The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

I love this painting. When I meditate on the First Joyful Mystery, this is the image that comes to mind.

… and (the angel) came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;
and the Lord God will give to him the throne of hsi father David,
and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;
and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no husband?” …
And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  – Luke 1:26-38

On days like this –

Some days it’s hard to remember that God cares about the minutiae of our lives, like our names, or how many hairs are on our heads, or the common ordinary tasks that make up our lives.

No water here at the Farm today. I went to wash up the kitchen, nothing. Cousin came out, wrangled the very heavy lid to the well up,  crawled inside (after using a stick to clean out the spiderwebs – I have black widows in there).

Bad switch. It’s just gone “poof!” He’s gone to town to pick up a new one. No idea how much it costs, which has me very much on edge. I have an interview next week to pick up another piano family, but money is tight this month, to say the absolute least of it.  A few inches gained, then knocked back a couple yards.

I keep telling myself, I’ve weathered worse! but the older I get the less resilient I find myself when meeting these challenges. I wasn’t raised to this kind of self-reliance, and it’s not my nature; I’m not one of those women who can just roll forward without timidity in these crises. Sickness, death, disappointments? I can face those and hold your hand when they come to you – but these very practical mechanical details of daily living leave me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

On the positive side – the weather is mild, although cold (for us) is forecast for the next few days. Sun’s peeking out a bit, which is a plus.

And I’m really, really pleased to be working on Deliberate Engagement. It’s been a bit time-consuming, but things are stabilizing, I think (?) and settling into a steadier pace. Matt’s a joy to work with. Read his page on Debate to get a glimpse of why I respect him so much and feel privileged to get to work with him. I pray that our efforts can make a concrete difference in this part of the culture wars.

Keep praying for us, please.

Update: the switch cost less than $20 – I am breathing again.

A BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT (sort of)

I am pleased, grateful and downright awe-filled to announce the inauguration of the “Project” I’ve been so smug about the past few days.

A week ago, I got an email from my friend Matt, whom I’d bumped into at the comment board at change.gov. “We’ll brainstorm later…” was one of the things he said. I just chuckled.

A couple days later I got another email. He was analyzing FOCA and wondered if I’d be interested in helping him with a little project…

That project is this – http://deliberateengagement.wordpress.com

Please go take a look. Send us an email or post in the combox. Send us more resources! Matt’s done an amazing job of compiling, but a lot of the people who are looking at the site already (he posted a link to his “Debate” page on change.gov) are not Catholics, and in order to bridge the gap between us, we need Protestant and Protestant-friendly resources.

We can’t be divided into multiple armies over this: Catholic Army, Protestant Army, Areligious Army…  We have to be united against the common opposition and the one who orchestrates all this nasty stuff.

Keep praying for us, please. This blog site was opened during the Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God. I think she gave us the name. I know she sent some other affirmations this way. Please – just remember us during your regular daily prayers.

Door’s open. Coffeepot is on. Come on over.

I suspect I’m going to live…

Happy New Year, everyone! and a belated Greeting in the beautiful Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, too.

I’ve had the cold everyone else has been complaining of. Ever notice how we speak of having bad colds, as if there were any other kind? (Oh! I’ve been enjoying the most delightful cold this past week! – uh, no.)  Fever is down now, and so is metabolism, so my sort of crazy hyperactive buzz on 2 hours’ sleep per night has come to a crashing halt.

But it’s been an amazing week. I’ve been posting pretty frequently on the comment section at change.gov – the premature government webpage devoted to selling the President-elect and his agenda to the American people. I hope he and his staff take note of the fact that very few of the posters there are in support of FOCA (Freedom of Choice Act).

As a consequence of that involvement, a friend contacted me about collaborating on a project, and we’ve been working together for an intensive three days (today not so much so, as he is also a dad of 3 and I have sort of stared at the computer today, wondering how to spell “and.”) I’ll be posting a link here – I hope tomorrow. Still very very new and embryonic, but with potential to provide information on abortion and FOCA to people who wouldn’t be scrounging around reading things like the Senate Bill, much less Evangelium Vitae. Ya know?

I just want to share with you a couple of “God moments” I’ve had, working on this. I opened the webpage for the blog just after midnight, January 1. As I was doing the preliminary work on it, earlier in the evening, I was very, very conscious of the fact that I was working in the Vigil of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, and I asked her to dedicate the project to her most dearly beloved Son.

Matt had told me to go ahead and get the site opened and ready to post in – and to do that I had to have a title. I wanted something really cool and elitist (I confess it) and super-smart-sounding, but all the elegant names I could think of were taken.

One phrase kept pushing into my conscious thoughts. I didn’t like it; it wasn’t fancy enough. The thought persisted. I thought, well, if he hates it I can pull it down and repost under another domain name. I opened the blog and threw a few teaser remarks to demonstrate what a page and a post could look like, and I threw in a few links – all this just to give him the sense of the space and the potential it holds. I planned to throw all my teaser stuff out when he sent me the first of the drafts he was working on for insertion.

He loved the title. He sent me a nice, lengthy explanation of the significance of the title as it is used as a military term. I had wanted to toss it, but the title of the blog just fits.  Was that a “coincidence?” or was “Mama Mary” giving me a special gift?

My teaser opening post, he loved. It’s been edited a bit, and made into a keeper.

The introduction to the site – he sent me notes before he actually saw the blog site. I went to delete my notes and insert his, and discovered that the two sets of text fit together as if we’d been sitting at one table working side by side to create a joint post.

Moreover, what I’m learning in this project is wonderful. I would never have dove into the actual text of the Freedom of choice act for myself, had it not been for this. I sure as heck would never have opened the agenda mess from NARAL that is now integrated as part of the Obama agenda! I needed to see this. I needed to be engaged with it. This is just getting started.

Okay – off to bed for me. Please pray for me, and for my friend, and for this project -God bless you all.