What a crazy week this has been. It started off with a member of our parish saying one of the rudest things that has ever been said to us and ended with a fabulous opportunity to learn more about my faith. We strive to be authentic Catholics. We fail. A lot. We battle the same sins daily and strive to do better. We have a lot of what we call "Bless Yous" each and every day.
On the illness front, Sean has had 6 headaches in 8 days and my oldest caught a nasty bug from a friend and spread it to his youngest brother. The first day of 2012 started off with illness. Here's hoping we can avoid any trips to the doctor or hospital before we have our neurology appointment! Sean helped to decorate the church for Christmas in spite of having a headache. He managed to have a good Christmas while battling a headache, too. If you saw him at church, you'd never know. He is naturally quiet, so it isn't always apparent that he is in pain.
I have to remind myself that some people do not understand and will never understand life with chronically ill kids. They may not put together the number of times any particular child is not present at Mass with our family or even realize they are there battling pain. I'm putting this comment into my "rudest things said by a church member at church" file. This tops Church Lady telling me it was a blessing and a curse to know our family and later sending me a letter in the mail saying satan has a hold on me. Lovely things people say, huh? This is the part of being Catholic folks might not write about often - the bless yous we encounter on a daily basis. Okay, so church lady was really quite a bless you, but this one......
Just before midnight Mass, a man put his hand on Chris and when Chris asked what he needed, what he could do, the man replied, "Oh, I don't need you, I need someone who will actually do something and not just push their children on us." He ignored my asking twice, "What do you mean push our children on you?' Bless you. That is what we say to people who say or do rude, strange things. Bless you. I spent most of Mass thinking bad thoughts about this man (mostly when I heard his voice). I've gone to confession.... still don't have my question answered. How do we not judge those who judge us? Especially when we let these things slide, never cause a problem and go about our merry way. This is the same man who called our house three times to tell our family the boys should not serve so much. THEN pulled my oldest aside after Mass one day to tell him he was too old to altar serve. Bless you.
If you haven't figured out what a "Bless You" is, it is anything that someone does that is odd, of, strange, rude or otherwise and you can't think of anything nice to say about the person or the action. We just say, "Bless You". It goes hand in hand with the old saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all."
I've been praying and reflecting and I truly hope that I have never said anything so rude to anyone. I'm not perfect, so there but for the grace of God go I. I still have no idea what he meant by that statement and I still know we are not the most active members in our parish. We try to help where we are able. I could psychoanalyze this until the cows come home and never have my answer. Is he upset that my boys serve at funerals and we don't participate? It could be any of a million things!
More about the fabulous opportunity in a bit. Not quite a bless you, but something I found interesting along this journey of trying to live a truly Catholic life.