Monday, March 10, 2014

Glory be to God for Dappled Things...and Flour!

Greetings! I hope that you all are having an epic and wonderful Lent! Happy Mercy Monday!

First, I want to share with all of you a wonderful poem, written by Gerard Manley Hopkins (a Jesuit priest) which is absolutely lovely. Right now, I should be writing an explication on it...oh well!

“Pied Beauty”
            Glory be to God for dappled things— 
                 For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;  
                        For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim
            Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls, finches’ wings
                 Landscape plotted and pieced—fold, fallow, and plough 
                        And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim
                        All things counter, original, spare, strange
                             Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) 
                                    With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim
                        He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change

                                                            Praise him

Without flour, there would be
no Valentine's Day Promised Land Bread! 
Earlier today, I was talking with one of my friends (who works at the Catholic gift store in downtown Steubenville) about how God is so good--for giving us flour. Yup, that dust-like white stuff that looks close to powdered sugar but is nowhere near as good. Flour! Think about. Without flour, where would the realm of food end up?

We couldn't make homemade pasta (our Mardi Gras dinner this year)...

or doughnuts.

Seriously, flour is wonderful. Just another one of those tremendous blessings from God. 

During Lent, it can be really easy to get caught up in the self-mortifications and our faults and failings. And its good to see where we are falling short, and to improve ourselves and grow in virtue. It's also true that many bad things happen, and there are many suffering people. I've heard people talk about the need to "authentically look at the human condition" and not try to breeze over sorrowful events. Don't get me wrong, there's a place for grieving. But the other day in Adoration, I was praying about the whole reality of suffering, depressing circumstances, etc. Suffering is not what strictly defines the human condition. All people have a desire for the infinite, for Someone greater (whether or not they realize it). We go through pits of suffering and Good Friday itself--but we anticipate the joy of the Resurrection! Even while we grieve or go through our rough days, we must never forget the abundant blessings that God sends to us. God puts so many joyful, wonderful people, animals, events, etc. in our paths every day as gifts, and we are ungrateful children if we ignore these presents! 

When I was young, my go-to book to read,when I would be sad or having a rough day, was Pollyanna. Why? Because the main character of the book makes a game out of finding ways to be joyful in the midst of suffering! I would read this book, and try to find things in my own life to be joyful about, even when I was having a rough day. 

God has so much mercy to pour out upon His children. So many times, we refuse to open ourselves to His love and mercy, and instead persist in our sinful lives and misery. So many times, we refuse to be healed by His love and forgiveness, because we are hurt, insecure, or want to push everything back. This Lent, open yourselves up to God's mercy--receive His love each day,living--not in the sorrows of the past--but in the present moment!

God gives us gifts--from flour to spotted butterflies. Praise Him!!!