It's a dual meme today-I'm joining with Jennifer Fulwiler's Conversion Diary's Seven Quick Takes(which is hosted at Betty Beguiles today) and Suscipio's Moments of Grace with this post about the grace-filled moments of the past week...
1. I've been feeling unusually quiet lately with no impulsive desires to write my heart out every five seconds. I pray that peaceful quietness remains throughout Lent-it's a richness I would like to cultivate.
2. Thursdays used to be my most dreaded day of the work week-despite being incredibly busy they would drag along as if seven hours were really seven days. But now, the geniuses who manage the food service department at the hospital in which my WIC Clinic is located (and truthfully, in my opinion, all food service employees are geniuses, of course that's a biased opinion because of my degree in dietetics and my vocation as wife to a chef, as well as being the mother of two sons who currently work as dietary aides at a nearby nursing home to save for their college careers-I guess food service work is in our blood) have begun to offer free flavored water every day of the week and Thursdays flavor-lime mint-it tastes like a mojito (my favorite drink) without the alcohol, is my favorite! So I've become the designated water-girl every Thursday carefully balancing a tray of cups of ice water from the cafeteria to my office for all of my 11 co-workers and myself. It's like a little party at work every Thursday! If a little innocent enjoyment in the middle of a hectic day isn't a grace from God then I really don't know what is!
3. Besides the refreshing water, my fabulous place of employment has also recently begun to play chimes three times in succession that can be heard throughout the hospital every time a baby is born. I love it! What a beautiful way to celebrate new life! It reminds me of "It's a Wonderful Life"-you know, "Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!" It also reminds me to pause for prayer and so I pray the Hail Mary in gratitude for the precious little life that has just entered the world because the chimes remind me of the Angelus regardless of the time of day when they might ring.
4. In my last post, A Deeper Embrace, I mentioned that after my private time of prayer which felt like an embrace with the Lord last Friday, I had left church without lighting a candle but I vowed to complete that embrace with the Lord by sealing it with fire. This morning I was blessed to repeat the prayer of deep embrace which so moved me last week. Once again I found myself alone in the darkened church, kneeling directly in front of the tabernacle as close as I could possibly be to my Eucharistic Lord. Following my silent prayer, I immersed my hands in the holy water and brought it to my face as in a kiss and then this time, I deposited enough money to light five votive candles, each an offering of the fire of the love which burns within my heart. I held my hands over the candles and, now warmed, I raised them, too, to my face as in a kiss. I believe that if I continue to make this embrace of prayer sealed with water and fire into a weekly ritual it will become the greatest act of love that I have ever known and it will keep me forever close to His Sacred Heart. How blessed we are to be members of a Church that makes use of physical forms of prayer and sacramentals allowing us to love the Lord with all that we are!
5. I'm finding that staying for ten minutes of silent prayer offered in thanksgiving for the Eucharist after each Mass I attend, even when the church is filled with the chatter of those who linger after Mass to visit with their friends making real silence a rarity, is becoming more and more special to me as time continues on. I know it won't be long before I won't be able to believe that there was ever a time when I didn't want to give those ten minutes to God.
6. My son John is currently in the process of applying to college seminary. It almost seems too good to be true to be the mother of a son who is so in love with God that he would want to devote his entire life to His service through the vocation of the priesthood and of course, there is the fear that this might not be God's will for him and he might not be accepted. The application process has been long and the wait since he first applied last November has been difficult. But both John and I have been coming to learn that God was in John's desire to apply to seminary, God is in the waiting for the decision, and God will be in either the acceptance or the rejection, so no matter the outcome, John's desire to know and to love God's will is a treasured gift with which God will do so much good! I do ask for your prayers for John in a special way on March 21st which is the day that the seminary board will meet to decide whether or not they will accept him.
7. This is the last new post that I will be writing until Easter. This year I will be fasting from Imprisoned in my Bones for the Lenten season in an effort to draw closer to Christ, to experience a Lent that will hopefully be filled with many moments of grace. I've scheduled some re-posts to publish intermittently throughout Lent, most of them poetry that I am especially fond of. If you're looking for something new here, I suggest you visit on February 25th when I will link to a post that I wrote for Suscipio. So unless something magnificent happens over the course of the upcoming 40 days, I bid you adieu, dear reader, and wish you a great and spiritually uplifting Lent!
Please do visit Betty Beguiles for more Quick Takes and Suscipio for more Moments of Grace.