Thursday, June 7, 2018

When it all seems like why pray? Why go to Mass?

Being a mother seems to be a sign that I am somehow bullet-proof.  That, however, is the farthest from the truth!  As a child, I often wondered about being a mother and a wife.  How handsome and wonderful my husband would be and the many would I have and what would it be like to see people who looked like me. All I wanted to be was a mother and wife, oh sure there were spurts of wanting to be a rock singer, actress, or a cashier, but all in all; it was being a wife and mother that I always resorted to. 
For the past thirty-six years, I have been a mom.  Through it all, I have taught my children to love God and believe in his saving gift of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church.  We prayed and they all made their sacriments under the guidance of our parishes and our homeschooling curricula.  Throughout our eight years of home-educating, I was connected with many families online in various places learning, comparing notes, and making it a successful experience for our family.    My husband was very supportive this time and was the principal, science, and math teacher with his Ph.D. in Biochemistry

Our family went through a crisis with one of our children a few years ago.  As the matriarch of our family and the Catholic in our marriage, I led the family to Mass every Sunday and obligation days, taught our school with Catholic curricula and myself achieved master catechist certification through the diocese.  To say that my husband has been a supportive partner in my Catholic faith, raising the children Catholic and purchasing Catholic books each year is an understatment.  

During the darkest times of this crisis, I became weary of praying to "deaf ears" as I put it.  This child kept disappearing on us and doing things we never fathomed in our minds would do.  She was out of control and we were too. (I had to stop and cry for a minute, sorry) Ok, so one day as she refused to listen to me beg to stay home, our little 5'2" daughter stubbornly and/or bravely got into a taxi and left.  As it went down our street carrying our baby, I gave her to Jesus.

One Sunday morning as my husband finished his morning coffee and came upstairs to check on my progress in getting ready for Mass, he found me sitting on the side of the bathtub in my nightgown.  "Don't you need to be getting ready for Mass?" he asked.  "For what, no one is listening to me anyway!"  "What?"  he's confused.  "I pray and pray and only want the good for her, I am praying all the time and no one is listening!"  I shouted out of complete exhaustion and frustration.  The scientist and searching Christian husband said, "That's not how prayer works."  "How do you know?"  "It just doesn't, that's all I know.  We need to be getting ready for Mass."  "I'm not going, why should I bother, there is no one up there."  In shock, he said, "You're serious?  You aren't going to Mass?  Well, someone has to go.  I'm going to Mass."  he turned around and went to his closet to get ready.  I got up and followed him, "What, why would you go to Mass, you aren't even Catholic!"  He said looking at his shirts, "Well someone has to go to Mass."  I walked away and sat back down on the side of the bathtub and thought, why is he doing this?  In pure resignation, I told him I'd go and got dressed.

Things in our family are constantly changing, including my faith.  The morning made me realize that I didn't want to not have faith.   I started praying the rosary everyday and my husband and I started reading the readings each day before work at the breakfast table.  We started praying the Lord's prayer together before going to sleep.

Our trials are not over and I still have weak moments when I just can't pray.  In those moments
I just get quiet and know that Jesus doesn't need my prayers, I need them, and more than that I need to continue to grow my faith and relationship with Jesus.   He has a plan for me and for our child.


Chris Manion said...

Thank you for sharing this raw crisis of faith. I love how your husband was willing to go to Mass for you, in your place, as a sort of marker. What love!

It reminded me how we stake a marker in the ground to mark when we planted bulbs or plants that have no visible indication of their presence above the ground.

Chris Manion

Ebeth said...

Thank you, Chris, for your comment. A marker indeed! I never really thought of that, but it's true! There are places in our world that we either belong to or desire anchored to. For me, it is the Mass. God Bless!