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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Roadtrip Through Lent

Whenever we travel with Sister Mary Fiacre (even if we're only going around the block) we have to plan our strategy very carefully. We have to take into account if we can get her in and out of the vehicle, if a vehicle is involved. We have to make sure the vehicle can hold us and her and her wheelchair. We have to make sure one of us can lift the wheelchair to where it will be stashed in the vehicle. We have to time the trips between her naps, because it's much, much harder to move her around if she's sleepy. Or asleep.

We bring snacks. Snacks help if she becomes restless when we arrive at our destination.

So for Lent we've tried to take her everywhere. That doubles the strategy. Now we have us, her, the wheelchair, her little wheelchair goodie bag, the groceries, the pew cleaning equipment, school materials, choir books, McDonald's fish sandwiches...for which we have to find room. We like to be environmentally aware so we also fit in anyone who needs a ride if we can. Anyway, that's one more person to help us lift. On a busy day it appears we all live in the car.

I particularly enjoy that because we live in a neighborhood of McMansion people who despise people who live in their cars. I suppose I'll have to confess my glee.

I felt that my Lent had been going well. I've really missed the basketball games, I've found things to give up left and right: milk in the coffee, the coffee, an extra hour of sleep, dinner...not putting on slippers in the morning and walking on the cold floor, spending just about every second with Sister St. Aloysius, God love her, sweeping our neighbor's walk covered with itty bitty leaves that fall in the thousands every day from their massive tree, eating bean soup. I just really, really don't care for bean soup.

I felt I that I was in the Lenten groove, so to speak. That is until I read the story of the patron saint of today, St. Jonas of Hubahem. St. Jonas was a monk working in Persia, probably sweeping the leaves off his neighbor's sidewalk, when he was martyred. He was beaten with clubs and impaled with a stake. Then he was thrown into a freezing pond overnight.

But he didn't die. So the next day they cut off all his fingers and toes. After that they crushed him in a wine press. Then they cut him in half and threw the parts down a well, posting guards around the well so none of the Christians could come back and gather relics.

I wonder if they threw the fingers and toes down the well, too. Fingers are high on the list of things that become relics. I hope the Persians didn't know that.

No matter how bad you have it there is always someone who has it a little worse than you. And there is a person who has it worse than that person, and a person who has it a little worse than that guy. Somewhere there has to be a person who really is the last person. No one has it worse than that guy. I have a feeling that St. Jonas was that person one fine day in history.

I can't imagine being that person, but for the example of St. Jonas whose feast day is today. I will be inspired today to redouble my efforts. Actually, I will have to triple my efforts, since today is Friday, a day on which we always have to double our efforts.

Perhaps a roadtrip with .....the gang.