When you pray for more virtue, God gives you more opportunities to practice it. This week has been a trial for me, especially in regards to pride. It hasn’t quite come to a head yet, but suffice it to say I have been humbled and really realize I can’t do it all.
Small things. Baby steps. That’s what I keep telling myself. Ash Wednesday was great. Fasting, saying the Angelus, reading part of the Introduction to the Devout Life. Today and yesterday have been much more… “normal”?… is that the word I’m looking for. No matter what I mean, I just want to remind everyone that if you set small goals, they are easier to keep.
I (just) decided to choose a patron saint of this Lent. In order to narrow down my options, I decided to see whose feast day Easter falls on (April 4). That would be St. Isidore of Seville! He’s a doctor of the church and all around great guy. But this is the best part. Remember quick take 2 up there and my last couple posts about small things and doing them well? Check this out:
Isidore was literally born into a family of saints in sixth century Spain. Two of his brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, and one of his sisters, Florentina, are revered as saints in Spain. It was also a family of leaders and strong minds with Leander and Fulgentius serving as bishops and Florentina as abbess.
This didn’t make life easier for Isidore. To the contrary, Leander may have been holy in many ways, but his treatment of his little brother shocked many even at the time. Leander, who was much older than Isidore, took over Isidore’s education and his pedagogical theory involved force and punishment. We know from Isidore’s later accomplishments that he was intelligent and hard-working so it is hard to understand why Leander thought abuse would work instead of patience.
One day, the young boy couldn’t take any more. Frustrated by his inability to learn as fast as his brother wanted and hurt by his brother’s treatment, Isidore ran away. But though he could escape his brother’s hand and words, he couldn’t escape his own feeling of failure and rejection. When he finally let the outside world catch his attention, he noticed water dripping on the rock near where he sat. The drops of water that fell repeatedly carried no force and seemed to have no effect on the solid stone. And yet he saw that over time, the water drops had worn holes in the rock.
Isidore realized that if he kept working at his studies, his seemingly small efforts would eventually pay off in great learning. He also may have hoped that his efforts would also wear down the rock of his brother’s heart.
Clearly, Izzy here is just meant to be my patron saint of Lent 2010! I’ll be sharing more of his story on another day, but for now let’s ask him to help us appreciate the drops of water that are our small efforts at holiness.
Grace has become quite talkative. She also likes to dance. I like these things greatly.
My dear husband is celebrating his birthday tomorrow. I’ll be making him a cake. Video games will probably be featured.
Does your church give out the Little Black Books for Lent? Mine does and today has a passage about almsgiving. It asks at the end “what is the Lord asking you to give up today?”. What are you giving up? Almsgiving may not be about monetary things if you don’t have that ability. Perhaps you can donate your time or services. Think about what you can do for others!
Our newest show at the theatre opens tonight. It’s The Underpants an adaptation of an older play that is all about what happens when a woman’s underwear falls down in public. Essentially she gets a bunch of guys chasing after her and it’s a look at sex and how that works with us. My sister suggested I read a book called “Holy Sex” and I think I might do that. Sexuality is a HUGE part of who we are and I think it is so important to discuss it and not hide it away as if it is something bad. It is NOT bad to have sex. Sex itself is NOT bad. What is bad is misusing sex at the wrong time. It’s like chocolate. Chocolate is not bad, no one would say it is. But you shouldn’t give chocolate to babies (they have to wait til the right time) and you should not misuse chocolate. Once I see the show and read the book I am sure I’ll have more thoughts for you!
Have a great week and check out other people’s quick takes at Conversion Diary!