Today is the Boy's 17th birthday. We officially celebrated yesterday with a cook-out with the grandparents and his aunt and uncle. He was born on a Monday evening at 8:01 after a labor so brief, I was sure I would give birth to him in the car. At least on "my side" of the family, we finally had our boy. Happy Birthday, Matthew!
Today was also the first day of the new job that I sincerely hope will be my last until I retire. I can tell you there is a quite a bit of difference between getting to a 6:30 am Mass that is 10 minutes from my house compared to one that is 40 minutes away. Between nerves about the new start and a disobedient little pug-mix who decided to get in bed with us last night, I didn't get very much sleep and felt quite bleary-eyed. The most amazing sight brought me into focus, the view of the sun rising in the early-morning sky.
Mass was appropriately reverent and quiet. I couldn't tell if most of the folks work for the hospital or live near-by. Doesn't much matter. They will be my new silent companions on my journey of faith, God-willing, and I felt very fortunate to have this opportunity, not only to work for my friend but in such a beautiful unabashedly Catholic setting. I had plenty of time between when the Mass ended and when my orientation program began, so by 7:30am, I prayed all my usual rote prayers, plus some. It was a peaceful way to start the day.
Tomorrow I will have to try to get a photo of the statue of Mary with the Infant Jesus in her arms that sits in the center of the campus, surrounded by beautiful summer flowers. I found it a bit unusual from other usual depictions in that the Holy Infant seems to be slightly fussy, kicking in His mother's arms and tugging at her veil. She has an almost amused expression on her face as she looks at Him. It still fills with me awe that God the Father chose a woman to bear His Son and that this Son of God needed Mary for His humanity.
My own son has had his share of suffering already in his short life. He's in a good place right now, but it wasn't always that way, thanks to the cruelty of other children and sadly, some adults. Sometimes, it's too much to think about all that he has to bear; but I have only to look to Mary and ask why God would think so much of a lowly wretch like me to give me a small sample of what it is to bring a child into the world and then see his goodness outright rejected.