Monday, February 2, 2015

Moping on Candlemas and Struggling to be a Light Bearer

Today is the Feast of Candlemas, which marks 40 days since Christmas. If you have not taken down your Christmas tree, as my family has not, today is really the last possible day you can claim it is still the Christmas season.

Starting tomorrow, you can just say you are well prepared for December 25 of this year.

It's been a long cold winter with lots of snow and ice and time to brood. Today I had a day off from school, thanks to the snow and ice. So did our son.

I slept until noon today as I am fighting a nasty stomach bug and the sinking feeling I do not fit in the Catholic Church so well. A long talk with my patient priest yesterday was a help, but I can't seem to shake the feeling that church life is not for me.

I bought an Ignatius Catholic Study Bible, which is sitting in a basket in our bay window,  unopened. I  am planning my Lenten journey with it. But alone? Are we really meant to travel this life of faith alone?

The whole point of being Church, I guess, is to share our travels and our travails with other followers of Christ, to share in its sacramental life. In these days, however, I do not feel the realities of my day to day life fits so well within the walls of Catholic belief. I believe every word of the Nicene Creed, but I am searching for "takeaways," from homilies and public prayers, for ways to translate those beliefs into my everyday existence of being married for more than two decades, raising questioning, thoughtful sons, and teaching high school students, some of whom carry burdens I had only known of in the abstract but now see face to face. I sit in Mass and have moments where I feel like the worship is all an exercise of acting "chosen" and "better than" and confirming our own tickets to heaven and condemning the rest of the created world. I am not feeling smug about my return trip into the Mystery. The thing is, I do not ever want to be.

Here is a piece of a Candlemas prayer. 

It helped me a little on this windy winter night.

Help us to live in that Light, to make it our own, and to kindle it in the souls of others, increasing the area Of light and lessening the darkness in the World.

 This, dear Lord, help us do, through the merits of Your own dear mother, Mary, who did everything for love of You, from the moment she brought You into this world till the day she joined You in the realms of light at her death. 

 Then we, too, working for You, shall be light-bearers who will help to spread Your kingdom on earth, and increase the number of those who dwell in heaven, the city of eternal light. Amen.

Street light, about 5:30 p.m., by our home


  1. You are not alone, not while I am in the world! Pray for me, as I will for you.

    1. Paula: You are so dear. Thanks for reading and reaching out. I have been uplifted tonight by so many women friends, in real life and here in cyberspace. I will post later some more thoughts and insights. I am grateful for your friendship, Paula