Tag Archives: catholic parenting

One Season Out of Many

Standard

“Love is patient.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4

Greetings, Kind Readers,

I posted this over at thecatholicyogi.com, but I felt it was fitting for this space, as well.  I hope you enjoy the prose in the midst of all the poetry.

It is a new year in the Christian Church calendar, and a new season is coming for all. We are practicing Advent at our house these days, the season of preparation. We are attempting to sweep out the dust and junk to make room for pretty trees and bright lights; we are readying the house for wonder and magic, renewal, peace, hope, and joy. The kids ask, loudly and with great passion, “Why do we have to clean before we decorate?!” Living long enough, we realize it just doesn’t feel quite right to decorate over dirt. So, insted of getting overwhelmed, we take our time, picking up, putting away, wiping this, and shining that. We have weeks ahead of us, and not everything must be completed in a day.

All this physical work is the manifestation of the spiritual discipline going on inside, successes and failures. The kiddos roll their eyes at me when I talk about sweeping out our hearts. “Sweep out our hearts!” I exclaim as I sweep through the house. “Sweep out the anger! the whinning and pouting! the self-pity!” Of course, I am exclaiming these things first to myself. See, the children are a miraculous aid in undestanding, and in the daily practice of loving and being loved. Without them I am nothing, and my spiritual practices lie dormant at best, absent at worst, devoured by self-centeredness. But with the little ones at my feet I am mindful of them and the presence of God.

Advent is four weeks long. I tell the children we will clean out our heart of all the negative stuff that has collected in our absent-minded way of moving through the days, and each week we will decorate our hearts with virtue. My husband has chosen Patience, Understanding, Kindness, and Honesty as the qualities our family will cultivate for Christmas, gifts we will give to each other, and so to Christ.

Certainly, as members of Humanity, as Christians, and Yogis, we are called to grow these goodnesses in our hearts and spread them all year, daily living mindfully, living and practicing the presence of God. But seasons help us focus. So today, join us in practicing patience and long-suffering. Its well is deep and full.

Happy Advent, Happy Practicing!

“The word mindfulness is not used [much] in Christian and Jewish circles because mindfulness is a Buddhist word. But what is mindfulness? Mindfulness is to be aware of everything you do every day. Mindfulness is a kind of light that shines upon all your thoughts, all your feelings, all your actions and all your words. Mindfulness is the Buddha. Mindfulness is the equivalent of the Holy Spirit, the energy of God.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Christ in Love; Christ in All Things

Standard

“Through [Christ]…let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name.  Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.”  ~Hebrews 13: 15-16

My babies have been scooting

little cars and trucks over the furniture,

have been twirling themselves over the soft fuzz of carpet in the living room;

I sit at the top of my mat giving thanks and praise to God

for my life, family, prayer, and practice;

I cross myself in the name of our triune God,

hop to my feet, fold and roll my mat, and

my babies run, skip, and giggle toward me

holding out the purple velcro strap they know

I use at the very end.

 

My babies snuggle down to the bottom edge of their pillow,

pull the blankets to the bottom edge of their ear

and wait in their bed for a kiss.

I bend, lean, and reach over

tracing the cross on their forehead,

“God bless you, for ever and ever and always,” I whisper.

They pull my face close, small hands on my cheeks,

“God bless you, for ever and ever and always,” they whisper

in soft, tired voices.  They reach out their arms

for the hug they know comes at the very end.

When does Time stand still?

Standard

The three little ones swing
at the park, giggling.
I take a cue from a friend
and ask each,

“Do you feel happy?”

“Yes!”
“Yes…”
“Ga!” they answer in turn.

“What does it feel like?”

“Good.”
“Windy…”
“Ga ga ga ga ooo”

We rush down the slides
on the way back to the van,
making a train, helping each other –
(just once more!).

And we scoop up our biggest one
from lesson at the violin teacher’s house
before snacks,
fresh diapers,
bathroom breaks,
uniform,
baseball,
dinner,
pjs,
diaper,
bathroom,
stories,
blankets,
bed.

Fifteen minutes at the park
during the thirty minute music lesson
Time had nothing on us.