Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Slush and the Cross

We were anticipating a foot and a half of snow in our neck of the woods today. The excitement of the children as they watched for word of school closings was contagious. But, the bulk of the snow stayed to the west of us, and we got lots of snow mixed with rain-heavy slush! And the kids went to school. But me...I have a day off of work, a day to myself! And the snow still falls in fat flakes from the overcast sky. It's beautiful. And treacherous. And it revived my soul from the darkness of self-centered pity and brought me to think of others. And I am grateful.

I am grateful that my family was able to attend Mass for the Holy Day of the Immaculate Conception last night as the snow was driving down hard. A woman we didn't know walked into church and let out a sigh of relief that she had arrived safely. She asked Paul and I if we could give her a ride home after Mass, as she had taken the bus to church. We were glad to help and our simple act of service removed a splinter from the cross she bore.

I am grateful that I awoke early today, before husband and children, and went outside to shovel the slush from the walks and driveways, not only clearing those of my own house, but also those of the houses of my elderly neighbors on either side. My arms and back ache like His arms and back must have ached from the weight of the wood. The blisters and callouses that cover the palms of my hands from the heavy load I bore in each lift of the shovel reminds me of the wounds in His hands. The hour I spent shoveling was an hour of prayer and love for others, like the love He gave in taking our nails.

I am grateful that daily Mass was still held today. There I was in the empty church, alone. Right before Mass was to begin, I was joined by two others who braved the elements. Father Dave arrived and said Mass for the three of us. Regardless of the obstacles that the weather had caused, there were four people gathered at Mass to worship the Lord, just like the small group that gathered at the foot of the cross and would not leave Him in His hour of need regardless of the obstacles of hatred that surrounded them.

As I spend the remainder of my day in my warm house, baking cookies for our parish youth group, this too will remind me of His love. He feeds our hungry souls with His very body. I will bake to feed the hungry souls of our youth who yearn to know Him, even if they aren't aware of it yet. The love I serve them in the cookies will draw their hearts to His love, will bring them closer to Him.

Today I am grateful for slush. I am grateful to be of service to others. I am grateful to have a heart that loves. Without Him and the love he bore for all of us on His cross, none of this would be possible, my heart would remain cold and bitter. But it is through His love that weather related difficulties are transformed into joyous service.

Thank you Lord, for slush, and thank you for Your Love on the Cross.


  1. Anne, your post inspires me! It is so true that doing for others can bring us as much joy as it brings them. Your spirit of gratitude is wonderful. And, God Bless that woman that walked to mass in the falling!

  2. Anne,
    Excellent post. A Mass with just 4 of you- how beautifully intimate!
    Congratulations on being in Judy's blogger spotlight. I'm happy to share the spotlight with you this month my, friend.
    Enjoy your day off!
    God Bless!

  3. You must not be too far from me! Just north of me, forecast said 18" - here only 3-5" and we got maybe half of that. But the slush is such a MESS. I'm not too far from the "Middle of the Mitten"

    I so miss daily Mass. With little ones getting on the bus at 7:45 AM, I cannot safely make it by 8 with three babies in tow. Just a few more years (12) and they will all ride the early bus and I'll be able to attend daily Mass again.

  4. So beautiful Anne. You took a painful task and offered it up something I often forget to do. Thank you for your spirit of gratitude.

  5. What a beautiful post, Anne! Your heart is full of praise for our Lord. Our God be praised, indeed!

  6. I just love reading your blog! We had snow too. Michaela and I spent the day playing in between laundry and cleaning. Sometimes I really wish she had brothers and sisters, it must get lonely being an only child. Still, God blessed us greatly today and I am thankful for every day He gives us:)

  7. God bless you Anne. You are an inspiration to us all, especially on days like today, when I was feeling grumpy for no good reason!

  8. Anne
    A lovely post! It is very inspiring. God bless you.