Friday, June 24, 2011

momma told me there'd be days like this...

... momma just didn't say they'd last months on end.

Well, St. John of the Cross and Mother Teresa may have said something or another about but I wasn't paying attention. Typical. Truth is, more days than not I feel like this. The other days of the year are devoting to putting on appearances.

Which is why it irritates me to no end whenever I see a certain billboard on my morning commute advertising a local church. It shows a woman dancing in a field of wild flowers. Very Sound of Music-ish. The caption reads "He is a God of unending joy!".

If I was in charge of this church's ad campaign the woman would be holding an armful of kittens under a rainbow in a gumdrop rainstorm. Oh, and she'd be sitting atop a pony. I mean the point is sentimentality right? Jesus makes us feel good.

I bet that's why so many people hate Christians. Not because we can at times radiate joy; but sometimes, just sometimes, we are caught having a grumpy day and swearing under our breath. To a rational observer it's a normal person having a bad day. To someone already leery of Christians it's proof in the pudding we are a lot of hypocrites. A lot they become convinced they want nothing to do with.

I also suspect this ridiculously saccharine message of fluffy Christianity is what makes people doubt their faith or ultimately leave it all together. I mean if being a Christian is all sunshine and kittens and we are still having bad days then naturally we must have picked the wrong religion to follow. Or religion is wrong period. God didn't deliver as promised, why else would I still worry and fret about all Negative Nilly and have all these miserable dark doubting days?

Converts are highly susceptible to these disenchanted phases, myself included. But, I suppose this the natural ebb and flow of our spiritual life. Last time I checked no one said being a Christian was easy. Just ask the martyrs.

But that doesn't sound as catchy in an advertisement.

It's Friday, I should be in a better mood. Or maybe I am in the perfect mood.

Agony of Christ, Caracciolo


ArchAngel's Advocate said...

I always felt "I Beg Your Pardon, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden" would make a perfectly appropriate hymn

shadowlands said...

this too shall pass.....

jdonliturgy said...

The old time hymn writers and bluesmen knew it well: You got to walk that lonesome valley...

Although being Catholic means you have a community to walk with, ultimately, when you go home and shut the door as a single person, that isn't a whole lot of comfort. You are still alone. It still isn't what you want. It's all too easy to become depressed.

I have had lots of those days over the years, especially since the man who would have been my second husband died 2 years ago. I still remember the struggling single mom days, but my kids are grown and long gone on to their own lives. I'll still never afford my own house, and all I have to come home to are 2 cats.

However, I find that having a faith community and friends, even online ones, helps. I also know, deep down, from years of the experience of singleness, that God is never far away, even when I am at my lowest. You are not alone. Praying for you, Kat.

Jane said...

You should go over to Terry's blog and take a look at that "remote healing" video. Might lift your spirits for two minutes!

Being alone sucks. Sometimes being married sucks. Some bear the cross of raising children alone and others the pain of not having children at all.

It is awful to know that God is good, but not be able to feel it emotionally. I will pray for you--please pray for me, too.

Anonymous said...

Cat- I have a wonderful husband, a good job and 'enough' friends - but still feel as you are describing. I think, regardless of our "support", we each still go thru life alone, no matter what...
I think when God said - "In pain shalt thou bring forth children", he didn't necessarily refer to physical pain - just the pain of all of us living a life that is really - waiting...

Susan Lee

Lydia McGrew said...

Pragmatist note: Since the one linked post was three years ago, I thought I'd point out that The Boy is now old enough to take out the garbage and possibly also to do laundry and even scrub the toilet. I know, hard to believe, but at that age they still want to learn that stuff, and I keep hoping myself to teach one real quick-like at seven or eight so that they keep doing it even when they are eleven and bigger but less helpful. Hope this isn't too banal, but I bring it up because those housework things and being the only person able to do them were in the other post.

Anna said...

I think you're about right on this. Look at St Paul's life and death for more proof-- rejection, beatings, jail, controversy, more rejection, martyrdom.

I liked your drawing a few posts below this one. If you like religious drawings/illustration, you should check out Matthew Alderman. His website is:
And you can check out his available stationery, prints, etc right here:

All the best, and many graces,
-a reader

ThereseRita said...

As a nurse for many years in the south, I've often been distressed by (mainly) evangelicals who believe that they're just not 'claiming their healing' or their blessing in one way or another & that's why they're still sick. I can remember more than one patient crying after her Church Members left because they'd convinced her that was the reason she was still sick etc.
So I think you're right not to take a page out of that book; it's certainly not what Jesus' life teaches us. Beyond that, wounds are our real (as opposed to imaginary) connection with Him. His wounds + our wounds = new life, ours & others. Mother Teresa called our pain "God's kisses", you know.
Kind of sounds sick or masochistic or, at least foreign to the modern mind. But, to me, that's a test of it's validity! I have a good friend who is a happily married mom of 8 kids who range in age from 8-30 yrs old. Her kids all not only practice their faith but also NFP AND after they married, they've moved to be close to their parents. Sounds idyllic, right? One day about a year ago, she told me that the only time she's not lonely is right after Communion. This isn't a commentary on her family, it's a commentary on God & how He's made us for himself.
My only other thought is that it also distresses me when I find myself or someone else speaking as if Jesus is like the Consolation Prize on a quiz show. Ya know, if you can't get the man or whatever, there's always God to fall back on. I'm rambling on like this bc this is a topic I've obviously given alot of thought to so I guess you hit a nerve :-)

Anonymous said...

...and another thing...

"What people don't realize is how much religion costs. They think faith is a big electric blanket, when, of course, it is the cross"
Flannery O'Connor

Susan Lee

BadChaz said...

I dunno whether to chuckle inaudibly or rip my robes in half when attending a Prot funeral where the sound guy inevitably plays Louie Armstrong wheezing out "What a Wonderful World" as a tribute and testimony to the deceased. "Uh, people, excuse me...would you mind turning to your neighbor, smiling to them, and then giving them a beeyatch slap that knocks them back into the cushy pew. Thanks."
What if Uncle Ned didn't make the Show? What if the Papists got it right with God, and Ned's lighting candles in purgatory using hand friction? And what about those mass graves south of Brownsville?
"What a Wonderful World."
Dies Irae is much more cheerful. And mean that literally.

Tim said...

Hope you feel better soon - I've sent you a Mass to ACN.

Terry Nelson said...

It's like the "It gets better" videos. No it doesn't. Our lady told Bernadette, "I can't promise you happiness in this life but the next."

I hate it when people insist it is all roses and sunshine.

Smiley said...

unending joy when you get up there out here it is just 'this valley of tears'

Veronica said...

Well, I can't leave here today without give you a comment, and this post demands it.

Kat, THAT is such a beautiful painting. I'm downloading it for the "slideshow" presentation I've been trying to complete for the big screen when we pray the rosary as a family. Schools' interrupting this month and I have to work harder at making that time.. :(

But, thank you. I know this comment is 3 months off, but, yes. I remember getting melancholy for no reason on a Friday when stuff was really rockin' otherwise (I mean, "TGIF" and all, right?).

I know the Church is spiritual, we're in communion with the saints and each other, so, yes, it'd make sense we'd be affected by something occurring in the "larger picture" we know nothing about.

That's my silly little theory, anyway.

Wonderful blog. So happy I found it, sad you're going, but I feel there's enough here to stir the soul to keep perusing, even if I'm a little late.

God bless and protect your endeavors.