Tuesday, September 15, 2009

On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

I was not very good about embracing my own little crosses...   The morning started out so wonderfully peaceful.  We had Eggos for breakfast and started our school day on time!  However, by afternoon everything seemed to be falling apart!  For example: Captain could not finish his Math or Phonics correctly. (After 3 hours I finally gave up and sent the boys outside for a break. We all needed one...)  I then realized that while I was working with the boys, the girls were having a little camp out in my bedroom and, in addition to the fort which had been made out of my bedding, I found smashed apple jacks all over the room.  While I was cleaning that up, Chiquita managed to break a first communion gift of Captains.   At nap time, Snuggles somehow got access to a blue permanent marker and decided to write all over his bedding and himself. (Thankfully he didn't write on the comforter, just the sheets.)  Hubby had to work a 16 hour shift (plus his commuting) and I kept finding myself losing my patience and getting completely overwhelmed...

Why was I letting it all get to me so much?  We ALL have our daily crosses and, compared to others I know, my own are particularly light right now.  I finally took a step back, said a little prayer, and calmed down.    I let the rest of the school work go for the day,  baked a (simplified) cross shapedcake like I had planned (but had all but given up on),  bathed the baby, and read the children the story of The Tale of Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale.   The day ended much better!


Prayer for all who carry their Cross
(from the back of a Holy Card)

O my God, I thank you for this cross you have allowed me to carry. Please give me the strength and faith to persevere so that I may bring glory to your name while withstanding the burden of its weight.  Thank you for offering me a share in your suffering.  I know that you have always been, are now, and ever will be at my side every step of the way.  Thank you also for every "Simon" that you have sent to help me bear this cross.  I have prayed so often that this thorn in my flesh would be removed, but I trust that your grace is sufficient.  Change my heart's troubled cry of - "How long, O Lord?", into words of trust: "However long, O Lord."  May I seek only to do your will and to unite my sufferings with your passion.  Help me to not get lost in my own self concerns, but may I find in these trials a way to greater virtue, a call to prayer and a path to trust in you alone.  Permit me not to waste my pain, but to make of these struggles a sacrificial offering for others.  Lord, when I am weary and I fall, exhausted under the weight of this cross, please give me the courage to press on as you did.  Lord Jesus, I embrace with love my cross, as a share in your own.  By your grace, may I carry it all the way to the vision of your glory.  I abandon myself totally to your will.  Christ Jesus, I trust in you.  Amen. 

13 comments:

  1. Jessica, your wonderful prayer brought tears to my eyes. Our family has been having extra struggles lately, and I am at the breaking point. The Holy Spirit definitely directed me to your page this morning. Thank you *so* much for sharing your heart and this beautiful prayer. I feel hopeful, and not so alone. God bless you!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We had a day full of crosses too! It always seems that the devil knows exactly how to cause havoc especially on the days that I think I have everything planned out! This year has been a struggle mostly because my baby is now 2 1/2 and wants to do EVERYTHING her big sister does. So I have to plan extra every day. I will put you in my prayers that God will give you extra grace to handle the days and months ahead.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jessica, that is a beautiful prayer! I love the part that says from "how long" to "however long You will"! Thank you for posting!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you for sharing with us your day. We all have those times when we loose our patience, I know I daily go through that. But at times I forget to pause and pray. Prayer makes a lot of difference. I am not that good at carring my cross either. At times is seems so heavy that I want to give up. But I cry out to God to help me continue and it get lighter.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Our Holy Cross observance also turned into a bit of a little cross for me. Lost patience, lack of proper participation, toddler grabbiness. Thanks for the reminder to and the wonderful prayer.

    ReplyDelete
  6. A blessed afterfeast to you.

    There's an old Orthodox story (and probably Catholic too) paraphrased: a man was tired of the trials that he was asked to bear, and asked God to lighten his load. In a vision, he was shown a room full of crosses and told to pick out his - he saw this very little one and said, "I want to carry that one" and the reply was, "that is the cross you've been carrying"

    Best wishes that today goes smoother.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for sharing your *bad* day, Jessica. Sometimes I think that I'm the only one with those kinds of days, which is silly because ALL moms have them from time to time ... It is good when I remember to stop and pray, and let go of my expectations a little bit, too ... Your prayer was so beautiful. I think I've read it before (maybe on the same holy card =), but it was good to reread.

    P.S. Thanks also for your encouragement about Little Flowers. I will continue to pray about it ... and I will let you know where the Lord leads me ...

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you for sharing... and thank you for letting me know that I'm not the only mom to find her (formerly) nicely-made bed turned into a fort, with crumbs all over the place! (grrrrrrrr)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Dear Jessica,
    I was hoping to celebrate today too. but well...life again.
    How blessed you are to do thid again
    God Bless

    ReplyDelete
  10. I am relieved to see that you have a very normal life, but your exceptional formation keeps you grounded. I am a convert of twelve years, for whom this whole homeschooling and mothering lifestyle is often a purgatory of sorts. I read your blog because it is beautiful and encouraging and I hope that in a few generations my descendants will have a sheen similar to yours on their Catholic family experience. For now we have many many more days tarnished with the grime of human weakness, frailty and rebellion. I appreciate that you shared your reality and that it was the sweat equity effort part, in addition to the idyllic- that balance gives me hope!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I also liked hearing about your hard day. Now you seem more normal to me...hee hee! No - really you are a super mama and that is just a kid thing. Write it down and drink some tea and laugh about it. Anger and frustration never solve anything.

    ReplyDelete
  12. So far we have had almost four weeks of school and not one good day. :( I have not been posting much about the school work because I have been continually disappointed this year. I am new to this "offer it up" thing... in the church of my upbringing when things go wrong it is the devil attacking you, and the devil can only attack you if you are in sin, so it's all your fault. It is hard for me to not go back to that "default" mode and blame myself when I have days like the one you described (with an emotional twelve year old girl added to the mix).
    Thank you for sharing that prayer. It goes well with what Fr. shared with me at confession on Saturday. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for sharing this! Sometimes it's hard to remember to offer up our crosses, especially when you are having one bad moment after another. It's great to remember those moments are blessings in disguise. Thank you for helping me to remember that! :)
    -Susana
    http://www.montessoricandy.com

    ReplyDelete