Monday, January 27, 2014


I wrote this a week or two ago, but never got around to hitting publish. I am especially praying for peace right now as our extended family sits with our cousin-in-law, Wendy, who is gravely ill with complications from flu. She's facing multiple organ failure. She coded last night, but was successfully revived.

Please, please pray for a full and miraculous healing for Wendy and the peace that passes understanding for her husband, Aaron, and the rest of the family.

So I've been reading  Searching for and Maintaining Peace by  Father Jacques Philippe.

And I attended a four day retreat by the author himself.

Peace in two pieces.
And I pulled out a late Christmas gift I had bought for a friend -- a colorful glass ornament that spells Peace.

And John cracked it over breakfast.

And later in the day, Ainsley picked up the broken ornament and sliced her hand open.

And on top of the busted ornament, I was battling a sore throat and congestion, but, sadly, not enough sore throat and congestion to postpone root canal (or so the cheerful woman at the endodontist assured me).

And my dental work was supposed to end with root canal, but no, no, where's the fun in that? I now have to have a crown replaced. And I took a bite of chicken the other night and out came the temporary crown.

Then there was adolescent angst (bad). My reaction to adolescent angst (worse). John's reaction to my reaction (convicting).

And all this while we're reading and praying and focusing on . . . peace. Peace!

I really, really don't relish any more practical exercises related to Father Philippe's sage advice on maintaining our peace.

Let's keep it all theoretical, shall we?

On day three of the retreat, my plan for the night was to leave for church right after getting Ainsley to bed. She asked if she could come with me. We packed up coloring books and a small blanket and off we went. A few minutes into the talk, Ainsley conked out. And then I started nodding off.

Father Philippe shared about Therese of the Little Flower, a young saint who lived  out her vocation in a cloistered convent dedicated to contemplative prayer. According to Father, Saint Therese passed a good portion of her prayer times dozing off.

A woman after my own heart.

Father shared a humorous passage Saint Therese wrote about snoozing during morning prayer. She was just sure God understood. Parents love their children just as much when they're asleep, don't they? They might even love them a little more! 

At the start of Advent, our family attended a wonderful mission at our parish. It was great encouragement to be strong in your God-given call, to call upon the grace of the sacraments, to be faithful to your daily duty. It was good, edifying stuff, meat and potatoes kind of preaching.

And so very, very different from Father Philippe.

Father used an interpreter during his talks. I was initially put off just a bit by this. I figured we'd lose so much in translation, but there he was standing on the altar where we heard his tone, took in his gestures, saw his facial expressions. The interpretation was rather seamless.

If I had to find a single word to describe what Father Philippe attempted to share, that word would be Light.

Light, the adjective; not Light, the noun.

Come to me all who are weary, Jesus tells us, and you will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

1 comment: said...

I'll keep your cousin in prayer. And I'm glad you found a bit of lightness at the end of your decidedly not-peaceful week.