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The L Word

"L" word.... "L" word? There are a few that come to mind. Today, I am posting for my Lenten Blogging Challenge: Days 2 and 3. I would give you some awesome idea as to why I conjoined the two days, but the truth is, I am full of excuses. I got really busy at work and have not been in the "mood" to blog. REGARDLESS if I am in the mood or not, I asked myself, "Was Jesus in the mood to show The Father how much he loved him?" Which perfectly transitions me to getting back to the title of my post: the "L" word. All day Thursday I was doubting myself into doing this blogging challenge: "How would I have enough faith filled ideas to share? What exactly would I write about? I didn't do anything charitable yet, and it is 4:37 p.m." (if you aren't following me on why I am talking about charity or setting standards for alms giving, read my previous post here.

So, back to the story- as I pondered about my acts of charity that very afternoon, I then remembered that I had done something! On Friday, I did many things. Today though, was what mended it all together. As I read "Aim Higher" in Eucharistic Adoration this afternoon, I noticed a common theme in all of this: Love. So, if you haven't guessed it by now, today is going to explore the idea of Love, through Jesus and Our Lady.

In part one of the collection of his writings, St. Maximilian Kolbe writes "We name her Lady, but this title places us at a distance from her maternal heart. We call her Queen, but here we must add that she is the Queen of hearts, the Queen of love. Her law is love, and her power is motherly love. These and similar explanations, although they are brought forward without end, will not even tell a part of what the soul feels when it is consumed by love of her. It experiences in itself that the Immaculata belongs to it more and more under every aspect, and yet realizes that these are put the beginnings of knowing and loving her... Mary always was to us a most tender Mother, and is now and always will be, in life and death and eternity.  Let us recall this truth to ourselves often in external difficulties, but especially in those most grievous internal ones."

We have all fought or will all fight or are all fighting internal and external difficulties. One of mine that this blog is centered upon is infertility. Although I am in 3 1/2 years into the struggle, I find that by asking God to show me how he wants me to parent, opens me up to love.

My charity, 90 percent of the time, comes from being a teacher. I am not a biological or foster parent to the 125 students I teach each year, but I am a parent. I put lunch money in lunch accounts, I buy supplies, I purchase school clothes, I hug, I give 25 cents here and there, I give rides home and sometimes I even grab dinner. I am privileged enough to feel a grain of sand of the feelings Mary felt when she loved Jesus. She knew he was hers to watch, but ultimately he belonged to someone else. It was her job to love him, as it is my job to love my students.

(this blog is longer than expected sorry, but I would like to share an intimate story with you)

I feel the closest to God when I do things for others. I don't do it to toot my own horn, or so that they will return the favor, I have just always been a giver. One of my students (a girl that lost her mother a year ago and has a father busy doing other things), asked for a ride home one day. She walks a 1/2 mile to school, but that afternoon it was raining, heavily. As we got to talking on our ride home, I made a wrong turn and we ended up at the local food joint across from the school. She asked if I was getting my dinner, and I told her, "No, I am getting yours. I know your dad doesn't get home until late, and I don't want you to walk in the rain to get supper." She was shy in ordering and I insisted she get the bigger meal PLUS a drink. For someone like her, that was a real treat. She doesn't get to do things like that, especially now that her mother has passed away.  As the rain drops poured on the windshield, we waited for her dinner order to cook. We got to talking about her home life and what she wanted to be when she grew up. For that moment in time, I felt my purpose. I understood that for whatever reason, she needed those 10 minutes of love. I knew she wasn't my daughter, but for that moment in time, she was mine to protect. We had a great moment and when I pulled up in her drive way, she gave me a hug and went back to the life she was given. It seemed that with her getting out of the car, her dreams we discussed, dissipated in the wind. I think that day, she realized that she wasn't who she was born into and that's okay.

That last sentence applies to all of us. Sometimes, we do not have the ideal life. Sometimes, we do not even have parents. We aren't who or what we are born in to.....No, we are children of God- we will always have a mother in Our Lady; we will always have a redeemer in Christ. We are designed to love one another, and to feel love through our acts of charity is one great way to show God that during this Lenten season, we are saying "Yes" to his call. Giving up our time, or talent, or treasure to someone that could never repay us, is an unconditional love that we are designed for.

I get asked quite often if I like working at the school I work at (because it is an "inner-city" school "type" of school). Sometimes I am not sure what exactly to say, but most of the time, I reply with something like, "I feel I am being called there to parent. I might not like it some days, and I might love it other days, but it is what I am supposed to be doing."

Somtimes charity can be smiling at that mother at the grocery store that is having a hard time, sometimes charity is giving the homeless man ten dollars, sometimes charity is bringing soup to a friend, but let us not forget, charity, when we feel most helpless, comes in the form of prayer.

Happy Lent Y'all!

-Annie B

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