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Thursday, January 27, 2011

St. Gerard, Pray for me.

So, I mentioned in my last post that I'm not pregnant. Not yet anyways...

And there's a really good discussion going on over at Bonnie's blog that started as a response to my last post about not being ready for another child. You should check it out and read all of the comments.

So, if I'm not pregnant and not ready to be so (I'm trusting that God believes this, too, as my fertility hasn't even returned yet.), why St. Gerard? (other than to freak me out a little...)

Did you know that he was accused (but later cleared) of a really horrible crime, improper relations with a young girl? Nope, I haven't had that happen, but I have been dealt a set of crappy circumstances that most people won't ever have to go through. And like St. Gerard those circumstances are the source of understandable burden and grief.

But unlike St. Gerard, I complain, groan, lament, whine, (and any other word you'd find in the thesaurus for the word grumble), about our plight. And unlike St. Gerard, I defend, explain, justify, excuse, yack, yack, and yack about my reactions to it. In fact, my penance for confession Tuesday was to reread 1 Corinthians 13, a well known passage about love that's easy to gloss over. But the "love... does not brood over injury" part? Well, ouch.

He was silent. He was as Christ was before Pilate. He did not clear his name or refute the accusations. He trusted in God's provision to clear him and his reputation. And if God willed that he die with a tainted name, he was willing to walk that path and do so without complaint, like Christ bore His cross.

For fear of her own judgement at the time of her death, the accuser retracted what she'd said. And this was written about St. Gerard as he heard of his exoneration,

"Gerard himself was the least affected by the news. To quote Tannoia: 'As he had not been cast down by the calumny, so he showed no elation when he saw that his character was cleared.' He took everything—sweet and bitter—from the hands of God, from those hands which, as he put it in his first resolution, "shower down on me the precious gems of the divine will."

Wow. To have this man praying for me in the midst of all of this house stuff, I am so fortunate, so blessed.

St. Gerard's life strikes me profoundly in two ways. First, he carries the burdens of life with a Christ-like strength. And secondly, he worries not what others think of him, even under the worst scrutiny. I am lacking in both of these ways.

I am a wuss. I must ask for the grace and strength to live and move through life's trials in a way that glorifies God and brings encouragement to my neighbor.

And I am overly concerned with how I appear as a Catholic wife, mother, woman. And I want to justify or explain every action I take, to preserve my name. But what name have I, unless given by God Himself? My every action, thought, word, or deed is accountable to Him alone. What a relief! What a challenge!

I believe St. Gerard was chosen for me because, simply, I needed him. Pregnant or not.

St. Gerard, friend and advocate of all, 

yes, even expectant mothers, pray for me. 
Plead to God on my behalf
that He grant me the same grace 
given to you during the darkest moments of your life,
that I may confidently follow the will of God
with joy and peace.
And oh, if I get pregnant, 
please pray for me more.


Bonnie said...

And I want to justify or explain every action I take, to preserve my name. But what name have I, unless given by God Himself?

That was really powerful to me, Alisha. Thank you for this post; it's given me a lot to reflect on.

Jude and Alisha said...

Glad I could return the favor - your posts are always giving me so much to chew on.

(What is it with all of these food analogies...?)

Liz said...

I really like this. Not only in the practical side of looking deeper into finding a connection with a saint other than the obvious (need to do that so I stop fretting about becoming a widow), but also in the justification part. I do need to start thinking more about how I'm accountable to God than how I'm measuring up to those around me.

Thank you :)

Anna said...

This made me smile Alisha. Sometime God's gifts are not in the obvious we are look for but in the surroundings or what isn't there.
I will have to look deeper into the one chosen for me (that was stabbed to death by a lunatic) and see what I can learn this year. :D