Seeking a cure. And some discipline.

Anniversaries bring memories, new years bring resolutions. My wedding anniversary this year brought some of each. Sean and I recently celebrated two years of marriage, and, as such, the memories of our beautiful day came back just as vividly as ever: the sunny February day, so typical of mild California winters; the white blooming quince and French tulips, the incense as thick as Tule fog during the wedding Mass. 

Those were the memories. Now for the resolutions. For the last two years of our marriage, as well as the year and a half of courtship before that, and for more than 10 years previous to that, Sean has suffered--daily, hourly, each minute, with joint pain. A trooper to the core, he's been a silent sufferer. But lately, his pain is much, much worse. And I (along with the help of my prayer warrior mother and family) are determined more than ever to do something about it. 

But doing "something," or anything, takes time. And as the saying goes, something's gotta give. So on my anniversary, I made a resolution: I would fast from my regular routine of daily posting culturally-significant links to my facebook page. So, no posting the links to the newest Planned Parenthood expose. No posting the shocker feminazi-turned-Christian-apologist article critiquing the Pill. No posting the latest buffoon move by the reigning administration (take your pick). 

And in exchange for all of that, I dedicated myself to finding a cure for Sean. And praying. A lot. 

Thanks to the guidance of afore-mentioned prayer warrior mother, we began saying a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus:
O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
 So many times, the prayers I've said in my life have been heartfelt, but absentmindedly, or inattentively. Matthew Archbold (blogger for the National Catholic Register) summed up my failings in "7 Reasons I Stink at Praying":
Easily Distracted. “Our Father, who art in….”  Art’s a funny word.  I wonder when they stopped using art in every day language?  I wonder when I say “Art,”  Does God think I’m Amish?  Do Amish people say “Art” when they pray?  Wouldn’t “Art” just sound like every day language to Amish people?  I wonder if they say “Is” instead, ya know,  just so it sounds different?  I art to Google it!  Hahaha.  Wait.  Where was I?
 It's hilarious--and it's true for me. In bed one night, rubbing Sean's ankle to help him find sleep through his pain, I tried to commit to saying one Memorare--just one--and meaning every word. But by "inspired by this confidence," I found myself with the following inner dialogue:

  • Did I just hear the baby cry? Well maybe not but...
  • If he did cry I'd get up and maybe check my email and...
  • Tomorrow we need plastic wrap at the store where...
  • I should also pick up some Valentine's Day cards and...
  • I should iron those embroidered heart dish towels as well as...
  • Three dress shirts for Sean and...
  • He could seriously use new undershirts but...
  • STOP! For heaven's sake just stop! YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO BE PRAYING!
Argh. I know that the cure to Sean's pain isn't going to be lost or found by own mental discipline, but by God's grace alone. But this is as much his journey toward health as it is my journey toward greater fidelity to Christ, in His plan for my life, and in trusting the goodness of that plan. 
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
 And a cure. We pray the plan has a cure. 

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