Sunday, October 28, 2007

From My Lips to God's Ears

As I sat in my church's cry room with the girls (Fiver was in the parish hall for "church school"), I tried to focus on the readings and the homily. The girls' behavior was not really the problem, although Sally was getting a little over zealous with her singing and hymnal banging. The problem is that the cry room is little more than an airless box with a window. You can fit about six people total inside, and it is tucked away upstairs behind the choir loft. Rob calls it the "Holy Trinity Sky Box." There is a speaker inside that is supposed to pipe the priest's words right in to you, but it may or may not work depending on the weather, the time of day, or the phase of the moon. Getting to hear Mass is dicey, is what I'm saying.

We also had another family squeezed in there with us, and their little guy was even more vocal than my little girl. And he was more verbal, which is always more fun. He kept asking his mom if they were going apple picking when they were done, and if Jesus would be there. I hear Jesus loves Him some apples.

Between Sally being moved by the Spirit, and the ongoing debate regarding Jesus' schedule and whether or not it permits apple picking, I was having a hard time hearing anything, let alone paying attention and getting some valuable life lessons for the week. I did hear most of the Gospel, but the homily was getting away from me and I started resigning myself to contemplating the readings at home when the kids were asleep.

And then God spoke right into my ear. He sounded a lot like our priest, Fr. Scott, but I know He was talking to me. The speaker reception was crystal clear, Sally stopped singing, and our little friend stopped wondering about meeting up with Jesus at the orchard. This is what I heard:

If the only thing that you can do is to come humbly before your
God and admit that you do not have it all
, then you are doing the right

I almost started crying, because I most certainly do not have it all together. I get bits and pieces of it together, but never ever at the same time. To know that God doesn't expect me to have it all together is a huge relief. Especially this week.

As soon as those words were out, the speaker started crackling and Sally started singing again. I lost most of the rest of the homily, but I know I got the part that was meant for me.

But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his
eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, 'O God, be merciful to me a
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former; for whoever
exalts himself will be humbled, and the one who humbles himself will be
exalted. Luke 18:9-14


  1. Great post! I'm sure you're right -- God needed you to hear that. (Just like God probably needed me to come read it!)

    Hey...I do love that -- "Holy Trinity Sky Box." LOL

  2. Anonymous2:28 PM

    I enjoyed every minute of the last week, even the apple juice waterfall,(except that you didn't let ME wash the cellar steps...)The kids were great, the costumes were great,and you are a great mom...And all the tears from Friday night were washed away by the beautiful, breezy Saturday at "Boo at the Zoo" where our little loves paraded for the animals and their keepers and filled their pumpkin carriers with tons of goodies...Francie and Fiver thrilled everyone with their Halloween song (you know,the one I keep humming to myself because I can't get it out of my head...)so to all of you...
    "We are here to trick or treat, trick or treat,trick or treat.We are here to trick or treat,so Happy Halloween...lalala"

  3. That certainly sounds like God gave you a present today!
    (That apple-picking-with-Jesus trip did sound fun, though. Isn't it sweet that the little guy wanted Jesus to pick apples with him? Sounds like he's got it right!)

  4. What a beautiful post!

  5. You know, I have been dealing with the same thing for some time now. It has been so hard lately for me to get my little girl and myself awake, dressed and to mass in a timely manner. AND I got my timing wrong and went to a mass that didn't have a children's liturgy (which I have learned is good for both of us), so we went to the bathroom three times, and I whispered countless threats about sitting still, being quiet, etc. I didn't have a moment a clarity like this, but yours certainly helped me, so thank you.

  6. I do not have it all together (no, really it's true). I needed to read this as I've just banished the kids to bed and told them they can't watch Snoopy tonight because they don't listen. Yes, Happy Halloween from the Wicked Witch.

    We call our cry room the "Penalty Box". It neither has heat nor air conditioning and the speaker works as good as yours. Ours is up front and right next to the alter. Everyone in the church can witness your child throwing a fit. It's a beautiful thing.

  7. i love this reading. it always knocks me down a peg or two, as it is supposed to. humility is a virtue, and when i get to thinking that my faith makes me a good person, i need to realize that i'm a sinner, we're all sinners, and we need jesus, no matter how "together" we think we are.

    i heard somewhere once that when pope jpII was asked "are you going to heaven?" his response was "i hope so!" what an example of humility, that our most faithful leader of the church knows that entrance to heaven isn't his right, it's only by god's grace.



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