Faith, The Feminine Soul

The Hour Has Come

women impregnated with the spirit (1)

Sisters, I have felt a call rising; have you felt it too?

Whenever I read the quote above the call reverberates down to my soul.

It is no secret that the devil hates women, just look at the weapons he is wielding against us: contraception, porn, abortion, abuse, sickening standards of beauty, the lie that to be equal to men we have to be just like them but somehow also better. But we already know that victory over all these things is ours, in Christ, who, through the “fiat” of the Queen of Heaven and Earth, entered into every shadow and corner of our human existence, bringing His healing and glorious light.

The enemy fears the day when you and I, following in the footsteps of our powerful Mother, will cast off his lies and empty promises and choose Truth and Goodness and Beauty as our uniting force. The day when together, with one resounding voice we cry out, “Enough! No more!” and step into our inheritance as women, shouldering both the glory and the immense responsibility that comes with it.

Sisters, the time has come for that seemingly far off day to become a reality. We cannot allow the devil’s lies to bind us from achieving the true power of our vocation as women anymore, souls are at stake.

The disgusting disease of duplicitous abuse which has been allowed to take root and fester in our beloved Church demands our fierce motherly care and attention. Many of those who vowed to protect and defend the children of God have gravely failed us; they have handled their failure with cowardice and by shifting the blame, and so we will step forward to protect and defend. As the details of the widespread abuse continue to come to light it has become clear that reform must be demanded unrelentingly until there is clear, measurable change.

Action must be taken.

We will act from our mission as the baptized laity, sharing in the priestly, prophetic, and kingly roles of Christ. We will sacrifice out of love for our brothers and sisters, offering each sacrifice along with Christ’s perfect sacrifice on the cross. We will hold fast to the truth of the gospel, bearing it into the world through our words and deeds. And we will strive to rule over our own sinfulness, in order to better serve Jesus Christ, present in each one of our brothers and sisters.

We will act from our unique vocation as women. We will express genuine empathy, the kind that requires your soul to stretch and expand to make room for another soul to be held safely within, to those who have suffered because of this betrayal.  We will seek to see past the hurt and brokenness to the unique soul of each person who has been affected in this crisis. We will be attentive to every small voice that has hitherto been ignored or silenced or deemed unimportant or uncorroborated. We will stand guard while the victimized find their own voice again and stand with them in support when they are ready to speak out for justice and healing.

We will use our gifts to build a culture of love, dignity, justice, humility, transparency, communion, and service.

We will continue the legacy of Deborah and Judith and Esther and Elizabeth and Mary and Martha and Agnes and Cecilia and Edith and Monica and Catherine and Dorothy and Teresa and Zelie and Gianna and Chiara and Maria and Faustina and Joan and Therese and Flannery and all the holy women who have gone before us.

We will be unflinching bearers of Christ’s love and healing to our Church and our world.

The hour has in fact come.

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other

Mom Wonderings

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If my post titles are any indication, I’m always wondering, apparently. But that’s a good thing, right?

I was wondering aloud to my husband, Hank, and he said, “You should write a post about that.”

“About what?” I said.

“About that thing you were just wondering about,” he replied, matter-of-factly.

“But I don’t have the answer, I don’t know what I even think or feel about it.”

“So,” he said, “write about not knowing how you think and feel about it. You don’t have to have it all figured out to write about it.”

And here I am, boring you with the story of how I came to be rambling in the form of a blog post at 1am because, why not?

I am not sure what I think or feel about my husband commenting to someone earlier in the evening, regarding my occupation, “It’s great because Megan gets to spend a lot of time home with the kids!”

I shuddered inwardly. And then I cringed because I shuddered.

I LOVE my kids. So, so much.

So…why does that statement make me balk? Why is it that I often feel jealous of Hank as I watch him walk out the door and go to work? Why do I avoid being labelled as a stay-at-home-mom even though I firmly believe motherhood is one of the most important jobs in the world and there is no such thing as “just a stay-at-home-mom”?

Like I said I don’t have the answers, but I suspect I am not the only one who feels this way and here are some of my swirling thoughts regarding my questions:

In our fast paced world where worth is measured by productivity and profit, motherhood is, unsurprisingly, under valued; to the untrained eye motherhood seems neither productive nor profitable. It’s seen as an inconvenience- pregnancy and subsequent maternity leave are inconveniences to companies; children are an inconvenience to the preferred societal equilibrium of “you do you and I’ll do me, no fuss no muss.” (kids are not good at minding their own business or leaving people who want to be left alone alone- ask any mom with toddlers who is trying to sneak an afternoon chocolate or I don’t know…go to the bathroom by herself. Also, they love fuss and they love muss.)

Since leaving my full time job last year I feel this pressure to prove I am actually contributing to society when people ask what I do. (Even right there, I felt like I had to let you know that I had been working a “real” job until last year! I’m a real functioning member of society, you guys, I swear!!) I do stay home with my kids day-to-day. I do freelance social media marketing and freelance writing. I do co-run a ministry for women. I do so much more than my W-2 says or doesn’t say, and I am so much more than what I do.

I am a writer.

I am an artist.

I am a coffee and chocolate enthusiast.

I am a wonderer who loves to think deeply about almost anything.

I am a wife, a melancholic, a friend, a helper, a sister, an empath, and yes, I am a mom.

Each of these descriptors and relationships is a piece of the magnificent mosaic that is Megan. And you know what, I don’t have to prove the worth of any or all of those pieces to anyone.

P.S. Neither do you! 😘 Own the beautifully random, irreplaceable, unrepeatable mosaic that God made you to be!

P.P.S. future Megan, if you are rereading this while sitting in the middle of a messy house with Spiderman, Darth Vader, and Chris Kratt running wild around you and you feel like you have nothing to show for the day, remember all of this 👆 and be ok with just being.

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heartbreak
Mental Health, other

It isn’t in my blood

“Help me, it’s like the walls are caving in
Sometimes I feel like giving up
No medicine is strong enough
Someone help me
I’m crawling in my skin
Sometimes I feel like giving up
But I just can’t
It isn’t in my blood
It isn’t in my blood
I need somebody now”

These words from Shawn Mendes’ song “In My Blood” wrenched my heart as I heard them for the first time on the morning of June 8th. In Shawn’s raw and painfully accurate description of the ache of depression and anxiety I heard a cry for help from a world that is heartbroken. The sense of hopelessness and crying out into empty space for help was crushing. How many hearts ache like this? The desire to live, really live, at war with the crushing weight of depression and the paralyzing grip of anxiety.

As I listened to these words that in many ways captured my own experience with depression and anxiety, I ached to reach out, to call out:

“I know Who you are looking for! I know Who you are longing for! The Someone you are begging to help you is so near- nearer than near!- He is holding you. His Heart breaks with yours! It isn’t in your blood to give up because He poured out His blood that you might have life, and have it in an abundance that is beyond all our wildest dreams. Alcohol, drugs, lovers, fame, fortune, the distraction of technology- none of these things can fill the void that throbs within you, the loneliness that takes your breath away, the worry that makes your skin crawl. The answer to your broken heart, the answer to our broken world, is His Heart, broken and burning for love of us.

“But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead,
they did not break his legs,
but one soldier thrust his lance into his side,
and immediately blood and water flowed out.
An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true;
he knows that he is speaking the truth,
so that you also may come to believe.
For this happened so that the Scripture passage might be fulfilled:
Not a bone of it will be broken.
And again another passage says:
They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”                                                          John 19:33-37, selection from the Gospel Reading for the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

In the wake of this mess of emotions- sadness, resolve, gratitude, passion, joy?- I opened up my email to find the Blessed is She devotion for that day’s Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, entitled “I Am Healing You.” 

I was immediately drawn in by the author’s repeated use of the phrase “They did not know that I was their healer,” from Hosea 11:3; the Lord mourning Israel’s inability to recognize His love and desire to heal His people. Is it not the same with us today? I will look for “healing,” or at least temporary relief or distraction from the ache, everywhere before finally looking up and realizing my Healer had been there with me all along.

 

“Thus says the LORD:
When Israel was a child I loved him,
out of Egypt I called my son.
Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk,
who took them in my arms;
I drew them with human cords,
with bands of love;
I fostered them like one
who raises an infant to his cheeks;
Yet, though I stooped to feed my child,
they did not know that I was their healer.

My heart is overwhelmed,
my pity is stirred.
I will not give vent to my blazing anger,
I will not destroy Ephraim again;
For I am God and not a man,
the Holy One present among you;
I will not let the flames consume you.”                                       

Hosea 11:1, 3-4, 8C-9 (emphasis added), the First Reading 
In my mind, Jesus’ Most Sacred Heart is central to His being the Wounded Healer.
From His identity as Him by Whose wounds we are healed flows empathy, grace, forgiveness, hope, and love. In His Heart we are rooted and grounded in love, we find strength, and we can hope to comprehend the inconceivable love He has for us.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father,
from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory
to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self,
and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;
that you, rooted and grounded in love,
may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones
what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge,
so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”                                                              

Ephesians 3:14-19, selection from the Second Reading
sacred heart- aching mankind
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other, Spirituality

Divine Mercy Sunday

image000000_02~2.jpgAfraid to show You my wounds
I cower,
Hiding faults and failures,
Unable to meet your gaze.
Afraid of being too much and too little
all at once,
I build my wall,
Brick after brick–excuses, pious prayers, and what I think I’m supposed to say to You.
All the while hiding how I really feel,
what I really think,
who I really am—
my heart.

But You too were broken once.
You show me Yourself—Your Body, broken, for me.
“Here is My side, the wound cuts deep.
Behold My heart,
beating for you,
pouring out blood and water—
mercy, for you.
Take and drink, be washed clean.
Here are my hands,
pierced,
nailed down so that you may be set free.
Place your hands in My wounds,
My hands and My side.
See My love, My mercy,
Doubt no more.”

I see Your wounds, Your hands, Your side.
I reach out my hand
Slowly, cautiously,
Afraid You might change Your mind.
I touch Your wounds
Your hands, Your side.

Mercy,
Love,
Beyond compare flow from Your wounds
over my heart.
Your wounds heal mine.
Jesus I trust in You.

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Faith, other, Spirituality, The Feminine Soul

Fierce Love

I love Mary Magdalene in yesterday’s Gospel reading.

After encountering the two angels in the tomb Mary whirls around, tears blurring her vision, and sees Jesus. She sees Him, but does not recognize Him. He asks her why she is weeping and who she is looking for, but she thinks He is the gardener and says,
“Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid Him,
and I will take Him.”

I can’t get over the sheer force of Mary’s love for Jesus. I imagine her tears of sadness and distress being mixed with the hot tears of anger that flow when someone we love is wronged or we are moved by injustices being suffered by people we don’t even know.

Driven by love, Mary is ready and willing to move the body of the Lord with her own two hands if the “gardener” will only tell her where he has laid Him.

“I will take Him.”

Fierceness, and strength, and also vulnerability. You can sense her pleading tone:

Please, sir, tell me where He is. He has already been taken from me in this life, please don’t deprive me the ability to love and honor Him in death. I will do whatever it takes to stay close to Him.

But then He calls her by name.

And she hears, she knows, she sees Him. It is not the gardener, but the shepherd, the Good Shepherd.

“‘He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice… I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.'” John 10:3-4 & 10-11

It is Him: Rabbouni, Teacher.

Imagine Mary’s joy, her relief! Jesus is alive and here before her! But He reminds her that He must return to His Father, and gives her the prophetic task of relaying the news of His Resurrection to his Apostles. She must let go of Him, so that she can go out and bring the others back to Him.

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Lent, other, Spirituality

Lenten Wonderings

This Lent has felt so different from those of years past.

I used to go through Lent carrying a heavy, joy-crushing guilt- Jesus is making His way to the Cross and it’s because of ME and MY sins.

This year I have walked through Lent completely overwhelmed by HIS love and HIS mercy- the driving forces which led Him to the Cross.

I am so small and His mercy expands beyond comprehension.

I don’t deserve this love, this mercy; I don’t deserve this God who became man and suffered so that I will never suffer alone, and died a truly horrific human death so that He could conquer Death and give me life, everlasting Life.

I don’t deserve Him, but I am so grateful for Him, in my littleness. This love, this mercy, this gratitude, fill me with an uncrushable joy. Joy has been my theme this Lent. Joy transformed what it means to Sacrifice this year- I wasn’t fasting or adding new spiritual exercises because of MY guilt, MY defects; I fasted and (tried) to form new habits of prayer because HE wants to be close to me, and I will try to grow ever closer to Him.

This Lent wasn’t a Pass/Fail test of my spiritual stamina, but a continuous lesson on what it means to love and be forgiven and get up again and again when I fall, and to accept the gift of joy.

 

 

 

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Christmas, Faith, Mary, Motherhood, other

Christmas Wonderings

christmas 2017

I remembered recently that when each of my three children were born and the midwife lifted them up for me to see and placed them on my chest all I could do was stare at them and whisper, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” This was the only prayer I could formulate and articulate: a prayer of thanksgiving, of amazement, and disbelief at the tiny, heartbreakingly beautiful little person we were blessed to be entrusted with.
The night of the first Christmas, before the heavenly host sang their Gloria, before the shepherds hurried to Bethlehem, and before the wise men brought their gifts, there was a mother, a father, and a perfect little baby. My heart bursts to think of Mary whispering those same words as Jesus was placed on her chest, “Oh my God. Oh my God.” Mary’s prayer carried the weight of so much more than thanksgiving and wonderment, it was pure adoration.
She was the first to stare into those eyes that had beheld the Father. She lay in quiet adoration of the One who was before the world was made; the One who chose her to be His first earthly home. Here in the stable the ineffable Word, who spoke into the nothingness and created all that is, took His first human breath and uttered the beautiful, heart-wrenching cry of a newborn. He who would one day give us His body and blood as eternal food and drink bleated out of hunger for sweet mother’s milk. The One whose love could not be contained within heaven itself had become small and helpless enough to be conceived, carried, delivered, and raised on earth among us.
Tonight I’m reflecting on His willingness to be small, and how it has sanctified my smallness. I am wondering at what it means to sit in pure, quiet adoration of the Beauty that is ever ancient and ever new held within the person of a sweet, newborn baby.

Will you reflect and wonder with me? Here are two songs that have been at the center of my reflections this Advent:

In the Virgin’s Womb, Sister Sinjin

Winter Snow, Audrey Assad and Chris Tomlin

 

 

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