Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spiritual setbacks during Easter season, & Holy Spirit moments...

All! I've missed you.


I'm all emotional today, so expect lots of sappy lapses like that one. As is so often the case with situations such as this, I'm fine one minute, and struggling the next. What am I talking about? Spiritual darkness with a just a touch of depression mixed in with it. Picture me walking about, looking anxious, with a small rain cloud following me directly overhead. That sums it up really well.

This tends to happen when I'm praying 54 day rosary novenas, interestingly. And we're just past the halfway point, which seems significant, somehow. And it just...happens, you know? There isn't just one reason, it's not that I'm a weak person, it just happens sometimes. All of a sudden, ordinary things seem to be more of a struggle, and it gets me down. I always climb up out of it, but for a day or two, all I want to do is sit around and feel sorry for myself while eating Cookies 'n Cream ice cream. It happens.

So this weekend I was feeling a bit fragile. On Saturday I forgot not only to pray my rosary but to pray the St. Gianna Beretta Molla novena.


Then I felt guilty as well as a bit down, and oh so forgetful, and it was just a whole snowball situation. ;-)

But here's the interesting thing. Grab your tea. We're going to go on a full circle journey together.

So, Thursday I recorded Tea Time. And I was fine. I felt a bit scattered, but I was fine. That's not exactly an unusual situation for yours truly.


Between Thursday and Friday I started to feel not so fine. I began to worry about a whole assortment of things, and my heart felt heavier. By Friday, I was definitely not fully myself, and that lasted the entire weekend.

But it's what ELSE happened this weekend, in the midst of all of this, that I find interesting. On Friday afternoon, I received a package containing the gift I'd ordered for a First Communion gift. It's a St. Gabriel the archangel saint doll:

He looks very stoic, yes?
As you might expect, I was very pleased to see him. :) I pulled him out of his wrappings for a little photo shoot, and Anne wanders in. She becomes entranced with him:

"Mommy, he has WINGS!"

Wings ;-)
"Yes Honey, he's an angel."

"I want wings too, Mommy. Can I keep him?"

"No darling, he's a gift."

This was most disappointing to her, so she retreated to her room to pull out her own saint doll collection, which had been languishing for a time having fallen under her bed. She does not yet have any wooden dolls, but she has a plethora of felt dolls. All of a sudden, Anne's tiny body disappears beneath her bed, and out comes St. Therese, St. Kateri, St. Blaise, Our Lady Star of the Sea, and Our Lady of Lourdes. I could see her examining each carefully, becoming re-acquainted with them. She begins toting them around the house with her.

On Saturday, I find this on the dining room table:

Apparently St. Therese and St. Kateri are down with the sledding
She had become so enamored with her new saint friends that it was like a whole new relationship blossoming with them:

"Mommy. Can you...make me a saint? Like, can I dress like them?"

I mean...


So this is what we came up with:

Future saint ;-)
Yes, those are butterfly wings, inspired by our archangel friends. But she picked out a head covering, and carried that crucifix and a pair of plastic rosary beads around with her for the entire weekend. I even heard her in her bed praying a Hail Mary Saturday night.

*collapses from the cuteness*

So Anne is on this saint kick, and Sunday morning the kids and I head to Mass with me still not feeling myself. We get out to the car in the garage, and what do you suppose happens?

The car won't start.

I was about to go into the house to fetch Mike's kind assistance, but I gave myself a few tries and gave the car a little gas. It started.

My car is ancient, so this isn't exactly a shock for it to act this way, and in the past it's always been fine afterward, so we press onward. We are now running late, but away we go. When we arrive at our parish, our usual spot on the far right side of the sanctuary was full, due to us getting there later than usual. I tell Henry to choose a new spot, and he picks an area in the middle of the church, just past center.

On we proceed, and Anne goes up for Children's Liturgy of the Word. During the homily, Father devoted part of the time to a nun who came to speak about an appeal for her missionary order of sisters. Part of her discussion was about vocations, and she indicated that some of the children in the parish could be future priests, bishops, nuns and/or saints. She brought the young altar servers in as examples. :)

"And that young boy over there!" *points* "He could be the pope someday!"

I turn to see that she is pointing directly at Henry, and that he is weakly raising his hand to acknowledge her. If we hadn't sat where we did, she never would have seen him. And we wouldn't have sat where we did if we weren't running late due to the car not starting and me being in a general funk. It just seemed terribly fortuitous.

This is not to say that I'm taking this as a sign that Henry will be pope. ;-) It just warmed my heart to see my children engaged in their faith, and at a time when I really needed the boost. The Holy Spirit is always alive and well, even when things seem a bit more difficult than usual.

After Mass, I felt a little better. We took the kids on an afternoon hike after lunch, and Anne tripped, fell and skinned her knee about 2 and a half minutes into the walk. *long suffering sigh* We had to take turns carrying her for a spell. But I felt a little better still. I've been improving ever since. I'm going to try and get to confession this week.

Does this happen to you all as well? Spiritual dryness or darkness or however you want to term it? How do you handle it? I would love to discuss it with you in the comments.

Tomorrow is book club day! If you read Divine Mercy for Moms or are otherwise interested to learn more about it, stop in to chat with us then. :)


  1. Awh, I'm sorry that you have had a rough few days! (HUGS) When I am down in the dumps, I try to spend some time alone (I'm an introvert too) doing something fun - going shopping, taking a long drive in the car with the windows down and music turned up, getting a pedicure, or just spending some quiet time in the adoration chapel at church. If all else fails, eat lots of peanut butter M&M's while repeating "This too shall pass." ;) Seriously, I hope things turn a corner and you feel better soon. I'll keep you in my prayers.

  2. Thanks Cindy! I totally agree - introverts get their recharging from within, so that quiet time is so key. I did a little needed online shopping yesterday and stopped off at confession; both activities really helped!


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