Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thank You Good Kind Monks!

You have, no doubt, heard the home life of a mother and her children referred to as the domestic monastery. If you haven't, read a little of this.

Anyhow, I will not belabor that point. It is related to what I wanted to share in a manner of speaking. I want to have a domestic monastery sort of life when I'm at home all day with the little ones. So.........

In effort to bring more peace and less stress and craziness to our day, and knowing the profound effect music has on me, and also just because I like it, I recently started listening to Gregorian chant at various times of day: while preparing and eating breakfast, during morning prayer, doing the dishes or laundry, making supper and trying to de-frazzle myself before Paul gets home so he doesn't walk in to a mess--me mostly but the house too...you get the idea.

So, I wanted to share with you that IT WORKS. It lifts my mind and heart heavenward. I feel like the serene sort of mother I want to be (until Grace flings her yogurt against the wall). Truly, my children even seem to be affected by chant. Maybe it's my imagination, but they seem a hair less wild when it's playing.

Seriously, give it a try. I listen to the first one on this page and this one.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Sometimes I despair of ever being able to actually get into my bed and go to sleep. When it goes like it went last night.

Often as a mom I wonder, "Is this typical? Do most wives/mothers just handle these situations with more grace than myself? Or am I doing something wrong that makes life harder on myself?"

Here's how my attempt to go to bed last night went:

I wanted to go to bed at 10ish. That's usually how it starts; with expectations of normalcy.

That is indeed what time it was by the time everyone was cared for: children, husband, house, etc.

Silly me, I was craving some time to myself that had been previously unattainable until this point when finally everyone else was asleep. So I dwindled away a whole hour on a new-to-me cooking blog. In my defense, it seduced me with its beautiful photography of delicious, unheard of foods, the simple but elegant layout, and funny posts. I was in dreamy kitchen-y heaven for a blessed hour.

Glancing at the clock I realize it is 11. I snap back to reality and get myself off to bed.

I climb into bed and Paul rolls over, pats me, and says something funny in his sleep that is like a puzzle my mind thinks it has to figure out before I can go to sleep.

Frustrated, I throw back the covers, get up, and turn the stereo on as low as it will go, classical station. They are playing some annoying jazz music, not conducive to happy sleepy dreamy time. I decide it is better than nothing and get back into bed. At the end of the song they ask me to send them money. Ok, not better than nothing. I turn it off.

Finally I drift off, several minutes later. I think I got wise and started praying. Should have been my first recourse. Silly Patty.

Joshua starts crying. Exasperated, I throw back the covers. Calming before I reach him, I hold him close and bring him to bed. But, I am trying to move toward sort of night-weaning him, so I stay awake, nursing for 3-4 minutes and then taking him back to his own bed.

Now it is almost midnight. I think I finally fell asleep shortly thereafter, having tried the music once again and shut it off once again after Paul wakes up and asks what that strange noise is.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Encouragement in Suffering from our Sister Therese

This really touched me the day I read it. I had been sick, the kids had been sick, Paul and I had been having a difficult time...it was just the thing, a gift from heaven, Little Therese showering her roses on me. It gave me hope and purpose. I hope it speaks to you as well.

I assure you...I am doing all that is within my power to obtain the graces necessary for you; these graces certainly will be granted to you since Our Lord never asks sacrifices from us above our strength. At times, it is true, this divine Savior makes us feel all the bitterness of the chalice that he is offering our soul. When he asks the sacrifice of all that is dearest in this world, it is impossible, without a very special grace, not to cry out like him in the garden of agony: "Father, let this chalice pass from me...however, may your will be done and not mine."

It is very consoling to think that Jesus, the Strong God, knew our weaknesses, that he trembled at the sight of the bitter chalice, this chalice that he had in the past so ardently desired to drink...

Your lot is very beautiful since Our Lord chose it for himself and since he first wet his lips with the cup he is offering you.

A saint has said: "The greatest honor God can give a soul is not to give it much but to ask much from it!" Jesus is treating you then as a privileged one. He wills that you already begin your mission and that through suffering you may save souls. Is it not in suffering, in dying that he himself redeemed the world?...I know you aspire to the joy of sacrificing your life for the divine Master, but martyrdom of the heart is not less fruitful than the pouring out of one's blood, and now this martyrdom is yours. I am right, then, in saying that your lot is beautiful, that it is worthy of an apostle of Christ...

Let us work together for the salvation of souls; we have only the one day of this life to save them and thus to give the Lord proofs of our love. The tomorrow of this day will be eternity, and then Jesus will restore to you a hundredfold the very sweet and very legitimate joys that you sacrificed for him.

From a letter by St. Therese of Lisieux