"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)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Black Lives are Sacred Day 1: Doing Little Things with Great Love

Blessings on this feast of St. Thérèse the Little Flower--like St. Thomas Aquinas, a wise virgin and doctor of the church! I love this icon by Brother Mickey McGrath of her doing the dishes with the steam rising like incense. It honors two key elements of her spirituality as recounted in her autobiography: her felt call to priestly ministry and the call to sanctify every task, especially small ones, by doing them with great love. You can purchase the picture in a host of large and small formats--and many others as well--at Trinity Stores.

She is a beloved matron saint and my pilgrimage to Lisieux from Paris during our family roadschool trip this May, which I am posting a few pictures of throughout this post, was totally amazing. I was remembering it in grateful prayer during first Saturday Eucharistic Adoration tonight after I sang and played for the bilingual Portuguese-English vigil mass at my awesome new parish. It was Corpus Christi Sunday and I was rapt in prayerful consolations during the hour and a half train trip there and back, viewing the sacred art in her Basilica, and especially the loooong and inspiring procession singing French hymns with the Blessed Sacrament from there to the cathedral for Vespers, with a stop at the Carmel where she lived on the way.

Her feastday feels like the perfect time to begin the Write 31 Days adventure with the theme, inspired by the amazing Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, of "Black Lives are Sacred." It's something I have been praying about and intending to blog about for some time but only managed to pull off a few times. It feels fitting not just for blogging but for the whole enterprise of seeking grace and transformation to become more of a recovering racist and join somehow in God's saving work and that of Her precious, crucified, courageous Black children and images against that literally mortal sin. The problem feels huge and overwhelming so one temptation is to feel like I have to hurl myself at it and try to save the world--when that job is already taken by Someone actually capable of it--which generally burns out fast and leads to pride and judgment of other "less enlightened white people" while it lasts. And the other is to not do anything at all-- rather than a slow and steady progress of small and humble steps as the Spirit leads--which generally leads to suppressing the whole issue in my conscience and consciousness for long periods of time.

So I am praying, and asking the Little Flower to intercede, that the commitment to blog something--probably often a small thing, to make that schedule possible--every day for 31 days, will be another baby step out of the alternating rounds of these two gravely sinful escapes from the horrifying reality of the world's evil...which also means missing out on the great grace of beholding the saving work, wise power, and risen glory of Jesus and/in his beloved Black sisters and brothers.

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