After a most unusual and trying month of April, I am back in Chicago--and I mean really back, having had to land on both feet. After all, our much-awaited (and somewhat complicated) Theology of the Body program begins this Saturday--and I'm coordinating it. It's not giving me much space to do what everyone at the funeral was urging: "Take care of yourself." (Maybe later? Like, June?)
With the help of DivineOffice.org and their generous offer to match funds up to half of our project goal, our online fundraiser more than provided for the expenses we have to face as we launch this new-to-us form of project. (What a relief!) Speaking of the Divine Office, I have to say that during this sorrowful time, I was more grateful than ever for the familiarity with the Bible that is the fruit of so many years of daily Mass and the Liturgy of the Hours ("Divine Office"). Little snippets of Scripture might come up (and in the oddest ways!), and I could not only recognize them as the Bible, but know where in the Bible they were from, and the whole context would rise in my mind, a reassuringly full message. I am still going back to the words on a T-shirt worn by the woman behind me on the Dillards escalator was wearing the day after Mom died: "Changed into his glorious image." What a reassurance from St. Paul (and from Mom)! What do people do who do not have such a store of Scripture in their memory?
Besides the TOB project, I am also organizing several years' worth of spiritual notes into a retreat for our sisters at the motherhouse. Please pray that these scraps of notes and torn-out Magnficat pages scribbled front and back with reflections will come together in a series of 8 meditations that will be helpful for the sisters during this concentrated time of prayer that is the spiritual center of their year. I would always tell Mom of my need for inspiration, and she would promise to pray to the Holy Spirit when she made a visit to the Blessed Sacrament (or sometimes two visits!). Now I need to count on her special intercession for that very familiar intention; may I be open to the inspiration her prayers obtain!