Reflections on loving God, being Catholic, being a woman, being ill, loving life and anything else that comes to mind.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

"A Warm and Delicate Blue Mantle"

A commenter writes: ...some of satan's greatest targets are the little souls, those who trust the Word of God sometimes even blindly in the midst of enormous suffering of numerous kinds ...when it seems we can't take it a moment longer, we run to a warm and delicate blue mantle which would've given anything to wrap itself around the naked and shivering Son on Golgotha, and so gladly wraps around us now, Her new child.

I don't see myself as a little soul - I wish I did. Instead, when I'm really afraid, I see myself as the young child left to fend for herself in a strange, hostile world. That means I am the center of everything and I must work very hard to remind myself that I'm not. I don't think my friends realize this about me, at least they don't let on. Sometimes I wish they did. Sometimes I wish I was better at letting them know when I am that frightened.

Fortunately, I don't get as fearful as I once did - there were years when fear filled nearly every waking moment, when I lay awake at night shivering in Our Lord's arms, feeling His hugs and finally drifting off for a few hours sleep. Until I was 28/29, I was tired all the time - I never got enough sleep. It wasn't until I was 32/33 that I began sleeping well every night. Being ill now, when I must take drugs to sleep, when difficulty swallowing means I often don't get enough protein and so even the pills don't work, I don't get as much sleep as I need. I reached a point at the end of June when I hadn't had more than two or three hours sleep each night for several weeks and my body simply refused to work anymore, hence disability. I imagined they would have fixed things by now - fantasy is a lovely thing but it's still fantasy. Sleep is a glorious thing. I'm grateful I had a few years experience of sleeping well; I wouldn't mind having that experience again.

And in the midst of all this, of not sleeping, of being hungry and having horrible headaches most of the time, of just being in pain, of the recent attacks of fear, I fail to hide my face in the folds of the "warm and delicate blue mantel." That's so hard to do. The abandoned little girl was left without a mother, twice, and she's been just fine, thank you very much. How does she expose that she's not so fine after all? And then too, I remember hiding my face in Marmar's lap - she wore a watery blue silk dress and my tears left streaks of dye on my skin. How stop being strong enough to withstand the pain of her loss? How be a weak child again and still as strong as living in this world demands?

I don't know. No one has ever told me. I only know that I need to be within that mantle, that I need to apply all the stubbornness and determination I have applied to everything else, to receive even more grace than I ever have before. I only know that I can't be really strong unless I am a little soul; I can't be a woman unless I become a daughter once again. I need a mother, I need Our Mother, so I can once again bury my face in Her lap and know that she is helping along the way.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another beautiful post. And so much that you say here resonates.. I've begun to think "Grant them eternal rest" is more literal than we know! I know what it is to only pass out from the sheer exhaustion of fear, night after night--one could never call it "sleep," and one looks longingly at others' beds, yes?

And indeed, it's horrible to be an ancient 8-yr. old, especially if a girl.. especially if sickly.

And to run to a warm blue mantle is a battle much larger than most, for I, too, am always fine, tyvm. My God, how I detest being vulnerable. The wisest thing seems to be to consecrate oneself to the Sacred Heart via her Immaculate Heart and hope She is like most mothers and already knows and is on it already.

Otherwise, one simply recalls all that one shares of Christ's lot -- the nowhere to lay His head (there was no cushy bed after he left home), the rising early to go away and pray, His utter and unaccompanied fear in the Garden until sent an angel of comfort (was that angel the gathering of all who would ever watch an hour with Him, presented to Him in comforter form? I hope so, and thus, sometimes in heart, I lay my tired forehead against His, and He takes my hand into His two, and He is not alone, nor am I). And although He was not ill, He was certainly sick at heart. He wept.

These things all, you share in. Very specifically share in. It'd be nice to think of it as an honor, but that's pretty hard to do. Hence, I'll remember you at 3. And thank you for remembering me, too.

Pia said...

I'm glad you've written this without thinking of it as an assignment. You're a fine writer of difficult things and you don't need to work hard at it. I hope you continue this way.
Thanks for letting me know when you post, though it's not necessary because I use the rss feed. Haven't been able to comment much, but I do reflect deeply on everything you write. God bless and keep you, Dru.

Pia said...

I'm glad you've written this without thinking of it as an assignment. You're a fine writer of difficult things and you don't need to work hard at it. I hope you continue this way.
Thanks for letting me know when you post, though it's not necessary because I use the rss feed. Haven't been able to comment much, but I do reflect deeply on everything you write. God bless and keep you, Dru.

petrenkov said...

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Truly yours
Darek Wish