In the Noise of My House
Challenged to find "monastic structure" in her busy family life, Vanessa shifts her gaze. And her days begin to change.
I wanted to share two simple things that have happened during this period. The first thing is the event that Easter has been for me. Easter was truly a joyful day, a day of real celebration with my whole family. When I saw my students on Tuesday, I was really happy, and I wanted to share this joy with them. However, I noticed right away that, for them, Easter Day had been a day like the others--for some of them even a sad day. I felt so grateful because I realized that I cannot take for granted this joy that I have because of the resurrection of Christ.
In that moment I had the clear perception that the Lord had chosen me, Vanessa. During the weeks preceding Easter, I had the company of the Fraternity (through the celebration of the Word, our meetings, and the moments of prayer), my parish, and the Pope. I rediscovered the Pope. My belonging to this story is growing. During this period I understood that when I pull myself out of the history that has reached me, it is just me who thinks and imagines. But when I remain tied to the Church and to what it offers me, everything takes a different dimension, bigger than just me.
The other beautiful thing that is happening is how I am living this period together with my family. The first weeks after the quarantine had started I went to bed disappointed and sad because it seemed to me that nothing extraordinary had happened during the day. Recently something is changing, and I think I know why it’s changing. I still go to bed exhausted, but I am not sad. I am not praying for a miracle anymore, and I am starting to look more at what I have in my life. The days are so busy that I cannot even stop a second, but in all of this I notice that I find myself thinking about Christ more often. I realize that when I stop and center my gaze on Him again, I am able to start looking at what I have as something given and I am not violent in the way I treat my family. At first, I thought that the “monastic structure” that was proposed to us by Father José was impossible, but I was wrong. It’s in the noise of my house that I am asked to recognize His presence.
I will give you an example. Sometimes it happens that I would like to pray or read something or talk to a friend, but I can't. Well, just the fact that I have this desire but I can’t accomplish it helps me to turn to Christ. I tell Him: “Now I can’t do it and you know it. Help me to look at my kids and to love who YOU are giving me.” It is not perfection that is asked of me, and this is something new in my life. I have always thought that I could only offer the good things that I am able to do. I had never thought that I could offer to the Lord my misery. This is very liberating.
Vanessa, Miami, Florida