The last week was filled with much darkness for me. It seemed no matter how hard I searched, prayed, and cried for help I could not receive it. The darkness can make a clear path seem covered in fog. However, the path still remains the same. Those times feel infinite and exhausting. It feels like the more I tried to figure it out, the worse it appeared. So what does a soul do in such a time? Serve steadily. I am so thankful the darkness of grief has lifted the last couple days and rays of light have penetrated it. I look back at the week to reflect and learn from it. I see my sanctuary was in my service to my family. For as long as we stay true to our calling during such violent storms, we will come through not only safe, but even, enlightened.
As I continue to think about serving, God has been so good to confirm such thoughts. I have seen and heard the word "serve" EVERYWHERE! I took it as a "you're on the right track with your thoughts, Francesca" kind of sign. In such a difficult place, a soul can often be tempted to turn from God, question Him, or even possible reject Him. It is a horrific place to be. Service in one's vocation acts as a shield of great protection from such temptations and from even oneself. It protects the soul from grave damage. I realized when I serve in my vocation even in such a difficult place, my spirit is WILLING my flesh to choose right, to choose Love. I can be "screaming and kicking" on the inside but still serving God with my actions. I believe our loving Father looks at such an act with great tenderness and accepts such offerings with eagerness because a "feel good" emotion does not drive them. I am so thankful for the vocation the Father has given me. It is my path of sanctification. Service is humility. Humility is a virtue. Virtues lead us to sanctification and sanctification leads us Home.
I thought about Sirach 3:20-22. It tells us what humility is. It says under the title "HUMILITY" - "What is too sublime for you, seek not, into things beyond your strength, search not. What is commited to you, attend to; for what is hidden is not your concern. With what is too much for you meddle not, when shown things beyond human understanding." So as I dwell on this, I think of how practicing humility is to serve and take care of the things given to me and to try not to fall into the temptation of "having to have all the answers right now!". On darker days, practicing humility is painful. I fail and fall on my face too often. By trying to figure out the things beyond my strength and beyond human understanding, I waste much of my time and energy. Time and energy that could be used for the glory of my Creator, for my husband, my family, a stranger, etc. However, I trust in Jesus' mercy for me as He continues to use such fallings for His glory. Again, He'll even use the scraps from us if we are willing to give them.
So as those moments have now passed, (Thank you Jesus) and the eternal perspective is in better view, I think of Zelie Martin (St. Therese of Lisieux's mother). She lost four children, including a five year old and then had five daughters who all became nuns. She would often proclaim in her house hold that it was an absolute waste of one's time to search for happiness on this earth. I try to remind myself of her words as I know I will not regret a second of this temporary suffering when my eyes open to the majesty of my Homeland. Thank you Lord for giving such hope to my undeserving soul.
Oh, and I have some more pictures I will be placing on the blog in the next week or so. Just a heads up. And Johnny, Gia and I found three sparkly stars on the ground when we went to Mass this morning. It was a nice hello from Stella. Please continue to pray for us, as we pray for you!