#1 -- Gossip
I just recently had a talk with my almost teenage daughter about how men and women are equally prone to gossip. However, today, the ladies took center stage.
I am always amazed at what people will talk about when I am at PT. Today, I wished I had been able to stop a couple of women who decided that they should talk about a family they knew. They didn't have nice things to say -- basically everything they said about whatever topic they chose was derogatory. But, when they decided to bring up this particular family, they had no idea that I knew who they were talking about.
It was only a couple of comments, and they weren't particularly kind. But, I was in traction at the time and really couldn't respond. It happened and it went away. I thought perhaps I should say something once I was released from the contraption, and then decided against it. They had chosen the wrong place to be indiscreet, and I didn't see the value in doing the same thing. Sometimes virtue requires us to pray for the perpetrators and keep our mouths shut.
St. Jose Marie Escriva reminds us about gossip that:
Gossip is a disease that infects and poisons the apostolate. It goes against charity, means a waste of energy, takes away peace and destroys one's union with God. (The Way, 445)
Sad, very sad!
#2 -- Frostival
As I drove home from dropping the carpool this morning, I couldn't help but notice the road signs announcing Fairfax County's answer to holiday political correctness -- just make up your own holiday. In the spirit of Seinfeld's Festivus, they have created FROSTIVAL. In it's second year, the Frostival is touted as "an exciting winter-themed family festival, with programs targeted to elementary and pre-K aged children. Celebrate Fairfax's FROSTIVAL will include interactive rides, games, attractions, crafts, storytelling, musical performances, exhibits and vendors." So, if you want to revel in a pagan winter solstice fest, just come and enjoy it right here in Fairfax -- but they may not have a pole.
By the way -- Merry Christmas!
#3 -- Quietude
Finally, to make things all better again, I will bring you to what is truly important -- deepening your prayer life. I have been thinking for the last several months how insane my schedule has become, and how God, one by one, has relieved me of some things to allow me a bit more free time. I would constantly ask myself, "What would I do with that time? Funny how it wasn't a natural reaction for me to say, "PRAY MORE!" But, once you fall into a habit of movement, stopping to be silent is not an easy skill to regain.
To help me, the Lord provided a little road map. First, like I said, He opened up some time for me. Then, he placed a article in front of me on a blog that I enjoy reading; it spoke of quietude. I thought that it sounded lovely, but, again, I didn't immediately get God's message. So, undaunted by my thick-headedness, the Lord arranged for a talk on contemplative prayer at my parish, given by someone that I admire and respect. I showed up to the talk, on the Feast of St. John of the Cross, eager to gain some tidbits to share with my RCIA class when we discuss prayer, only to be floored by the realization that the talk was meant for me. "Come here and spend some time with Me," the Lord whispered to me in the moment. "You've been away." My heart tugged, my breath caught and my spirit soared. "I'm coming -- I'll be there in just a few minutes," I promised Him. I had Adoration directly following the talk.
Later, I thanked my friend for reminding me that Jesus wanted to speak with me in the quiet of my heart; for bringing me back around to what it meant to truly be in His presence and allow Him to fill the quiet with His love. It is good to be back in the arms of the Savior. Prayer is an awesome and wonderful gift.