And another smacking good homily by Father G. I’d say its yet another brick, but its more apropos to say its a beam. Of the Cross. Whacked up side my head.
Because you can’t talk of the Cross, much less of the Divine Contradiction of the Cross, without talking about suffering. And Godzdogz covers this feast day so well. Much more thoroughly and better than I ever could, so go there and read about it! (Because, as usual, this bit is all about me, and us and our doofy little lives and crosses; my stream of consciousness. )
And once again, my life runs smack into the homily. Or the homily runs smack into me. Because carrying the cross can mean even the little ones, right in your face (literally sometimes, like the toddler on my lap with the runny nose…excuse me while I take a “life break/cross lift” and medicate three kiddos for allergies/cold). Jen, at Et Tu, Jen, writes beautifully about this concept. Her blog is always worth a read!
Carrying the Cross, and the exaltation of it, can sometimes mean the dramatic suffering that is the unspeakable, hard, once in a lifetime (hopefully) event. It can also be the constant setting aside of self, and responding to the tasks – even the dreary mundane tasks – set before you. Again, go to Jen for another on this, worth the read. Here is where we find the best examples: the Mother Teresa, the St. Teresa of Avila, the St. Francis de Sales.For me, it’s this that is so difficult. It’s so easy to write it and read it and say, yeah, that’s right! Embrace the Cross, big or small. Carry the little ones you see, every day. You can do it!
But to live it, to actually oh, get up from the computer when I want to blog stalk or type or answer email and go get the milk, answer the question, swap the laundry…its very difficult. To set aside my moody self, especially on a foul mood sort of day (today?) and respond with kindness and patience (again, not one of MY virtues)…well that is a challenge. That is a dying to self that is asked for again and again. Lift that cross, die to me. For a control freak, a proud one, it’s very tough to put ME aside, my wants and ways.
So today was a good brick, erm beam, I mean, Homily for me to hear. I have had a migraine for two days, finally it is fading, almost gone. The kids are starting to get a cold, I see a few snuffly noses starting. And we have been wrestling with some of the more big dramatic sort of choices and bandaging the bumps from the falling bricks.
I guess I needed one more. Today.
But it’s alright. I have my hard hat on. I think I might keep it on my head as a permanent fixture: maybe slap a sticker on it to make it cuter. I’d rather have the bricks clonking onto my head than the perfect coif anyhow.
I’m gonna need it, because as Fr. G pointed out, embracing the Cross is also, all too often, a stepping out into the unknown. A willingness to step out in blind faith, a willingness to keep lifting, even if you drop that Cross. Yikes. But it’s true, we don’t get to pick or design our Crosses (and that just freaks out gals like me) and we often look at things others are going through, their Crosses and think, or say, “Oh man, I could NEVER do that!” Happily, we don’t have to. Our Cross, our sufferings that transform us, are designed perfectly for our own shoulders. Its just so easy to forget that we have such Designer togs to don.
Happily we have feast days, where we get to be reminded of all this. Usually, for me, JUST in the nick o’ time! Today, as it usually goes, it just confirms where we are at now and the effort, the conscious nervous, concerted effort, of opening our arms wide to embrace the cross. Little or big. We want to try. How can we not? So, on this feast day: watch out for falling bricks and beams!
Santa Croce, Rome, 2003, photo by Coffeedoc