A dash of this and a pinch of that

I sometimes sit down at my computer with thoughts dripping, oozing, pouring from my mind, but my brain doesn't make the proper connections, resulting in a bunch of random words that often don't flow very well.  My backspace key is well-worn these days and my posts are full of pictures that cry "Please get a new lens for your camera...please, please!" and words that simply serve as captions for those pictures.  I wish I had the ability to instantly record my thoughts just as they are in my head and then spit them out to a computer keyboard the exact same way...everything would be so eloquent!  But no. 

Writer's block?  Whatever...I sometimes wonder if I am biased by knowing that someone is going to read what I write?  Probably. 

I sat in church on Sunday by myself due to a couple of "under-the-weather" little ones causing a need for our family to split up to attend.  I don't have that opportunity very often, and even though I call it an opportunity because I have uninterupted time of prayer and meditation and the ability to listen completely to the readings and the homily, it also feels a little uncomfortable because I cherish the fact that my family attends Mass together.  I feel a little incomplete, but none-the-less, I've learned to take in as much as I can when I can, so listen intently I did.  The last sentence of the gospel continues to ressonate in my head.  Jesus tells the Samaritan leper to "Go, your faith has saved you." after he (the leper) returned to tell Jesus thank you for healing him.

Two things:  Often when things are hard, I think that I'll do what I need to do now to get through it and then later I'll pray.  Later I'll handle this situation in the manner that Jesus would or that I would if someone was watching...now, I'll just do what will work to get the fastest results.  Point-in-case:  throw a raging fit about the clothes laying all over the place and pick them up begrudgingly while mumbling under my breath about how I'm not going to do anyone's laundry ever again, instead of kindly bringing a child to the pile and teaching them gently (AGAIN) that the clothes do not belong in the middle of the living room floor or behind their door, rather in their drawer and then helping them carry the clothes to their proper location.  I'm sure that this is NOT the only example I have, but the end result is often the same--me reacting in a way that would be humiliating if someone actually saw it, and definitely in a way that doesn't set a very holy example.  Not always, but often when I'm tired, or not feeling well, or just a little overwhelmed with all the busyness.

Where is my faith when this happens?  I think the answer is that while my faith is in Jesus, it is misplaced in the idea that Jesus is all-forgiving so I'll do better later...LATER.  The Samaritan could have easily turned and yelled down the road, "Thanks!" or thought about just telling him the next time he ran into Jesus but he returned to Jesus and showed him gratitude and his faith saved him...not just healed him, SAVED him.  It gives me a lot to think about. 

Second thing:  Because I got to hear the gospel AND the homily, I was reminded of different types of prayer.  Father offered the acronym "ACTS"...Addoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving and Supplication.  Many times I get caught up in the "supplication" prayers, constantly asking God for something.  Praise and worship music is a wonderful medium for addoration, but beyond the music, it is often hard for me to dedicated prayers of addoration.  I've challenged myself to do a better job with each of the four categories. 

Well-known recipes often ask for a pinch of this and a dash of that in addition to standard measurements for some ingredients.  I found myself realizing that I've been trying to put something together now for a little while.  I tend to wish that I could constantly surround myself with people and situations that would only lift me up, offer me support in my faith journey and keep me from temptation.  You know...well-behaved children all the time, no financial worries, perfect relationships with family and friends, acts of charity all around.  Since that is not realistic, I must be faithful and get or offer a sprinkling of some things when possible.  Sometimes prayer is difficult, whether it is the type of prayer, the time for prayer or sometimes the desire to pray.  I was reminded by my most beautiful Christian friends that sometimes even just saying the words when we are not really focused are important as God knows the intentions of our hearts.  It is better than no prayer.  (not saying they are more beautiful than any other friends, just simply saying they are very beautiful)  As a family, we feel we should all attend Mass together whenever possible for the same type of reason.  We may not always get the maximum benefit like we might if we were without our children, but we are providing a standard, setting a priority.  Kind of a reminder too of how wonderful the sacraments in the church are.  What great opportunitites we have to provide constant reminders to us of what God has given us through his Son.  Something that helps me walk the walk along with talking the talk.  Something that can put me back in the right frame of mind, provide graces and help keep me faithful.  All of these things offer me a pinch and a dash as I combine all the things in my life recipe to create something beautiful. 

How I would love to meet Jesus and have him say to me, "Go, your faith has saved you."

Random, I know, but just a part of so many thoughts that I am currently processing.  I'm sure they all fit together somehow, but I still haven't figured out how to express them.