Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Not Holy Enough

I was hugely pregnant, trapped in an MRI machine while they scanned our baby to see if the large mass in her lung was life-threatening or not. The "calming" ocean sounds they piped in through the ear buds didn't do a thing to mask the loud beeps & clunks emanating from the machine. I'm not generally claustrophobic, but being stuck in such a small space certainly made me feel like it.




I closed my eyes and tried to hold still, joints screaming, bones aching, willing the jumpy, fidgety baby in my womb to hold still, just for a few seconds.

It didn't work. They scanned and rescanned, and I ended up in there for an hour and a half. I'd been feeling spiritually numb, dry, just generally on pause since that first ultrasound when we found out something was wrong. I spent much of that second half of pregnancy curled up in the fetal position, trying not to think about all the what ifs. But forced to lie in stillness for that long test, all I could do was pray. Even though I'd been avoiding it.

Anything concrete just made me cry, and I felt a little whisper that the rosary might be safe, might help me focus my thoughts & pass the time without my prayer turning into "please God don't let my baby die."

Our Lady would have some consolation, surely. So I prayed. Even though I had never really felt like I was "holy enough" to pray the rosary. I mixed up the Apostles' Creed with the Nicene. I couldn't remember which mysteries went with which day. I finished five decades and began another round still stuck in the machine.

It wasn't until the following Lent that I finally convinced myself it was stupid to keep pretending I didn't have time to pray the rosary. I had excuse after excuse, none of them good ones. So I took it up as a daily habit, and my spiritual life improved dramatically. Prayer begets prayer, and convincing yourself that you don't have time for it, or that you're not "holy enough" is just the evil one seeping insidiously into your thoughts. You have time. You'll get holier.



May is the month of Mary. Will you honor Our Lady by taking up this devotion? There are plenty of free resources available, but I think you'll really enjoy Ponder (less than $20 on Amazon now! That's my affiliate link). I've read it and reread it during the hours I spent editing, and now every time I pray the rosary I find myself thinking about the different reflections from our writers. The study begins on Mother's Day, and would make a great gift for the mothers and godmothers in your life! Or as a gift for yourself, in honor of Mary ❤
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