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Praying Through the Human Condition

alec vanderboom

Welcome back!

Many exciting things have happened since my blog fast.

In November, my husband and I received our Brown Scapular. We are now official members of the Third Order Carmelites. I'll have to post a picture of the happy day, because it ranks right up there with marriage and child birth as a life changing event. One of my dear seminarian friends got to be there for my Profession Mass. He and I were jumping with joy during the Mass. The love between Carmelites and priests, even future priests, is so deep and so dear.

The priest who did our investitures was so sweet. He told me "don't give up praying now" as he put on my scapular. I held my toddler Mimi during my whole Profession, since she was not about sit quietly in the pew without Mom or Dad. Rather than being a distraction, her presence was a joy. Father joked "where's her scapular?" after he had invested both Jon and I. I had tears of happiness when we were announced as the "Catholic Church's newest people" of prayer after our final vows. I can't think of a more honorable way to serve this Church that I love so much.

We sailed through a smooth Advent. I got my prayers routine down pat. Didn't overspend on Christmas presents. Whipped up a seven course seafood dinner without notice when Christmas Eve handed my mother a family emergency.

I turned a happy 35 on December 31st.

On Mary's Day, January 1st, I found out that I'm pregnant. Our dearest prayer for two years has come true. I told my Carmel group that this was a Carmel baby. We'd had no luck conceiving for two years. Yet as soon as I got my Brown Scapular, everything came together again.

So pray for me and the newest Benjamin baby.

HA HA about my great prayer routine. Morning sickness has struck me hard over the last three weeks. Instead of deep mystical prayer experiences, I now spend my daily half and hour, moaning on my bed uniting myself with every time Jesus experienced the stomach flu during his 33 years on earth.

My prayer time is seriously pathetic. Sometimes I just sprawl out on the carpet in the morning and let Jon pray the beautiful words of Divine Office over me. We're one flesh so that still counts, right?

I asked advice from one of my Carmelite friends who is the mother of TEN. "How do you prayer with morning sickness?" She just laughed at me. "You just muddle through", Stephanie said sympathetically. "Jesus understands. It's part of praying through the human condition."

I wish all of you a happy time in our preparation before Lent. Keep praying through whatever is happening in your life. We weren't made to be angels. Our muddled and pathetic attempts at prayer are a part of our human condition.