I am still knitting this shawl. I am still loving knitting it and the fabric it is making. But I am getting impatient for it to be done. I feel like I've hit the black hole of knitting and no matter how much I knit it isn't getting any bigger nor is any of the yarn in the ball disappearing. A bit discouraging. But I am trying to be monogamous with it. Or at least the best I can. I knit that swatch for my other shawl design. But have not knit on any other projects besides this one. I've started to look at patterns though and think about other yarn in my stash so I don't know how much longer I can hold out. :)
Ginny shared My Sisters the Saints in one of her Yarn Alongs awhile ago. It peaked my curiosity so I checked it out from the library. I am not Catholic. But I have this sort of fascination with the Catholic faith and I enjoy reading about it. I attended Mass once in college, on Palm Sunday, as an assignment for my religion class and found it very interesting. I think this is one reason why I like the Call the Midwife PBS series and books. I know the nuns are from the Anglican Church but reading about life in any convent is intriguing to me.
My church believes that if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy we should seek after these things. And I found much in this book that fits into those categories. In reading my scriptures this morning, I am studying about discerning between truth and error for my youth Sunday school lesson on Sunday. In Moroni 7:16 we learn how we can do this: everything which invites us to do good, persuades us to believe in Christ is sent by the power and gift of Christ. Again I found so much good in this book that inspired me to strengthen my faith in Christ.
With that said, I have a fundamental issue with the idea of Saints or my understanding of the role of Saints. I think Catholics believe that Saints act as intercessory between us and Christ. That we can pray to them to speak to Christ on our behalf. I don't believe that. I believe that is the role that Christ plays between us and our Heavenly Father, who is a separate being from Christ. But in the lives of these Saints on earth are many times that I can emulate, full of virtue and loveliness that are an example to me.
I'll share a few with you. The first is Edith Stein, a Jewish born philosopher turned Catholic convert and Carmelite nun. She recommends that a woman should spend time with God in the morning, midday, and night. That can be attending Mass or praying and reading scripture for a few minutes during those three times. Following this pattern will bring peace. I like what she said about the night time with God.
"And when night comes, and retrospect shows that everything was patchwork and much which one had planned left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as it is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to him. In this way we will be able to rest in him, actually to rest, and to begin the new day like a new life."
Can't you totally relate with days like that?
The author, Colleen Carroll Campbell, shares her struggles with infertility in the book. One comment she made really stuck with me. She talks about how the Catholic Church doesn't believe in IVF, what was appearing to be her only option for motherhood. She knew that God would forgive her if she chose to do it, and would love the child conceived that way. But that it would change her relationship with God if she chose something that she believed to be against His will. She thought the presence of a child conceived with IVF would be tinged with sadness since it would be a reminder that at a critical juncture in her life, she had chosen her need for control over God's invitation to trust. I don't have her same feelings about IVF but certainly can relate with her struggle of needing control over trusting God.
She didn't choose IVF but came to the realization that the highest call of every mother is to nurture the spark of divine life in another's soul. And genuine spiritual motherhood lies in leading others to freedom. That is beautiful.
She writes about Mother Teresa too. And I love the conclusion she draws from Mother Teresa's struggles for years with feelings of desolation:
"How liberating it must be to stop evading, questioning, or complaining about your trials and start embracing them as opportunities to draw closer to God, to realize that even if Jesus is all you have, He is enough"
Such truth. A very inspiring and uplifting read. I highly recommend it.