been Christ-like to them? Did I leave some mark of charity when I left their presence?

This morning I was reading an inspirational letter. The words that hit my heart were these:
"Nothing fills my heart so much as to contemplate the figure of Christ and behold the irresistible power of attraction he exercises through the centuries. Christ yesterday, today, and forever. Christ always the same, the Lord of History."

Oh how I am attracted to people who exhibit that Christ-like appeal! Because I long for Christ. But do I know him? Do I spend enough time in prayer listening to him and falling more in love with him? Do I make the time to experience him in the sacraments, especially weekday mass, frequent confession, and prayer before the Blessed Sacrament? Do I spend time reading and contemplating the Gospel accounts of my Lord?

To all these right now I must answer no, and thereby understand why I am not able to share that charity with my neighbor, because I am not being filled with the charity of Christ. The priest's homily on Sunday (the Gospel being about sending laborers to the harvest) gave that exact message: we cannot give what we don't have ourselves.

May I (and all of us) make a deeper commitment to Christ, with the example of these words I also read this morning:
"May contemplating his figure during these holy days bring to your lips the noble cry of the centurion: "Surely this was the Son of God" (Mk 15:39), and provoke the kind of generous and honest commitment that will make you authentic and proud to belong to his Kingdom. Even humanly, you couldn't have chosen a better leader."


mom-in-training said...

Oh, my goodness. This post really hit home. I wear a cross around my neck everyday. I often feel it gives me some kind of extra strength just to wear it, I guess because I have that little reminder each day of Jesus and that He is with me in all I do. But lately I tend to be irritable and moody (and I'm not even pregnant!) and there have been several occasions where I've walked out of a store after setting an awful example, griping at the kids almost constantly and wearing my most uncheerful face. And I'll think to myself, here I wear this cross around my neck, a way to instantly share Jesus with others, and look at the example I just set. Are people going to look at me and say, "If that's a Christian, I won't no part of that!"? You're post was a reminder to me of those moments and how I really need to make a bigger effort to be more Christ-like when I am out - and even when I'm not! And just as you so beautifully stated, it needs to happen out of my closer relationship with Jesus - something else I desperately need to work on!

Thank you for this incredible reminder. God's blessings to you and your family!

Celeste Creates said...

What a wonderful read, Blair! I think I could echo all the same things you said. So very true.

Jill said...

Wonderful reflections.

And, I have to say that I got a kick out of the fact that your child's poop shut down the pool! :) Whenever I worked at summer camps one of my campers always seemed to shut it down at some point!
Also like the two-year-old photos. I have a wonderful collection similar to it.

B-Mama said...

So insightful, Blair, and something I, too, need to take more time to meditate on! I feel this spiritual challenge to show Christ to the world is especially tough on mothers because we are constantly giving and showing Him to our families. By the time I get out of the house, I'm usually pretty exhausted! Thanks for the encouragement.

Alice Gunther said...

Blair, this post is great!

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