Monday, September 8, 2014

The Queen of Broken Bread

I once was a sower. Sowing seeds.
I planted in heaven. My own needs.
There once was a Lady. She came to see.
From a Kingdom of Sowers. Who were we.

My name is happiness. I said to her.
I carry a yoke. Too heavy to bear.
The land is barren. The water is poor.
The harvest is thin. The weather unsure.

I am a Woman of such those things. Said she.
From a Kingdom of Seeds. Came her to me.
Do you know me? This Woman asked of me.
A kindly dressed maiden from across the sea...

Saint Maximilian taught me my Marian spirituality.

Honestly though, I am far from being the Marian Knight that my Patron Saint is - in service to the Queen of Heaven and Earth. So very far...

Our Lady filled the skies above my soul with stars.
She is the Queen of Broken Bread.
She magnifies Christian joy.

Knowing her is to understand an easy kind of splendor unmatched by any Saint...

A magnificence so pure and awesome yet sweet, 
kindly relenting to souls of much lesser brightness.

God broke me before I came to know religion. Religion was for me, an mere extension of myself - a way to project ego. It was a kind of power that made me feel good about myself.

All of this happened mostly unnoticed by my mind numbed and distorted by sin and vice. It was a fearful thing when I think about it now. Terrible. It exposed me to dangers everywhere, seen and unseen.

I was a self-righteous ass. Stubborn as a mule. This was the me deep inside of me - and above my soul was nothing. My soul was dead to itself, it saw not, it heard not, and it lived for nothing.

I wasn't all that bad. All that time, I strived to be good. I tried my best to be better. But always fell short. I was never truly happy about anything I did. Nothing seemed to stay on.

I think as human beings we instinctively understand that doing good is good for us. Animals instinctively understand it too. But to us humans, there is a bit more - for we seek a happiness animals shall never either understand or desire.

In all ages, all our attempts at society everywhere have ebbed and flowed with this same basic human desire for happiness in mind.

Animals are content to be content. But human beings wish for the power to dictate how it is that we shall be content - we desire a freedom which is simultaneously a happiness and we desire it in perfection. 

This perfection to us is blessed felicity. At the same time, it is a time honored impossibility.

Neither Man nor his society alone may satisfy what we all ultimately want. Thus, we warred and fought and died in droves through the ages. Terrible.

Now, this need to be happy and this want for a perfect happiness is also in me.

But as I was yet unbroken, I received a lot of pounding from Providence indeed. And it was Mama Mary who gave for me that one final blow that broke my ego.

She made me realize she was a reality apart from my own reality. That she was separate...

It might sound simplistic right now. But at the onset of it all, it was terrifying to me... Many of my old selfish notions were overturned - much like the tables of the sellers in the Temple.

I had our Lady's support though. And she made it so that I also had the support of more than a few good friends, seen and unseen, who helped keep me sane though it all.

In letting go of old molds, I understood the character of lasting friendships - that connection that in the Gospel our Savior mentioned is as brother, sister, and mother all in one - the friendships of angels.

That we are like a sky, night and day, full of multitudes - shining for God.

Beloved brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, through those years it had pleased our Lady to teach me to see each my relationships and their connections in a wholly different light. Suddenly, the skies above my soul were not so empty after all.

It was this one whole sky that led me to Jesus and to God.

After all, can one navigate the night of the soul without light or sight of any kind?

One can pretend as I did. Or one can know. We can pray.

I am not perfect still. I don't think I ever will in this life. The difference now is I know joy. I am no orphan to joy. At the core of me, there is joy. Amidst my problems and my struggles, there is joy.

And it all began with the Queen of Broken Bread.

It is just like Pope Francis said, those of us who neglect loving and knowing Mary are like orphans...

God never intends for any of us to be orphans though - in more ways than we may know. Isn't this joyful in itself? The embodiment of all of that reflecting in our humanity - is Mary, our Mother.

I think that is what Marian spirituality is really all about - being joyful.

And of finding ways to share Christian joy through works our faith teaches us, that our Savior taught us.

Not being dour and overly solicitous about the complexities of life and of being trustful as a child, even in the midst of the roaring lions of everyday problems that seek to devour our little hopes.

So today is Mama Mary's birthday. Let us be joyful for her that we may in ourselves discover how simple it is not to be complicated in a complicated time.

St. John Paul II, 
Pope of my heart, my Holy Father most memorable.

You were to the Church in the world, our Good Shepherd during the formative years of my life.

And saw my generation through those tumultuous years.

Help us build a better, brighter, safer world.

Lead us on today...

Help us to know Mary. Help us comprehend Christian joy and see in loving others as Christ did the wealth neither tyrant nor thief may remove from our souls.