Apr 25, 2007 - Ghosts, Life, Memoir    7 Comments

Grace, revisited

I’m running short on time and thought I’d re-post this small piece that was published in The Sun.
The ‘Readers Write’ section is a space devoted to writing from various subscribers based on a one word prompt from the magazine.
Topics range from A to Z with many in betweens.
This was my spin on the prompt “Grace”…
~m

It’s a Sunday morning and I’m kneeling in the Church of the North American Martyrs, a house of worship I’ve gone to for the past 20 years.
It’s always the same old prayers, same old pew, same old church, the same old me.
My wife and at least one or two of my three daughters are next to me (one is always an altar server these days).
From the outside, I appear to be in a state of deep prayer, and maybe I am.
I’m usually praying for two parents that are steadily approaching the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease, praying desperately for money that I can never seem to make enough of, praying for people that I don’t even know, maybe selfishly praying for myself – but sometimes I am just praying.
It seems fruitless and shallow some Sundays, but I do it anyway hoping that in some small and insignificant way my life will spontaneously be easier to bear.
The crosses I carry in life are there, so I’m told, for reasons unseen and I usually pray to Mary for the strength and vision needed to make sense out of my life, maybe to just do good.
With my daughters growing older and away from me, to my own health (physical and mental), to the mortgage payment that’s habitually late, to a wife that’s never gotten what she truly deserves, it’s on Sunday mornings that I kneel and pray for some divine intervention to make sense of it all, to make everything in my life suddenly understandable.
I’m reminded of a recent incident in Colchester, Ct., where a propane leak inside of a church ignited and blew it quite literally to pieces.
Nothing was left save for a statue of the Virgin Mary, standing virtually untouched and unblemished – a visible prayer, my rock.
I sometimes see the wreckage of my own life strewn about me, the shattered and lost minds of my sick parents, promises broken, missed soccer games, unspoken ‘I love you’s’, and I pray for the wisdom and grace to still be standing amidst my own ruins, like the solitary statue of Mary.

© michaelm 2005

7 Comments

  • Nice piece Michael, there are so many days when we forget
    to be grateful for things we have. You can often get caught
    up in those circles in your life. Since the passing of my nephew I try to take time out each day and realize that each and everyday is a gift from "Our Savior"and that no matter what he will always provide what we need, not always in the
    ways we are aware of. So take one minute today be glad He is in your life, and enjoy the Gift He gives you everyday.

    We take much for granted, Gerry.
    Sometimes too much.
    I always try to remain 'aware'…

    ~m 

  • one of my true beliefs in life is that nothing is put in front of us that we cannot get over, ender around or through…we are never given more than we can cope with…and whilst you sometimes may not feel it, from where i sit you’re living proof of that belief…
    moe

    This was written almost a year before my mother’s death.
    My state of mind at the time was quite different than what it is now.
    Somewhat . . .
    ~m

  • A beautiful post, Michael. I can connect with the last paragraph…

    “I sometimes see the wreckage of my own life strewn about me, the shattered and lost minds of my sick parents, promises broken, missed soccer games, unspoken ‘I love you’s’, and I pray for the wisdom and grace to still be standing amidst my own ruins, like the solitary statue of Mary.

    I’ve written, or at least least mentally written, so many things that tried to communicate this same sentiment.

    ~Kelsey

    A wonderful compliment.
    Thank you.
    ~m

  • I think most of us have been in that spot, feeling hopeless & lost. They say when you’re going through hell just keep going. Eventually the sun does come out.
    And Michael I want to say that “God doesn’t give us more than we can handle” is a nice sentiment, but it is not a Biblical quote (though many assume it is), nor is it true.
    I have seen too many people overwhelmed and destroyed by what has happened to them.
    That’s why there is such a need for therapists and psychiatrists and people self-medicating, and companies are making billions in anti-depressant medication.
    It takes strength and fierce determination somedays just to put one foot ahead of the other, and to know that this too shall pass.
    I hope you sent that article in,,,,,,,it said so eloquently what so many of us think.

    this, too shall pass
    I say, “A-freekin-men
    Thanks, Matty.
    ~m

  • You really wrapped this up nicely at the end. A short piece that says so much.


    Tanks, Lolly
    ~m

  • kleenex…i need kleenex

    Oh, alright… ;)
    ~m

  • Ahh, insightful, as always. What a nice account. Sounds a lot like my prayers every week, too.
    Thanks for sharing, ~m. :)


    Thanks for reading, G
    ~m

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