Two and a half weeks ago, my husband and I went into the confessional and came out transformed. We were both given such wonderful counsel and still cannot seem to remember the priests name… Anyways, I’ll spare the details of my drawn out declaration of road rage and bitterness over seemingly unending [extended] family drama and leave you with the priests words, “be like a horse—put blinders on your faith”. That seemed a little contradictory to the evangelization aspect that we Catholics are trying, desperately at times, to place on our faith. But the priest continued on by telling me that I was simply not ready. My life needed to consist solely of my vows to a vocation of wife and mother-hood and that my goal was to protect the dignity of my family at all costs. He told me to ponder an apostolic mission for my family. He had told Liam the same thing.
I had to google what apostolicity meant (for the record, it means preserving the authenticity of the mission and tradition of the Christian Church as founded by Jesus Christ) and began praying daily for this answer to become clear. It hasn’t. God obviously doesn’t think I’m ready for a life without blinders and that’s okay with me. While focusing less on the shortcomings of others, however tragic they may be, has forced turned my eyes upwards to remind me that Jesus died on that cross for me and my salvation is my only responsibility. After that, everything else just falls into place.
Blinders mean a lot of reevaluation and prayer on our parts. It means saying no to nights of drunken debauchery with our friends who can’t seem to grow up. It means explaining to someone that the veil I wear during mass does not make me part of a cult and resisting the urge to hit the next person that challenges our use of Natural Family Planning. It means choosing what’s best for our children’s moral and physical wellbeing over a family members comfort. It means praying over and over that our suffering in Brennan’s illness could convert at least one soul into God’s heavenly court. It means standing our ground and demanding the respect that we don’t get due to our age. But it also means doing all those things tactfully and in-love.
It is my repeated failure of that last line that cause my blinders to be semi-permanently fixed on my faith. This Lent was more than just being deprived of all my favorite take-out (four more days!!!!). For the first time, I am able to see just how large the gap spans between my love and Jesus’ perfect love. Having blinders has been anything but lonely for us. We have found family bonds that run deeper than blood and great friendship in our Holy Mother and crave that quiet intimacy found with Christ at the Eucharist.
Easter Triduum begins tomorrow. Put some temporary blinders on and seek the eternal relationships that really matter.