Monday, September 12, 2011

The Family That Isn't Always So Holy (Mine!)

For me, there is nothing like coming home to the scent of dinner simmering in the crock pot.  It means a major part of my work is already done and that the family, including the dogs, are all tuned up for dinner.  I couldn't stay up to watch the Cowboys go down in flames last night, so I got up a little extra early to check out the score of the game and it struck me that I could get dinner ready. I certainly had time.  Braised short ribs, roasted brussel sprouts with red onion and Trader Joe's Butternut Squash risotto made a wonderful family meal.  Only problem is, even when the food is perfect, the family rarely is.

My son was not happy with the fact that it was his night for clean-up and tried to pawn his duties off on his sister, who was having none of it.  Then the insults begin and before you know it, I'm refereeing.  The younger sister is definitely the more mature of the two, both because of the boy's disability and, if I don't say so myself, because she's a girl and he's a boy.  They were extremely close growing up so I guess it was inevitable that when they reached their teens, they'd become mortal enemies.  Well, not quite, but it sure does seem that way sometimes.

Contrast the scene at my table with Mancini's The Holy Family at Rest.  I have posted on this painting before, but I think I have a new appreciation for it.  What I didn't see previously is the fatigue on St. Joseph's face, yet despite his exhaustion, he gives in to the charms of his foster-Son and plays the little game of take the strawberries.  Mary holds Baby Jesus in her tired arms and I wonder  if  is she thinking of what a good man Joseph is, to enter into this journey of the unknown that has thus far been anything but easy  The exhaustion of the parents has no bearing on the Baby, as they do not allow their trials to become His.  

My husband and I never had to flee from persecution.  We certainly have not had the trials that  Mary and Joseph faced.  Still, I would hope that whatever differences we have, our children have not been affected by them.  I can think of nothing more unfair than for children to bear the brunt of their parents' dislike for one another.  When I underwent my conversion, I made a decision that I would no longer give into unkind words hurled at loud volumes.  I had a couple of lapses but fortunately, nothing too terrible.  Certainly not two cats fighting in a bag (thanks for that one, Pablo).

We always give thanks before every meal, even when we're eating out.  We don't all go to Mass at the same time, but we all go.  We're not extraordinary by any means.  But we're trying.


  1. When we're out of sorts around here I often think of that 'Mystical Home of Nazareth' and the longing I have to live at peace. I can't tell you how many times I think back to a post you did a while ago about getting over yourself. You initiated quite a mission...and I think you're efforts are extraordinary. +

  2. Thanks Caroline, but if my efforts were that good, I'd BE over myself by now - ha ha! I'm a work in progress. Slow, but progress nonetheless. Thanks friend +

  3. I invited the Holy Family to move in to my house, as it was a lonely place, I felt, at least.
    I am aware that Our Lady would have kept a different house than I, but she also encourages me, gives me energy and St Joseph found us all this house, he looks after us. That gives me great tangible comfort.

    I like your(pablos) cats in a bag fighting, I identify with that, we've had ructions over the years, things fling this way and that.

    As for the teenage years, least said, soonest mended!

  4. Joyce~thanks for this. Feeling less than perfect over here and discouraged. I would love to see the post of *getting over yourself* that Caroline mentioned but not sure where to find it if you could direct me : )~Theresa

  5. Ros, LOL! You have a such a way with words.

    Theresa, I think I posted that during Lent, if I'm not mistaken. I said something like my prayer for myself for Lent was to get over myself. Hasn't happened yet but I'm still trying.


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