Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Family: Jesus in My Daily Life

Readers are climbing these mountains of prayer and meditation or going into the valleys of my struggles, and they are perhaps wondering, "What's going on with the family?"

Good question. All of these deeper, more interior reflections are a horizon for a family life that goes on from day to day. They are sometimes written while small children are climbing on me.

When Blessed Charles challenged us to see and serve Jesus in everyone, it struck me deeply how much this means for me, Eileen and the kids. Here is Jesus in my daily life.

I believe this and I am even attracted to it as an abstract ideal. But when I actually look at these people and how I treat them every day, I might despair, were it not for my confidence that He has already begun to work a miracle in my life. He is giving sight to my blindness, placing in my heart the prayer to recognize His presence and to live the sacrifices of family life as a opportunity to develop the habit of being open to His presence.

I'm not going to try to kid anybody. Christ really incarnate in the flesh and blood and personalities of my family--this takes my breath away. Yet there He is.

My prayer is to begin to see Him and love Him in my wife and children, and I am resolved to practice and develop the habit of asking to see Him and expecting to find Him, so that He might engage my heart with His grace and I might love and serve Him. He is really here, inside the fun, goofy, growing, dramatic, sometimes suffering life of our family.

Everyone is fine. John Paul goes to school and we have great conversations about what he's learning. He has begin to show the capabilities and a little of the drama of a budding young man. Agnese embarks upon the age of 13 in a few weeks, and is a very different kind of person than her brother. Much is happening beneath her quiet exterior. She seems to have, or perhaps she is better able to express, a desire to communicate with me and engage me in conversation.

Lucia too is quiet but attentive, and has her bursts of creative expression. She is kind and thoughtful, and sympathetic to others. Teresa is doing well, and has been quite a social butterfly since the school year started. For now, she is much better and I am so grateful. And of course, Josefina. Learning her counting and much better with her letters. She'll be reading on her own before long! She is also clearly a Montessori educated child, who keeps herself busy with many of her own little projects. The way she explains her drawings shows me how her mind and imagination are opening up to become aware in her five-year-old way of such realities as distance and the passage of time.

And Eileen and I have a little time these days to be together, at least when the kids are finally asleep. She loves her work. But there is a lot of it. Sometimes she is tired, and when she is it is my job to make sure she can rest.

Oh, and then there's our kitten, Alexandra. But I need to write a whole blog entry on her, another time.