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Monday, June 27, 2011

Always in Need of Perpetual Help

Today, June 27th, is the Feast of the miraculous icon, Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

The post I wrote about the icon a few years ago remains, throughout the year, one of my most popular posts so you can find it linked on the sidebar any time, or just click here to know everything you ever wanted to know about it. ;-)

As I have a deep devotion to this particular image of our Blessed Mother, and of course, the Passion of Our Lord that it portrays, I find it comforting that this year, I begin my summer reduction in work hours on her Feast day and conclude this "workweek" with the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

For those unfamiliar with the steady ups and downs of my life, during the summer, this being the fourth in a row of this particular hardship, my work hours drop from full time to part time. The first two years it dropped to 10 hours per week. I survived the first year on a good tax return, the 2nd year on the help of friends who paid my mortgage and sent me out East and throughout the midwest to visit a few religious communities, setting the conditions to finally do this: I considered the time to be a blessing and the support...amazing.

Last year I had an increase in hours to 25 hours per week for 6 weeks, so between that and not paying utility bills until I was back full time (playing catch-up), and my tax return, I scraped by.

This year is a different story. While I begin this summer on 25 hours per week, what's left of my already-meager tax return won't help me survive. My undergrad loans were transferred from a company that was helpful to a company that has no soul and in fact, INCREASED the amount they expect me to pay each month. My grad loan company is even MORE heartless and told me they don't have a financial hardship forbearance of any kind. (They're lying through their teeth but if they don't grant it, it's the same thing anyway).

So...this forces my hand. I'm in the process of filling out mortgage relief paperwork and my last attempt to keep my head above water until that can be completed and processed is to contact my mortgage company and see if they will allow me to skip a payment this summer. I'm asking for only one month, which I pray they grant me as I have never been late on a payment.

You see, then, how appropriate is today's Feast, for I do indeed, need perpetual help, both for my spiritual life and my continued financial existence.

The Icon

In honor of the Feast, I plan today to sit down at my own Icon of Our Mother of Perpetual help and finally highlight Jesus' tunic - which I already messed up and have to "re-do" in a sense. Should I complete that, I will begin working on Our Lady's face, at long last.

I have decided, based upon how well the faces come out, to add gold leaf to this image, for if it turns out well, nothing less than gold would be proper for this particular window to heaven - should God give me the grace to ever complete it.

Please pray for me as I continue to write this very large icon, and please pray that somehow, God provides me with some kind of financial relief. While this latter is necessary, the fact is that I am in a better position than so many in our society, for at least I still have a roof over my head, good credit (but for how long before it all crashes?), and a position to bargain with at least a few creditors. There is hope and I keep grasping for it, grateful for the motherly gaze coming to me through Our Mother of Perpetual Help.


amanda said...

You got it!

3puddytats said...

With your graduate degree have you considered being an adjunct professor at a local college/university for summer classes?? Many summer classes are now on-line and already set up, you grade the coursework. At the local university where I'm at with the economy as bad as it is many students are going back to school, requiring more classes to be made available. The nice thing about on-line classes is that you can work them around your current life. The instructor I had last year for my Art 101 class was really good, and he was an adjunct...he taught only that one class. I don't know what your degrees are in but I'm sure there are General Ed classes that you can teach that EVERYONE needs.

Or if you have year-round public school maybe substitute teach?? My brother did that for awhile when he was between jobs after he got his MBA.

Good luck with your credit union wouldn't budge an inch...but I have a VA loan so they can be snarky about it.

Just some thoughts...I will lift up your situation at Mass tomorrow.


Adoro said...

3puddytats~ My graduate degree does not qualify me for that particular type of work. Locally, one must be in a doctorate program or a Master's graduate from that particular university, WORKING on a doctorate.

As far as teaching goes: I'm not a teacher. I know this because I work in a parish with a school and everyone must thank God that I am not in danger of teaching their children.

I can teach adults, but have never been trained in pedagogy therefore that limits WHO is open to my style of teaching...which is lecture only. (Most people need...well..something other than lecture style).

As far as on-line "teaching"...I'm on dialup. I couldn't TAKE an online class, much less "teach" or "grade" one!

As far as I know, year-round public schools don't exist in the US, and if they did, have an undergrad in Criminal Justice and a Master's in Pastoral Theology. I can either lock up the students or familiarize them with Catholic theology. Then an anthropologist an come in and dissect their mummified bodies....

Thanks for your prayers..desperate for them, as you can see....