GOD’S SENSE OF HUMOR

We all have our own way of praying.

I’m 100% a morning person. So when I wake, I tend to jump from bed, throw open the shades, turn on the coffee, and repair to the living room sofa where I have my candle, incense, breviary ET CETERA.

I need to surround myself with others. So I am all about the angels, the Communion of Saints, the Mystical Body, Mary, Joseph, and the Holy Trinity.

I’m also a crab, a self-pitier, and a judger. So I like to start off with a few prayers to the Heavenly Host, namely:

“Holy Archangel Raphael, arrow and medicine of the love of God, inflame we implore you, our hearts with burning love, and let this wound never heal, so that we may be unfailing in love in everyday life, and overcome everything through love.”

Then the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. Some people say “wander,” others “roam:” I like the phrause PROWL about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Then, to cover all the bases, because I, for one, need all the help I can get, I made this one up:

“Holy Archangel Gabriel, celestial messenger of God, overshadow us with your wings, call us to bring new life into the world, and when we say Yes, with Mary, bear us up on your pinions and grant us the mercy, grace, and courage we need to persevere to the end.”

it goes on from there. Morning Prayer from the Divine Office, that day’s liturgy and reflection from Magnificat magazine. I often putter around in between, maybe saying the Angelus while making my bed, or praying for individual family members while filling the hummingbird feeder, or reciting the Just for Today bookmark put out by Al-Anon.

At some point I just sit silently, drinking in existence and not thinking of much of anything.

I also like to have a bit of “spiritual reading. For example, I just went back to Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence and read it slowly, a page or two at a time.

I doubled over laughing at this, my favorite passage. Because at the end of the day, this is kind of how it goes. We never know whether we’re “progressing” or whether we’ve been treading water for decades. Lately, I find I don’t much care. Whatever is happening, I’m alive, observant, and grateful.

“Oh! how we are brought to perfection by this hidden activity of which we are both the subject and the instrument, though we know nothing of it, for all we do seems to be the result of pure chance and our natural inclinations. Everything humiliates us. Whe we are actually inspired to speak, we think we are uttering only our all-too-human thoughts. We never know what spirit moves us, we are terrified by the most undoubtedly divine inspiration, and whatever we do or feel fills us with endless contempt for ourselves, as if our whole life were flawed and faulty. We always admire other people and feel vastly inferior to them, and their whole behavior makes us ashamed of ourselves. We mistrust any insight we have, place no reliance on our own thoughts, but pay excessive attention to the most trifling advice from others, if it seems good. God seems to keep us at a distance from all that is virtuous, only to plunge us into a profound humility. We do not think this humility is a virtue, but see it is the judgment of God.

What is really astonishing is that to those who have not been enlightened by God about the true state of affairs, we seem to be obstinate, disobedient, troublesome, contemptuous and angry.” [italics mine]

—Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Abandonment to Divine Providence, trans. John Beevers, pp 93-94

SELF-PORTRAIT LAUGHING
RICHARD GERSTL, 1907

10 Replies to “GOD’S SENSE OF HUMOR”

  1. Tea Drinking Fool says: Reply

    Well I guess we are cut from the same cloth. My morning routine mirrors yours almost identically, albeit within Eastern Standard Time. My personal disposition is also identical. Lately as the mornings are dark and chilly I start spiritually nesting at 5:30 am and struggle a couple hours later to throw off the coziness I make for myself. As I age, the gap is increasing between reading/contemplating and doing/acting. Somebody needs to invent a sofa that sends electric impulses after so many hours of someone sitting on it.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Ha there are probobly legions of us coffee- and tea-drinking fools who spend our early morning hours pondering the mysteries and wonder of existence, Rebecca! I’m delighted to know I’m in such good company. Usually hunger drives me from my sofa and books–thanks for weighing in.

  2. OH thank you for these reminders of God’s work!
    . . . ‘only to plunge us into a profound humility. . . ‘

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      If not a profound depression…:). Thank you, A. Ruth!

  3. Thank you Heather… this helps… your words help.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Love to you, Tom D!!

  4. I’ve never read that passage before and I’m so glad I just did. Puts my feelings down just EXACTLY.

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Thanks, Teresa–I’ve been mediating on this all week–more thoughts to come, possibly! May the good Lord bless you and keep you–

  5. I love all your posts, but posts like this–where you share glimpses of your everyday life, your habits, your prayer routines–make me so happy. It’s kind of like learning about Bill Cunningham’s blue French worker’s jacket, his Schwinn, the cot in his office….the little details just mean so much, illuminate so much….

    1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

      Oh David, as you no doubt know, I am a huge Bill Cunningham fan, an important figure in my own Personal Communion of Saints. It’s true, I think we’re curious about the details of each other’s lives. A lot of spiritual writing is beautiful but you sort of want to know–But what did you have for breakfast and did you ever swear at your noisy neighbor? Speaking of which I read somewhere or saw on a documentary recently that Bill had bought some diamonds that he kept in a pillowcase in his Carnegie Hall garrett…I would LOVE to know more of his life, so much of which was hidden…Anyway, I hope you are tending that gorgeously overgrown Brazilian garden and enjoying your exotic scents. Thank you!

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