Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Whether you have a picture-perfect day for the memory book, or one similar to what I've reposted below, I pray that you will feel the Lord's presence and the intercession of His Blessed Mother today.

Remember that He is with us in sickness, health, crankiness and cheerful days, in our plans and in the dashing of our plans.

And our Blessed Mother is praying for us through it all.

If you have young children, you might appreciate this repost from 2005, when Ramona was just three years old, and Anne and Betsy were eleven and nine:

We went to the vigil Mass last night, and as Mass experiences go, it wasn't one for the memory book.

Our day was packed with activity, but I had allowed enough time for us to sanely prepare for Mass. After all, as I told the children, "Mass is the most important thing we'll do today, so we work everything around that, not the other way around."

And yet, I somehow managed to end up with the family running late. And, because 5:30 is the bewitched hour for three-year-olds, of course Ramona Quimby cried as we left the house and she fell asleep on the way. Sigh. That meant she wouldn't be able to sleep later until about 9:30 or 10 p.m. We walked into the Church just after Mass had begun (something we never do, something I really dislike doing, and something that means we'll end up sitting in the back, which I also dislike.) We slipped into an available space in the back and I do have to at least credit Anne and Betsy with not complaining about the seating (they dislike the back rows, too.)

Ramona slept through most of Mass (meaning her bedtime was getting pushed back to 10:30 or 11....) It was crowded, and I couldn't hear the homily. Betsy kept coughing, and Anne was sniffling and Ramona would wake up only enough to protest that my tired arms were trying to transfer her to Daddy's strong ones.

But you know what? He was still there. I still received Christ -- Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. No matter how hectic the preparation, no matter how distracted I was, no matter how far back we sat -- He was still there for me. Oh, to be so faithful.

Oh, and one more thing. On the way to Mass, as we prayed the decade of the Rosary that we always pray on the way, I had asked the Blessed Mother's intercession for Ramona (who was still crying at that point) at Mass. Could we get through this with relative peace? I asked. Well, I see now I should be more specific, but I was still grateful for the answer to prayer. Yeah, yeah, she didn't go to bed until almost 11, but she did get through Mass very well. Next time I'll try to itemize my requests.

And, hey, Moms of Young Children: it gets easier. Mass last night was a breeze. And a delight. And beautiful.

Hang in there. Our Lady is praying for you.

Painting by Bartolome Esteban Murillo.


Beth Gentrup Gifted Facilitator said...

Thanks for bringing the day into a faithfilled prospective.

Lenetta @ Nettacow said...

After the wrestling match during last week's mass, I'm a bit . . . resigned about going tonight. (Let's not forget the several short screams during closing prayer. It's the point where it doesn't seem worth it - and more disruptive - to walk out, and you'll have to wait for the crowd to filter out to go back in and get coats and stuff, ugh.) But my 2 YO loves church and Jesus and Mary, and a few moments of difficulty along can only help sanctify me just a tiny bit. Thanks!!

Karen E. said...

Thanks, Beth and Lenetta!

Meredith said...
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Anonymous said...

That pretty much describes our trip to Mass last night, plus a cold rain and a midnight bedtime for the 3-year-old.

Thank you for the encouragement that this gets easier!


Rubi said...

But ah, my dear friend, they grow up and you continue to ask The Blessed Mother for other kinds of things. . .and a parent's interpretation of the word "peaceful" may change as well. . . .I'm a mom of three myself . . .28, 26 and 16. . . Yes, 10 years between my 2nd and 3rd child. . .but my prayers to Our Lady continue and my role as mom has changed somewhat when dealing with such things as going to mass. . .Anyhow, I just want to say that you'll be praying those decades for the rest of your life!. . .and when life get's really hectic (yeah, sometimes it gets worse) you may find that you only have time for 3 hail marys. . . .

Amy Jo said...

With a three year old and a five year old, my attention to the Mass has been lacking for many years now! And yet, we persist and go, as a family, every Sunday and on Holy Days... The Lord understands the challenges of bringing little ones to Mass. We try to keep the children quietly occupied so that we can be attentive...and sometimes it works. And it is getting easier, finally. But even when the children distract me from the Mass, I am thankful for the few extra moments of prayer that I was able to get in and I thank God for the nourishment of the eucharist that has so blessed me and my family in the past five years!