Author: caitlynnegrace

I'm a working mum with five children. I blog from the heart. This blog is cathartic in its function. For too long, I have been denied the right to be ME. Now, I am slowly learning and discovering my heart and soul. writingonmyheart allows me the anonymity to be one of the who-s that I am - REFLECTIVE.

The Bride’s Ring

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          The hour of sacrifice has struck.

          You already feel that it is not a small thing to aspire to the dignity of being the bride of the Crucified. Already He is associating you with His sufferings and ignominies. Herod treated Him, Eternal Wisdom, as a fool; Pilate treated Him as a seducer, the people preferred Barabbas to Him.

          And you, who aspire to very close union with Him, are beginning to be scorned and misunderstood by this world which would have surrounded you with adulation if you had chosen to smile upon it.

          Take courage, my child, these are certain signs that our Lord wishes to unite you very closely to Himself and to associate you with the works which He does for His Father’s glory.    ~   Blessed Columba Marmion

 

          It is a gentle comfort to read these words today. It has been days and hours of burning struggle to do what is right, what is so hard to do – to not lie in order to appease a bully. And when the struggle to obey is overcome, the reward is not peace, but yet another layer of suffering. 

          This is not the reward I long for. Having suffered through a battle, I do not wish for the reward of more suffering. My mortal woundedness only anticipates the reward of tangible good things. In my sinful state, even the Crown of Glory pales in comparison to the lure of immediate relief from pain.

          And yet, often, this is God’s way – suffering upon suffering. It may not be what we want, certainly not what anyone wishes for.

          But suffering is the ring the bride of the Crucified must wear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do Not

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Make it your rule never knowingly to say what is not strictly true.   ~   St. Francis de Sales

 

          A struggle from yesterday. And yet it is not a new one. It is a struggle I’ve known since my earliest memory. It is not the struggle against deceitful lying. It is the struggle of every adult survivor of narcissistic personality disorder abuse.

          It is the struggle against saying words and offering gestures that do not come from the heart, but uttered and done only to placate and appease.

          Words and gestures rooted in fear of an oppressor.

          Although this old fear has not made a captive of me yet, I can already sense its shadows inching closer. This time, it’s changed tactics. It is attacking me through one of my children. My child is being bullied by the daughter of a bully at my workplace.

          It is indeed no joke when they say the apple does not fall far from its tree!

          I gently but firmly counsel my daughter to put her heart in Christ’s. To resist fear and to step away from the shadows of a narcissist. As she obeys and struggles, as a mother, I want to further protect her.

          I want to appease the bully-mother – in the hopes that my child would be left alone. But knowing it is wrong, that it in itself will be the beginning of another hell, I resist.

          And yet, I struggle against this, because I see my child hurting and I want it to stop.

          Late in the evening yesterday, as the moans of the winds crested the hills, a blue kingfisher perched awhile on a fir branch. I’ve seen kingfishers everywhere around our property, but never on the firs. This one stayed there long enough for me to note its presence and to know in my heart that it was a sign.

          To ask a silent, Why? because whenever the kingfisher catches my heart, I know it is St. Francis of Assisi’s call to me to Quieten Down, Listen Up.

           I have my answer today – from another St. Francis.

Make it your rule never knowingly to say what is not strictly true.

          I understand his words. Do not lie to put the Beast at ease.

 

 

 

 

Time for Silence

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          I’ve lived a lifetime this week. Of worry, agitation, jittery hopes. A world where the winds changed course every hour. Of journeying through successive portals of hope, despair, jubilance. Every soul on this same journey traced similar routes of uncertainty as the angels fought for Freedom for us.

         Then, through a weave of unexpected twists and turns, guided by the Light of Prayer and Miracles, the sun finally broke through the clouds.

          And joy raised its gold swell in hearts. Suddenly, everyone had news and thoughts and analyses and jokes. In this massive cavalry of citizens long suppressed and oppressed, we were brothers and brothers shared everything.

          Every happening. Every video. Every thought, tale and snigger.

          We were brothers and brothers supported each other in everything. No one turned off their phones nor their tv’s. We gave ear and eye to every morsel that spoke of hope and freedom. 

          Never mind that it took our rest, our sleep;  no one turned their faces away from the other. When I finally went to bed in the wee hours, it was with jubilance and excitement at further developments in this newly won freedom.

          Yet, awakening scant hours later, it was the refrain, The sound of silence, that garlanded my hearing.

          But the hours I had risen to were those of deeper excitement, intrigue and giddy happiness. They were definitely not of stillness and silence. And so, I sailed on, buoyed by those rejoicing waves.

          The sound of silence played on undeterred.

          It was after one in the morning the next day that the angel held my face and turned it away from the noise till I gazed into his eyes.

Flee to the hills.

Seek silence, he wrote on my heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song of Hope

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Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat, Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the stem, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother’s Son
By all things blest while endless ages run.

Amen.

 

 

 

The Child King’s Lesson

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          As the morning sun rose to its throne on the First Saturday of May, sending lances of gold through the slumbering firs, I read words that would set the tone for the week.

PRAY …. SO THAT EACH ONE OF YOU BE THE INTERCESSOR OF YOUR BROTHER AND OF ALL HUMANITY.

          Intercessor. It made sense. Someone’s name had just come to mind, a political leader seeking to make amends with God for past wrongs. I was going to travel to the city that day, and fully intended to spend some time before the Divine Mercy at church, praying for this man.

          Then, I went to the Daily Readings.

          And mistakenly read the Gospel reading for the 4th of May which I had missed.

Jesus said to his disciples:
This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.   ~   John 15:12

          I squirmed uncomfortably.

          Something was beginning to form in my mind. Love one another. Intercede. An unfortunate memory came to mind. Someone at work had infuriated me the previous day, saying something cruel about children, and I knew from experience that no amount of words could help her think otherwise.  I had turned away from her immediately and she wisely said no more. But my hidden seething soon morphed into something darker.

          Yet nothing is concealed from the eyes of God.

          Hours later, I did go before the Divine Mercy at church, and prayed for that repenting leader as well as for my country for we face a crucial test in the week to come. But I forgot to pray for myself. I  rambled excuses for my hidden anger against my colleague.

          God didn’t forget, though. Returning home, I remembered I hadn’t been to my prayer nook for my daily prayer. When I stopped by, this was what was waiting for me.

Holy Infant of Prague Prayer

O Infant Jesus, I run to You,
begging You through Your Holy Mother
to save me in this need (you may name it here),
for I truly and firmly believe
that Your Divinity can defend me.
Full of trust I hope in You
to obtain Your holy grace.
I love You with all my heart,
I am painfully sorry for my sins
and on my knees I beg You,
O Little Jesus, to free me from them.
My resolution is to improve
and never more to offend You.
Therefore, I offer myself to You,
ready to suffer everything for You
and to serve You faithfully.
I will love my neighbour as myself
from my heart for the love of You.
O Little Jesus, I adore You,
O Mighty Child, I implore You,
save me in this need (you can mention it here),
that I may enjoy You eternally,
with Mary and Joseph see You
and with all the angels adore You.

Amen.

 

          I will love my neighbour as myself. The words bit deep. I stopped making excuses for myself. I stopped shielding my conscience from my sin.

          The next day, travelling to Sunday Mass, I was determined to make amends – even though I still felt my colleague had provoked my anger. The call to intercede still hovered before me, my country was facing an Everest like never before, and I wanted to pray for us all. But I knew a prayer had power only when it came from a clean heart.

          And mine was far from it.

          So, I prayed for the grace of repentance. During Lent this year, facing a similar struggle with a lack of repentance, I had prayed this same prayer, and God had granted it. I was sure He would grant it again. I waited expectantly.

          Instead, I was assailed by darts of intense dislike against my colleague. The drive to Mass was long, and mile after long mile, the struggle showed no signs of diminishing.

          Suddenly, out of nowhere, I thought of St. Anne, the grandmother of the Holy Infant. It was then that a tiny bud bloomed in my memory.

          A memory of previous struggle against my weakness. A struggle on Easter Vigil. That night, I had been hit repeatedly with dark thoughts about others. Initially, I had keeled over and fallen down. But then I realized I was fighting it wrong; With every onslaught of negative thoughts, I was trying to be calm and charitable – and I failed.

          Until I began to fight differently. I took satan’s darts, each one as it came, and buried them into the Wounds of Christ. Over and over. And then, the battle was won.

          This memory returned now, on the drive to Mass, long days since Easter Vigil. In fighting the negative thoughts about my friend, I was trying to be the saint I was not. Because of this, I was losing the battle. I was not fighting it right.

          In order to win, I had to change tactics. And so I did. Remembering how St. Anne had misted out of nowhere, every time my thoughts turned dark, I placed them in St. Anne’s lap. I didn’t bother trying to be heroic. I didn’t get upset that I couldn’t love as others could. I stopped trying to be who I was not.

          Although a measure of peace did come swiftly, I fought this hidden battle even past church doors as I entered for Mass. But I didn’t give up. I went before the Divine Mercy for my Sunday anointing.

          Then, Mass began. In our parish, different groups  – named after a saint – animate the Mass each week. The animating group for that Mass would have a stand-banner up of its saint at the left of the altar, towards the back.

          I hadn’t noticed the banners from the previous weeks, but as we sang the Entrance Hymn, my eyes were led to that quiet corner off the altar. There was a banner up.

          It was of Saint Anne!

          The Holy Infant of Prague had answered my prayer – in a way I never expected. In doing it, I knew He was trying to teach me that each one of us battles differently. Our lines of warfare are drawn uniquely. To take the sting flung at me and to press it into the care of Someone else – was the way I am being called to fight myself.

          But that wasn’t all The Holy Infant of Prague was trying to tell me. Even after this fight was over, I sensed the Child King’s presence nearby.

          I knew there was more to come.

 

 

 

Beware Tepedity

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The reason why the lukewarm run so great a risk of being lost is because tepidity conceals from the soul the immense evil which it causes.   ~   St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

 

          Trying days. So much to be done and yet, there are still those who do not see the need to bestir themselves to love. The only effort they are interested in is that which does not cost. Which does not call for a sacrifice that stretches and hurts. We are surrounded by people who suffer, and we are surrounded by people who shun the sacrifice of suffering. People can die, children’s souls can be stolen, families can be ripped apart.

          And yet, we choose to refuse to see simply because it is too hard to love by suffering. We want to love in other ways but not by suffering. Reparation is an ugly word because it asks for us to accept in humility the Crosses bequeathed to our spirits.

          And that is too hard because we want to be able to choose our Crosses.

          We do not want to be troubled too much, too long.

          The tepidity that conceals.