"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday Five and Seven Quick Takes: The State of Our Hearts

I find it delightful that the celebrations of God's love in "this joyful season where we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed" and of the human love that incarnates Her passion, friendship, and self-giving coincide with Valentine's Day being the first Sunday of Lent! Mictori has posted a thoughtful Friday Five at RevGals:

(1.) What is one challenging thing about your current marital status?

It's relatively non-challenging right now after many years of a really difficult aggressive male tween and teen whose dad emotionally abandoned and victim-blamed me instead of protecting me and joining me in lovingly setting the very firm boundaries needed. Thankfully the young man is now launched--we just had a long and lovely holiday visit--and that has enabled a lot of healing to take place.

(2.) What is your best memory of love?

How to choose from so many? I guess I will go with my younger daughter Katie Rose's first several years, very healing as well as her older sister Rachel Marie just had a little over one. She was extra snuggly and we nursed the longest of the three who lived, spending countless hours in the comfy recliner singing and reading and rocking. There's nothing in the world like a sweet little two/three year old asking "Please can I nuss? and when blissfully satisfied: "Thank you Mommy, I love you"! One of the funniest moments was during our gentle weaning process when I said that she was a big girl and didn't need to nurse before bed. She looked up with those big brown eyes, smiled confidently, and said "I am not a big gull; I am a small gull!"

(3.) What has been your best antidote in healing a broken heart? (Movies, hobbies, etc.)

Safe places and loving listeners as I grieve and rage, from God in prayer to therapists to dear friends to blogging.

(4.) What has been the most meaningful gift from a significant other, family member or friend? Of course, it doesn’t need to be a material object.

Again, there have been so many, but right now I am thinking of a series of "dolphins," i.e. herbal shoulder hot packs (apparently you can freeze them too but why would you???) My mom got me a blue one with dolphins many years ago, hence the name, and I used it many times for comfort and relaxation--above all during labor with Katie. I mended it several times and then she gave me another green one and my family just couldn't call it anything else! That was used for actual warmth now that we are in colder climes and trying to keep the thermostat setting modest. I recently got a small tear which I plan to mend when I get a chance and keep, especially, to share with DS and DD. But for my early Valentine ComputerGuy got me a best-ever purple one, my favorite color, which arrived yesterday to much joy--especially as I accidentally singed the green one early on and it sometimes smells a bit scorched!

(5.) Name something the church could do to support someone with a broken heart.

Start validating lament and working for restorative justice instead of trying to shame people into pressured premature forgiveness that harms perpetrators as well by failing to lovingly confront and invite them to transformation.

And two more takes to fill out my seven:

(6.) As mentioned in some earlier posts I have been listening to French religious music to improve my language skills for our upcoming roadschool trips to Montreal in March and Europe in May-June. This also fills my heart with joy and I have especially loved the marvelous Marian songs including this one with beautiful dancing including a little girl who reminds me of both of mine:

(7.) Isn't the picture on top the most beautiful image of Mary's loving heart you've ever seen? The lavender and purple are an unusual and appreciated change from blue and/or white, and the flowers and butterflies speak of Rachel and our younger son Julian living again in the heart of God as well as all the resurrections in my own life. It also reminds me of the morning offering I rejoiced to find, simplify, adapt, and inclusivize till it makes my heart sing, cause the traditional one just never did it for me:

"O My God, in union with the priestly heart of Mary I offer you the Precious Blood of Jesus from all the altars of the world, together with my every thought, word and action today. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us; Precious Blood of Jesus, save us; Jesus, gentle and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto yours.

And another video, cause it came on after the last one: a beautiful Latin chant version of my favorite daily prayer offering myself with Mary as the handmaid of God eager to live Her will. I want to learn it so I can sing it sometimes.

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