Esther, A Catholic Mom in Hawaii, tagged me for this meme. The idea is for me to write what the following four words mean to me, and then to tag four others. Here goes…
- Meekness: I had to think a bit about this. The meek shall inherit the earth, you know. Am I meek? No. Seriously, I have been having a problem in the pride department. Meekness is the opposite. Meekness is like Saint Therese, the Little Flower. She was not liked by some because they felt her piety was a show put on to impress someone. Instead of trying to justify her behavior or make others understand her better, Therese just offered up her hurt feelings as a sacrifice. When I was learning about her sacrifice beads, I learned that she would offer up every little thing for Christ, even if it was as simple as smiling at someone she’d rather frown at, or saying a kind word when she felt like complaining. I could learn a lot from her, and her examples in these simple things is what I want to be more like. And that is, to me, meekness.
- Modesty: I never gave this much thought growing up. My dad was always on our cases (two daughters has he) about the length of our skirts, the amount of skin that showed in our bathing suits, the length of our shorts in summer, etc. He was worried about modesty, but didn’t know how to explain it. Now I am struggling with teaching it to my girls. But what I try to tell them is that they should be modest in dress and action. They accept that, at 8 and 5, but when they get older, there will be more. They’ll need to learn that if they want men to respect them, they must respect themselves. That if they are covered up so as to help men avoid an occasion of sin, it’s a good thing, but if their actions are in contrast to that, it won’t help. Learning to be an example of this when everything told me (as a teenager and young adult) that being sexy to men was the ultimate test of my femininity has been difficult. I look to some of the older Catholic women I am friends with for cues, as well as women my age who I admire. I have a friend who is a convert that I look to for a lot of information. She’s younger than me, but, boy Howdy!, does she know her stuff. And she inspires me to learn more and be a better Catholic, and that includes in the area of modesty.
- Miracles: I love to read about miracles, and most of the miracles we read about tend to be the big, splashy kind. But my favorite ones are sometimes more subtle. Like the miracle that is my husband. He grew up going to a Methodist church, lapsed into atheism in his teen years, rededicated his life to Jesus shortly after we were engaged, and then, nearly 13 years after we married, became Catholic. I’d like to say that I helped convince him to become a Christian and a Catholic. I’d like to be able to say that I put forth some great argument that made the lightbulb go on for him. But it wouldn’t be true. The plain truth is that I tried that to no avail. It was only when I turned to God and admitted that I couldn’t do it – it would have to be Him – that Hubby had a change of heart. Or at least that he told me he was going through one. This is a great miracle. And, truthfully, his conversion to the Church really worked about the same way. After a while of trying to convince him that he should convert, I finally said a prayer that he’d become Catholic and then left it to God to do the rest. I knew he would eventually, and there were times that I wished I’d taken up his offer to convert when we got married (he would have done it for me, not out of belief), but I ultimately let God work on him. Years of Mass, lots of reading…and God, nudging him here and there. It’s hard to believe what a big difference there is in him now. I really believe that most miracles are like this. What seems like a little thing is really something that Heaven celebrates tremendously. (I wonder if a conversion is viewed with greater joy than something that we marvel at, like the Eucharistic miracles we read about, or a cure from cancer or something.)
- Mary: Ah, my Mother! Growing up, I loved thinking about her, but I wasn’t able to explain well our devotions to her as an adult. When we moved to Florida when I was 19, I found myself, for the first time, face-to-face with many, many people who had no idea what Catholicism is about. And some of them were former Catholics! I knew it was okay, but I felt uncomfortable showing any veneration for the Blessed Mother. And then I read Hail, Holy Queen, and that changed forever. Mary is our mother, she is the Queen of Heaven. She is the fulfillment of the Davidic queen, who ruled the kingdom with her son. She intercedes for us, just as any mother would, praying for us constantly. Jesus gave us, the disciples He loves, to her as her children. And there have been times that knowing that she was a mother has given me great comfort. When I was pregnant with Big Girl, I leaned on her heavily. I was frightened, and thought about her putting herself in God’s hands. I tried to do the same. Other times, I ask her to watch over my children when they aren’t in my care. My girls both wear the brown scapular, and I remind them that Mary watches over them when I cannot. In short, Mary means to me that we are under the mantle of her protection, and that she looks after us. And that is a great comfort to me. I thank God for the wonderful gift of His mother!
Now for the tagging…And I am supposed to pick four new words. (Man this is hard!)
Have fun, and leave a link in the com boxes when you’re done!