I have this card that my mother-in-law sent us at Easter...before things fell apart...
I was never an overly religious person to begin with...and I'm not a practicing Catholic, which I'm sure has been a big disappointment to my in-laws. In fact, I don't think I've been TO church since my wedding day. We considered joining several churches during our travels from residence to residence throughout our marriage, but we never found one that held our interest or attention. (I have to admit that we never really looked all that hard.)
But every Christmas and Easter I count on my mother-in-law to send us a religious card of some sort that says that we will be remembered in a Mass somewhere. It has always provided me some sense of stability and peace that someone somewhere is praying for us, even when we can't find the time or energy to pray for ourselves. It also provides me some indication that my mother-in-law, with whom I don't have much of a relationship, thinks enough of me to include me in her practice of faith. I don't know if she knows this or not, but despite my not being a practicing Catholic, I was baptized as such, and I've always been intrigued by the idea of strong faith...where it comes from...how it's learned. I also don't know if she knows that it has intrigued me such that I have always kept every single one of those cards until the run of the mass is concluded. I usually keep it with me privately somehow...as a bookmark in a book I'm reading...in my purse...tucked into my jewelry box...or standing behind my clock on the bookshelf at work.
And that's where the most recent card stands...behind the clock on the bookshelf at work...tucked in the midst of a framed copy of Alex's footprints, pictures of Sam and Steve, and artwork created by Sam at daycare "just for mommy." I had it on display at home through Easter but then moved it when the Easter season was over (I'm a bit OCD about decorations matching the season/holiday in my house). And I've been meaning to write about it for some time now.
It came just before Easter this year...a purple card with pretty purple flowers and a gorgeous gold foil cross on the front. It says, "Happy Easter," and, "May this blessed time fill you with peace and a renewed faith in our Risen Lord." It says we will be remembered in a special Marianist Novena of Masses at Easter and at daily Mass throughout the year. I just figured I would keep it for the whole year.
But then Alex died.
I was SO tempted to throw the thing in the trash. I was (and still am) angry with God. So much so that I'm not even sure I believe He exists anymore. Yet, this card still sits on my bookshelf...almost mocking me with its faith...with the faith of the people who are praying for us...with the faith of the mother-in-law who sent it in love.
In true Catherine fashion, I couldn't just do NOTHING. So I picked up the card the other day and read it again. The front, the inside, and the back. There had to be an answer here. Something that would guide me to find what these people found...to know what they know...to accept my life as it is now, but still hold on to some shred of faith.
And wouldn't ya know it...they have a website.
Marianists seek to imitate Mary's loving heart and steadfast witness in prayer and service, as well as her courage in being the channel for bringing Christ’s transformative message into our earthly existence.
You can submit your prayer requests for free via the internet which I think is really cool. New age prayer. They also have a variety of things that you can request for a modest donation. Now, I'm not sure exactly how I feel about the whole prayer for sale thing...but the products are nice...and if the card on my bookshelf is any indication, it's worth the donation.
I'm not sure if I'll go to hell for any of this...quite honestly I don't care right now (for which I'm sure I'll go to hell). Anything that brings an ounce of peace into my life is welcome. Even if it is a conflicted peace.
November is the Month of the Poor Souls. Maybe there was an answer on that Easter card. It just took a while to see it.