Monday, January 14, 2008

Mair's Big Catholic Mail Day

So, last night I'm praying. I believe God is leading me to use the rosary in my devotions, so I've literally spent weeks searching for just the right one. I have the itty-bitty necklace one, but it's really hard to finger those tiny beads. When I have to look fabulous and pray sure, but it's not good fore everyday use. Now, listen. You really don't want me to start thinking too hard about anything. Thoughts turn to agonies when I'm not medicated and it's winter, and this rosary thing was no exception.

Should I get a Sacred Heart chaplet? The Sacred heart has really been meaningful to me, lately. I've even dreamed about it--a God dream, and trust me, I know my God dreams when I have them. Should I get something black that matches...um... everything I wear? I want the beads a good size. What about red? Chaplet of the Holy Wounds. Something dedicated to Divine Mercy. St. Francis? Padre Pio or Our Lady of Sorrows? All of these things touch me deeply.

I was stuck, and not obeying God either.

Last night I got good and sick of myself. I decided to just pray about it.

"God," I lamented, "If you want me to pray the rosary you're going to have to bring one to me. The one you want me to have. And that way I'll know it's from you."

I just prayed this LAST NIGHT! Today the mailman brings me a parcel I didn't remember ordering. And can you imagine??? A ROSARY was in it. It was a surprise gift from my BFF. And she'd ordered it DAYS ago. I'll tell you, that God sure does love us. And He wants us to pray, too! And you gotta love my BFF for being so in tune with The Holy Ghost.

(To my Catholic sensitive friends. I promise I will not worship Mary--who really is mothering me, or have unseemly communications with the saints.)

But I digress.So, yeah, ignore the unruly, willful dreadlocks. The rosary is made of these seeds called "Job's Tears". Man, does that sound tailor made for a sistah, or what? And your can see the back of the crucifix has the Stations of the Cross. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the stations of the cross, in fact, in Wounded Gina walks her own stations, and this is such a tender reminder of the passion of Christ I can enjoy daily now. Is my BFF the freakin' bomb, or what?

Okay, next up, I got my big, crazy, kitschy Sacred Heart of Jesus shirt. I told you I was really feeling that Sacred Heart thing, and yeah, maybe I'm known for excesses. And this is truly excessive. If this isn't a bipolar moment purchase I don't know what is.


I got it off Ebay. Came all the way from Thailand. It has that random weirdness that comes from foreign objects--and I don't mean the kind that lodges uncomfortably in your eye. What you can't see--and brothers, please don't try to determine the size of my tatas. I have very unimpressive breastuses. God gave me a lot, but He didn't give me that--anyway, it has these weird letters and designs that look like money but don't really spell anything. Or look like money, even. And could somebody, ANYBODY tell me why Jesus has so may hands! And what's that on his forehead? Did I make a mistake and get the Sacred Heart? Third Eye Chakra of Jesus combo shirt? I don't understand the symbolism here! Is this a cultural thing? Did somebody mix Kali with the Sacred Heart of Jesus??? Juxtapose some kind of Hindu thing on my sweet Jesus! Is this shirt from the devil? And I forgot to tell you, the WORST thing about it is that it smells weird. Like gasoline or something. What the heck kind of paint is this???? It feels rubbery and strange and I keep thinking any minute I'm going to burst into flames, and I don't mean tongues of fire that precedes heavenly languages flowing from my mouth. Are there issues with the safety standards in Thailand? The smell is making me kinda SICK! Is this some kind of plot to eliminate Christians. T-shirt poisoning! I'm going to be a fashion martyr! Okay, I know, I'm already a fashion martyr, otherwise I wouldn't be caught dead in this shirt. But I won't get to be a saint for dying like that! Lord, have mercy on my Sacred Heart of Jesus lovin' soul.

And worse still, I have to admit. This shirt is so bizarre, that it strangely appeals to me. I feel like I'm wearing a big icon. No, I feel like I AM a big icon. A wildly unfamiliar one I hope is not accursed, albeit, but I meant well when I ordered it. Not a trace of mockery about my purchase. Honestly. And I do like it. If it is damned, I only paid ten bucks for the insane thing.

You can't see this, but Jesus is also on both my arms, so when I pose a certain way, it looks like I'm wearing Sacred Heart triplets. Some weird, The Son, and The Son, and The Son Trinity. And Jesus is on my back. Now there's a metaphor that may be useful, if I could only survive the fumes.

Other than that, I got a few bills and direct mail offers, but all and all, it really was a big Catholic mail day.

And as an aside: I called a local priest about RCIA classes this morning, and found out their parish doesn't offer one until the fall. The Religious Education direct, who called as I blogged, said, "You can try another parish. SACRED HEART may have a class available sooner."

"Sacred Heart, huh?" I said, thinking how God really does move in mysterious ways.

Coinkydink?

I think not!

Pax et Bonum!
mair

21 comments:

Elysa said...

WOW! What a cross! Love it. The shirt...hmmm....I'll hold my opinion on that one.

And no unseemly communications with the saints? That got me going!!! :D

I'll bring you the new used "Friend of Saints" Jesus shirt when I see you NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!

upwords said...

Gotta love big shopping! You made me smile. Big time.

Angie said...

You Goof, I love you :-)

My favorite rosary was a glow in the dark one. It was kind of cheezy, like a cereal prize, but I loved it.

My mail arrival today? A MORE COWBELL t-shirt. Google MORE COWBELL and SNL and it'll make more sense. Or not. I have a weird sense of humor.

ragamuffin diva said...

It's a very cool cross, Elysa, and the rosary is a replica of the one Mother Teresa wore. Right on time for me to be inspired by the great saint to see Jesus in all His distressing disguises when we're in Africa NEXT WEEK practically!

And hahaha. That shirt is outrageous. I put it in the washing machine. It might have to go through a few rounds. I asked Ken what he thought could get rid of the smell, and he said, "Send it back to Thailand!"

Angie!!! I just watched the video. "I've got a fever, and the prescription is more cowbell!" Okay, I laughed like a loon.

So need meds tonight. And y'all ain't helping. Y'all ain't helping!
Mary, I only got the shirt. The rosary was a gift.

Esther said...

Great post - I laughed, I cried, it had a good beat, I could dance to it. (ha ha) God is so full of surprises - like you, He has given me something through a friend "out of the blue" that was just exactly what was needed. And the friend didn't have a clue - she was just doin' what she was doin', but God was doing the orchestrating.

I think the Thailand tee shirt people got their religions confused - mixing the Hindu god of many arms (who is that anyway?) with Jesus. They probably wanted to cover all their bases. Or maybe He's just moving them real fast, like He wants to give you a real good blessing.

Before I became Catholic (in 2003) it was hard to appreciate the Rosary - I was afraid of getting too close to Mary (afraid it would be "worship") but I realize now what a Christocentric prayer it is (that's what Papa JPII said). It is so calming, so perfect and so beautiful. The entire life of Christ in one prayer.

I love the stations of the cross, too. My discovery of them was one of the many seeds planted on my road to Rome. Get thee to an RCIA class post-haste - I know there's one waiting for you somewhere! (You can always come to Clearlake - we've got a good one going! :)

ragamuffin diva said...

I'm so there with you, Esther. Thanks for sharing the silliness with us.

I went to a parish for RCIA class today, but there aren't any that I've found yet until the fall, and I couldn't be received until next Easter. I was sooo bummed, but I think Jesus is with me. I forgot to mention also, the Sacred Heart is the medal on my rosary. I didn't even notice until after I posted. God is doing something sneaky! I love Him for that.

Hey, can you email, Esther? I'd love to hear your story.

Try me at claudia.mair.burney@gmail.com

Thanks, sis. Keep hanging with me.

Candy said...

Love the rosary, especially that cross! I'm not Catholic but I think I really get the whole Mary thing - she is entirely too disregarded by the Protestants. And I love to read about the Saints. The whole thing intrigues me. Kinda like that shirt. Wow! Now that is an adventure on cloth! I cannot wait to hear about your adventures in Africa. Can you elaborate on that?

heather a. goodman said...

What a fun story about the rosary--how God sent it into your life seeing as how it wasn't going to get there anytime soon any other way ;)
That's what BFF's are for, right?

Caldonia Sun said...

THE SHIRT!!! Artistic syncretism at it's hokiest best.

Thanks for the hilarious post. I had to laugh out loud on this one!

Heidi Renee said...

"Did I make a mistake and get the Sacred Heart? Third Eye Chakra of Jesus combo shirt?"

I almost spit decaf right on the screen Mair! I think I peed a little... very funny post!

Katy McKenna said...

Girl, I have tried to get comfy with the Anglican rosary. I've even made about 100 of them and given them to lots of folks. But I've been missing a good old-fashioned Catholic rosary with all my heart. The other night, I won an eBay lot of 13 of them! I'm excited to see the assortment. All vintage.

That t-shirt is something else!!! :) And if the Chinese put lead in everything, maybe the paint in your Thai shirt COULD be toxic! No one ever said being Catholic is EASY!!! Even if the Sacred Heart IS watching your back. And front. And arms. :)

Katy www.fallible.com

Joni said...

I do love it when God does those incredible things.

The Sacred Heart is especially near and dear to me, as that is the name of the parish we have made our home.

God bless as you grow in grace...

Esther said...

I would love to share my story and will email you with it. It might take me sometime to get it together, though!
Sorry about the lack of an RCIA class - that is a bummer. I was reading something in canon law about candidates (those baptized in other Christian faiths) vs. catechumens (the unbaptized) and how candidates don't need to go through a rigorous RCIA program (as long as their faith is well-formed). I will email you the link. Maybe you can enter the Church in another way.
God bless you!

lisa said...

Oh my. I needed a laugh like that, claudia! Good heavens, that was hilarious!

I'm with Ken. That shirt needs to go back to Thailand!

Shanna said...

Love the shirt, but sometime I gotta tell you about the Jesus jello mold.

I'm all for Universal Mail Day, btw.

Last day of the first semester, and I'm still standing. (Actually in bed now, but...)

Be well.

ragamuffin diva said...

Alas, the shirt is no more. I threw it away. It still reeked after multiple washings and Febreezing.

It wasn't meant to be.

Shanna banana! Congratulations on surviving! I miss you. Call me this weekend, else you'll have to wait til I get back from The Motherland!

Hi Candy and Heather!!! Hi EVERYBODY! Sorry I'm so sketchy with the comments. I'm busy rewriting so Lisa won't give me a beat down in Africa for not doing my revisions.

M. Nole said...

Mair,

I am so happy that you got a surprise rosary at just the right time. I feel like I have to tell you one of my incredible rosary stories now.

I had a definitive (proved by radiology) diagnosis of a nerve-damaged stomach. I couldn't keep food down because my stomach had pretty much stopped digesting. At 30 years old I was sentenced to a liquid whey shake or scrambled egg min-meals for the rest of my life. And plain water. No coffee, no tea, no carbonated water. Unless I wanted to get sick.

I felt so sorry for myself that I started praying the rosary every day for the needs of other people. One day I was wondering what my rosary intentions should be, and I felt like God told me just to pray it for my health.

It seemed pointless, but I felt obedient. I didn't ask for anything. I said, "Mary, I'm praying this for my health. Please pray for me." Then I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries and felt so overwhelmed by Christ's love for me that it was suddenly all that mattered. I was filled with gratitude for God's love, and I told him so. I said, with a lump in my throat, "Thank you for loving me so much."

From that point on, I stopped getting sick after eating. I eat like a normal person now and forget that I was ever diagnosed with "a grave stomach disease."

I had a healing through the rosary. I want to thank Jesus every day that I can eat normal food again, but I forget.

Thanks for the reminder, and I hope your rosary makes your relationship with Christ even richer.

The other Mair

Esther said...

Dear "other Mair" - What a delightful, sweet story - a healing through humility. "O taste and see that the Lord is good!" :)

Paula said...

God is good all the time, but with that gift He's showing off! How cool that He loves you so much and answered your prayer so quickly.

You're beautiful and I love you, Mair! Can't wait to see you in that shirt!

Paula said...

Oh! Just browsed your comments. Guess I'll never get to see you in that shirt. You should've at least put it on for a picture before trashing it, LOL

Queen B said...

Mair, I'm late in chiming in on this offering of yours, but I have to nonetheless! Your description of the shirt had be literally spitting out my tea! Oh my gosh, I'm glad you decided to deep 6 the potentially toxic shirt, and I'm sure the price was well worth the mileage you will get forever with this story. It's just the best. Truly hysterical, woman. Gotta go call Mom and read it to her, can't keep it to myself! Hugs, Brigid