MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART

“Too many anxious Christians today think that their efforts to preach and teach and enter into outward activities can do more to save the world than the surrender of their souls to God, to become Christ-bearers. They believe that they can do more than our Lady did, and they have not time to stop to consider the absurdity of this. They fear that if the world goes on hurling itself into disaster, as it seems to be doing now, Christ’s kindgom may be defeated. This is not so; Christ has given his word that he will be with and in his little flock until the end of the world.”

Some of you may have seen this Caryll Houselander reflection (the above being an excerpt) from today’s Magnificat.

Boy, did it speak to me.

I’ve not posted much lately, mostly because I’m knee-deep in a St. Therese of Lisieux study guide. And I give a lot of time, energy, and heart to the people who show up in my life in any given day. And my house and yard have become, as I knew they would, huge labors of love.

To that end, here’s a piece of good news: I have discovered OK Feed & Pet Supply here in Tucson, where I can buy bird seed in bulk, and for orders over 50 bucks they deliver locally for free! I ordered online Tuesday night and Wednesday afternoon the order was delivered to my door: no eight emails and texts before saying, “Your order has shipped.” “Your order is coming early!” “Your order is en route!” “Your order is almost there!” “The guy’s pulling up!” “Your order has been delived–HOW WAS IT?” A delivery? How do you think it was?

Best of all, no being bothered after by asking me to rate them, leave a review, buy more stuff from them, et cetera. That is my kind of business. I wrote them an email thanking them and they didn’t answer of which I also approve.

But I digress. For some reason I mis-estimated my limits of time, energy, and writing focus when I signed on to do the study guide. Not that I regret it in the least, as I’m convinced that St. T “chose” me and I despeartely need a dose or a deeper dose of her spirituality. In fact, she has a line somewhere to the effect that the smallest act of obedience is of more value than any book, at which, when I read, I loudly guffawed.

It’s interesting however to see the deep anxiety that arises when I’m not able to “give” in a certain way, specifically in this little newsletter or blog or letter to the world that never wrote to me or whatever it is.

Interestingly, I’m always way more comfortable writing for free than for money. For whatever that’s worth, which is maybe nothing. But it’s also interesting to become more aware of how a lot of my free-floating anxiety is “performance anxiety,” for lack of a better term. But why? No-one’s even looking! Some holdover from childhood where I got straight A’s and won some trophies! Straight A’s equal love! Trophies equal security! We can see the error of my “old ideas” to our intellectual core–but sometimes it takes decades for our nervous system and subconscious to catch up.

With all that–that’s the way it is. That’s the way I am. And more and more I see–it is all right. There are a whole bunch of things that never get healed in this life–or maybe they don’t need to be healed. Maybe everything, just the way it is, is guiding me closer to Christ.

I do know this: my tiny acts of obedience are worth infinitely more than any book, any essay, any post.

And here’s some truly exciting news: The yucca in my front yard–Hesperoyucca whipplei syn. Yucca whipplei), the chaparral yucca, our Lord’s candle, Spanish bayonet, Quixote yucca or foothill yucca–has burst into two towering, lavish, ivory-colored blooms!

17 Replies to “MARY HAS CHOSEN THE BETTER PART”

  1. Valorie Shue says: Reply

    It struck me enough that I scrounged around to find a pen and did some copious underlining. The Lord’s candle is beautiful. As always, your blogs enlighten me.

  2. Diana Newman says: Reply

    Good reminder of the importance of obedience.

  3. Stephen Sparrow says: Reply

    Excellent Heather. Can’t get enough of Thérèse

  4. This made me realize that I need to change some things in my life, starting today. Thanks for the kick in the tush.

  5. Tina Daoud says: Reply

    hi heather!
    i am so glad you are writing.your thinking resonates with me.
    it was good that you refer to nature.i love nature,since i am from austria.
    i am 60 and after my youth i had no more significant education.formally.
    but i never give up.so this letter may be imature but that is not what i mean.
    the story of the bird seed is to my liking because i have conversationa how to live economically.and simple.
    i think christians have to think about it.
    i wish you a good day!
    looking forward to the next post.
    thank you for showing the complexity of all of it
    your friend tina daoud

  6. Heather, you always bringing healing and consolation to my soul, that so seems to mirror your life, struggles, and realizations. Coming to grips with my own “purpose” at 74 years of age with tottering health but still a desire for meaning and validation I grapple with the same demons. Your surrender and serenity as you grapple with the St. T. workbook is something I need to learn, and I hope to be benefitting from your guidance into her Little Way. Thanks for your forever mindful sharing. Eileen

  7. Thank you so much for this. I saw this meditation in Magnificat while at Mass this morning (where I probably shouldn’t have been reading it!) and it resonated with me as well. We don’t always have to be doing something to bring the world to Christ, the Holy Spirit guides….Jesus I trust in you, take care of everything!…and help me know when I’m supposed to take action….neon lights help a lot!

  8. Oh! Yucca bloom pictures please! And Caryll Houselander always has a mot juste-for me this time it was “ Christ does not change, the preparation for the coming of the Spirit is the same today as two thousand years ago, whether it be for the rebirth of Christ in one soul that is in the hard winter, or for the return of Christ from the grave… The preparation is the same: the still, quiet mind, acceptance, and remaining close to the Mother of God, resting in her rest while the life of the world grew within her towards the flowering of everlasting joy.”

  9. Ruth Ann Pilney says: Reply

    I can relate: “But it’s interesting to see the deep anxiety that arises when I’m not able to ‘give’ in a certain way….” Yes, that’s me, too. And it does seem to have its origin somewhere in childhood, like that desire to excel.

  10. “,,,or maybe they don’t need to be healed.” That never occurred to me and brought tears to my unsuspecting eyes. Wow! What a relief! I can let it go. You are profound, Heather. Thank you.

  11. Cynthia Merrill says: Reply

    We are always happy to hear about what you’re doing, thinking, observing and praying however grand or mundane. You give us a dose of everyday wisdom, lightness of touch, and hope for those of us trying to live a somewhat contemplative life in this often distressing world. We look forward to the St Therese guide, but like reading your blog posts too!

  12. Robert T Rueger says: Reply

    When I read your opening I thought: Wow, this familiar, I must have already this piece fro Heather before? How fast I forget excellent words of Wisdom & I must try harder not to forget all of your words of Wisdom – Thank you again, Heather!

  13. Tina Daoud says: Reply

    hi heather!
    i wrote a good comment but it got cancelled.here i try again.
    i just want to say that what you are doing resonates with me.
    to make basic busness is the same i am doing to try to live a simple and economic life.back to the basics.
    i think christians should concern themselves with it.
    i would so love to have a discussion about it.
    i am so grateful to you that you show up the complexities of everything.issues are broad and manifold!
    looking forward to your next post!
    your friend tina

  14. HEATHER KING says: Reply

    Wonderful, wonderful comments–thank you so much! I always think “no-one” hardly reads this thing and then I get a huge outpouring such as today. Here’s another comment, from Gloria, that she somehow couldn’t post: “Thank you Heather for your many writings and thoughts put to ink. I enjoy them so much. Very thought provoking and I often share with family and friends. Your way of looking at life and trusting that God has your back is encouraging. I was once told or read “is what you are doing bringing you closer to God?” I believe your writings do just that! Brings me closer to Jesus.”

    Mission accomplished….”Remain in me as I remain in you”….I’ll be back soon! Blessings to all–

    1. I am glad to see an update. I check in now and then and since it has been a while I was thinking, “How is Heather and what or where is she up to?” St Therese holds so much for me, yet I am afeared to follow where she trod. It’s like diet and exercise, I know it would be good for me, but I need the willingness to do so. Please do let us know when you’re done and how we can get our paws and eyes on what you’ve done. Thank you ever so much for your gifts shared.

      1. HEATHER KING says: Reply

        Will do, Angela, thank you. The more I study her, the more it seems to me that T really didn’t trod anywhere new. Her genius in a way was to see that all the little pains, challenges, annoyances, rejections, fears, hurts of our day are where Christ is. That IS the Way, the Truth and the Life. So we don’t need to take on any extra suffering God forbid. He’s with us in the suffering we’re already in…she was totally not into extreme penances or mortifications or anything like that. She tried to refrain from the sarcastic retort, or to smile at the unpromising person you would rather avoid. Stuff like that, that is very much withing our reach. And that is of course also super difficult…Anyway, I will keep you all posted–blessings to you.

  15. Brett Castleberry says: Reply

    Thanks, Heather! We wondered what you were doing. That meditation by Caryl Houselander is so consoling. Ronda and I exclaimed to each other about it after our morning Magnificat.

    Glorious yucca bloom! Our Florida yucca is not nearly so happy.

I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS!

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