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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Is There a Full Moon Tonight?

Tonight was perhaps the weirdest night at work I've ever had...and that's saying something! Almost everything that can go wrong...did. (And I'm grateful that I'm saying "almost" and not "everything".) As I'll be out of town until next Tuesday, of course several issues arose tonight that cannot wait a week, and that means that I spent the evening, when I could, sending these messages of urgency to my DRE so that she can follow up in my absence.

But of course, just as I entered the office and sat down at my computer, someone else would be in the office looking for me for an entirely different problem. At one point, I was quite literally trying to juggle 5 different people and their needs at one time.

And I even now have a feeling that it isn't "over". I'm thankful to be safely home, and tomorrow, I leave for Cincinnati. And I find that there is yet another concern in need of prayer, for one of my friends whom I'm looking forward (hopefully) to seeing this weekend, also has had a rough evening: it seems that Fr. Schnippel's Grandfather is in his last hours. Please keep him and all his family in your prayers.

I've also come home to a message from my mother; a couple weeks ago, my uncle had a stroke which left him paralyzed on his left side. He does have the potential of recovery, however apparently today he fell and injured his ankle. My Mom didn't know if it was broken or not.

So it seems that today has been a bad one for many.

This evening, before everything began, I ended up not having time (or making time, more properly) to go to the chapel for Vespers and other prayers to offer for the evening. While I was in the midst of all of it, my frustration mounting, as once again, I sat at my computer to compose a "to do list" for my supervisor, once again I was called out to the front of the office as a catechist "had something for me".

"Right", I thought to myself. More work! Another weird issue! Something else I don't have the time to deal with...and already I was feeling overwhelmed at all the stuff hitting the proverbial fan.

Grumbling to myself, I stood up and said in a whiny tone, "I can ONLY do ONE thing at a time!" I wasn't seriously squealing at my catechist and was trying to use a joking tone, but I do think it fell flat.

And there was one of my Catechists with her class, holding one of their projects for the evening. As one of the boys handed a jeweled treasure chest to me, the Catechist said that they wanted to give me a gift in hopes that my load would be lightened, I'd have a better night, and I'd have a good trip.

As I held this gift in my hand, I was completely humbled; here I'd been grumbling and not even wanting to go out to where I was called to go, and even with my bad attitude, here was quite literally a treasure box. I thanked the children and exclaimed over the box, and upon opening it, found, pasted inside, the Guardian Angel prayer.

You may not think this was significant, but today, as I do most days, I asked my Guardian Angel for help in getting through the day, and for assistance in helping all the people who would come my way. And I'd also had a discussion with another Catechist about Guardian Angels.

And there, in what was maybe one of the darkest moments of the evening, I was handed a treasure chest containing that very prayer.

I can't help but think my Guardian Angel was involved, as were the Angels of the children who created this gift...children whose own Angels, we are told in scripture, are always in the Presence of and look upon the Face of God.

And I can't help but see the juxtaposition of my own Pride that had made me nearly disregard the gift and consolation God had waiting for me in spite of my grumbling.

You'd think that would have been the end of my attitude, though, wouldn't you? But no...then I started wondering at WHY everything was going so wrong. I knew I should have prayed Evening Prayer, but I hadn't. I could have...but didn't, thinking to do it "later". "Later" never came.

So there, in my office as I knelt on the floor to pick something up, instead I picked up my Liturgy of the Hours and prayed Vespers. The words were illuminating as I saw that, had I read them, I would have handled the evening better for they spoke to what we were going through. Then I began to blame myself....things were going badly because I hadn't prayed Vespers.

When I had a moment, while we were cleaning up, I ducked into the Church to pray for a moment, and that thought again crept into my head. But there was a gentle response from Our Lord, who asked me, "Do you think you have that much power? That your flimsy words of prayer would make the difference between those things happening or not?"

I knew He was right...prayer has power, and it CAN change things, but more often, it changes the way we handle trials that come our way. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, no matter what happens, we still suffer, but the way we handle that suffering is based upon the strength of Jesus.

Tonight, I was trying to get by on my own strength; had I taken time out to pray, I would likely have done a better job of leaning on Jesus to get me through the evening.

As we see, it wasn't just myself who had a difficult evening; Father's Grandfather (and thus that entire family), and my Uncle are undergoing far more difficult trials.

Don't ever give up on prayer; perhaps the mountains aren't what is meant to be moved: maybe it's ourselves. Maybe WE are the mountains.


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