Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Detachment vs Despair

Detachment says, "Well, I'd like to get married/find the right religious order, and as far as I know I'm a happy, sociable person. So I'll leave it up to the Lord. He can do the hard work, and if He has another plan for me, I guess He knows best."

Despair says, "I'm NEVER getting married/into the right religious order because I am/men are/religious orders are [bad stuff]!"

I had an interesting comment today that reminded me of the badness of bitterness. If you haven't read my posts on bitterness, type "The Badness of Bitterness" into the search engine. Bitterness is the Single's enemy number one.

People like happy, confident people. The happier you are, the more relaxed you are, the more confident you are, the more attractive you will appear to those around you.

The most serene Church Lady in my childhood church was named Jeannie. As far as I know, Jeannie never married. She had a good training in some female-dominated profession--teaching or nursing, I forget which--worked her whole life, was a pillar of the local Polish community and of my parents' parish. She was a Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and so sat up front, year in and year out, smiling. She was always smiling. It was like she had a radio transmitter in her head with which she was in constant contact with heaven.

Jeannie never married, but so what? She lived to a ripe old age, and appeared happy and tranquil and in touch with heaven to the end of her days, and died leaving her birth family with fond memories and an indelible impression on mere neighbours like me.


mary said...

I appreciate this post because I've been thinking about these topics a lot lately. I had a romantic disappointment this spring, and one of the things I've been asking God to help me with is not becoming bitter (along with healing, wisdom, and tons of other helpful things). It can be so easy to give into those feelings of bitterness at low points, and it truly challenges my faith to try to accept that I'm not in 100% control of my life and what happens to me.
I posed this question to my spiritual director recently: What if the life God wants for me is different than the life I want for myself? And she told me to think and pray about it, which I am doing. For me it's a hard topic to get my mind around. As a perennial worrywart, I have to work on not "what-if"-ing myself crazy. It's a work in progress.

aussie girl in australia said...

May I ask prayers for a beautiful seraphic single lady who died a couple of days ago. Her name was Tess and she was 93 years old. She was a beautiful soprano who in her youth traveled the world singing opera. I knew her as a long time member of the Cathedral choir I was a member of as a teenager. She was a lovely and faithful Catholic woman. She held a evening of music every year at her house for members of the choir and their families. Everyone just needed to bring something to perform.
This Monday is her funeral and in her will she gave detailed instructions as to the music the choir should sing. (The choir was disbanded a couple of years ago by an Archbishop who does not value music. All the members are coming together for her funeral though. If I still lived in my home town I would sing too).
She was well loved and lived a rich and full life. Everytime a choir member would get married she would announce in a merry voice that she would be next!

Prayers for dear Tess would be greatly appreciated. She never got to be a wife or mother but she was a Godmother to many and a more joyful and loving soul you would be hard pressed to find.

berenike said...

Can you get the choir together as a sort of musician's co-op? (like that Soviet orchestra that played without a conductor :)

aussie girl in australia said...

It does get together once a month to sing at a friendly priest's parish. It is only the Cathedral that disbanded it. The sad thing is that the choir had been at the Cathedral for 100 years. They had a library of music that was worth a great deal. The choir could trot out Mozart or Palestrina or Victoria at a moments notice. I learned so much about liturgy and the Mass simply by being a part of this choir in my teens. But anyway - they will sing at the funeral.

Emma said...

I read one quote in an article that really helped me with this. It said that, while most women become happier for the first two years of their marriage, after that they go back to the same level of happiness they were at before their marriage.

That really made me realize that I needed to become happy (read content) right now.