Miserere Me – Psalm 51

miserere psalm 51

A mutual friend texted me the news, begging for prayers for the stricken family. I could barely choke out the words to tell my husband. My friend’s son, just 22 years old and loving father to two sweet babies, had died by suicide two hours earlier. I did the only thing I could think to do – I drove to the Adoration chapel.

I threw myself onto my knees and began to sob. For the next 45 minutes, I stormed Heaven, crying out for the salvation of his troubled soul and for comfort of his grieving mother. The agony etched on the Blessed Mother’s face in the statue of the Pieta haunted me, reminding me of my friend’s agony taking place in real time over 100 miles away. I prayed through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, my heart heavy with the sudden gravity of their meaning. I couldn’t see through my tears as I fumbled through my Missal, desperate to find the words of any prayer that expressed lament or sorrow or a plea for mercy.

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Bold. Permanent. Indelible. – Harvey Makes His Mark

Mail
My mailbox on the 28th of August, 2017.

Funny thing about Sharpie markers. On their website, the product description offers its use for “paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces.” It’s that “most other surfaces” part that gets me. You know what surface I never dreamed I’d be using my trusty fine-tip Sharpie on?

My kids’ arms.

Turns out, Sharpie writes well on skin – even if your hand is shaking like a leaf. And it stays there after several days of baths and soapy scrubbings, as a bold, indelible reminder of a hurricane that still haunts my dreams, almost two months later.

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Digging Our Vocations

When I was growing up, CBS Sunday Morning was just as much a part of, well, Sunday Morning, as was attending Sunday Mass at St. Mary’s. Our routine consisted of Daddy frying bacon and eggs, mama nursing the most recent baby sibling, and CBS Sunday Morning on in the background. I’ve always loved the program, with its focus on art and entertainment, but also for its features on quirky people, places, occupations, and cultural traditions. The producers and reporters tell the stories well, and most of them are as uplifting as they are fascinating.

As a grown up, my own family rarely has the TV on when Sunday morning rolls around. We typically go to an early Mass followed by CCE, so the program is long over by the time we make it home. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve watched it in the past five years. Sadly, it’s faded from my Sundays. This morning, though, we slept a little late and decided to go to a later Mass today. Since I’m out of the habit of watching, it was 8:45am by the time I remembered it was airing. For fun and nostalgia, I flipped on the tube to watch the last 15 minutes. I was not disappointed.

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Keep Calm and Pray On

“All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ.” Ephesians 4:31-32

Something to ponder and keep close to heart as we approach this election, and the clamoring din rises to a crescendo on social media, on tv, and elsewhere. Remember that everyone, even those in the comboxes online and those holding protest signs, are our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Remember that there is no such thing as evil men, only men who do evil things.  Everyone is a child of God, regardless of their sin. Everyone deserves compassion and mercy, by virtue of their inherent dignity as a person. We are called to

Cast your vote well – not out of fear, but for the candidate you feel is the best person for the job. Explore third parties. Vote your conscience, but don’t yell at others for voting theirs. You alone are responsible for your own actions. And, as St. Pio once said – “Pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

God is still in control. We are still His.