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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Drumming Out the Pipers

Is it Eleven drummer's drumming or eleven piper's piping? Either way, it sounds noisy. If you read my little post yesterday and clicked the Snopes link, you will have read that it seems the "Twelve Days of Christmas" song was actually a little memory game, a sort of "musical chairs" thing, where, if you could stay in the song and remember all the things on all the days, you got a prize...or a kiss..although it didn't say who was doing the kissing. That could be...not a good thing. And if you couldn't keep up, you drop out of the game like in Musical Chairs.

By the way, speaking of "Musical Chairs", I read a book years and years ago about non competitive games. Which sort of sounds like, "What's the point, then?" But bear with me.

I have always disliked the game of Musical Chairs. It seems to bring out the worst in people, especially children people. Someone always gets their noggin cracked, the kids who miss out on the first round not only feel like giant losers, but they have to sit around for the rest of the game pinching and poking each other. What fun is that?

So this book took regular games and made them about cooperation instead of competition. What fun! "Musical Chairs" is played with big pillows and although a pillow is removed during each round, the idea is to still try to fit everyone on the remaining pillows! Brilliant!

Although a few noggins still get cracked. But then, if you haven't have your nogging cracked as a child, you've led a sheltered life.

Sister Mary Martha I found your blog by accident but I was looking for the answer to this question maybe you can enlighten me. I was wondering if praying a novena in the state of mortal sin works? Or is the novena prayer simply completely ignored?

A happy accident for me!

It's not so simple as the prayer being 'ignored'. God doesn't ignore anything. I'm sure He wishes He could. It must be awful for Him to pay attention to the folks in the Big Brother house or the Housewives of Orange County. But He does give them His full attention.

Here is the problem. It seems you have a sort of 'vending machine' approach to God. "I pray to God and then He give me things or grants me help."

So let's back this truck up and turn the back up beepers up to full volume.

What is mortal sin? That's when you are totally out of sync with God. God is playing Beethoven's Third Symphony and you are playing "I Don't Want Her, You Can Have Her, She's Too Fat for Me" on the bagpipes.

God is always there, playing His beautiful symphony. But you are marching around in a cornfield wondering why you're always out of breath.

God can hear you.

You can't hear Him.

So it isn't that the novena will go ignored. It's that if you do your novena, you won't hear God's answer. Your bagpipes are way too loud for the string section.

Head on over to the confessional as step one of your novena. And step away from the bagpipes.


Paulina said...

Hello Sister,
I've been reading your blog for some months now. I'm catholic but I have never ask a Saint for his/her help. Since I found your blog I started to learn more about Saints and their lives but I'm still very new in all this and I need some help chosing a Saint for a complete city.

My problem is this, I live in a city where crime and violence is unbearable now. People doesn't want to go out anymore because doesn't matter where you go, something horrible can happen. We've been living like this for 2 years now, we live in war. Nearly 3000 people were murdered, more than a hundred were inocent children.

When I'm on the streets I ask God for protection for the people I see walking on the streets, when I'm in the supermarket or wherever and the military or police enter the place I ask for protection, not only for all who are inside but for them too because some of them are truly doing their job and trying to protect us.

So I'm looking for a Saint who can help us, pray for our protection and guide our earthly soldiers.

P.S I apologize for all my grammar mistakes, English is not my first language.

Karen said...

Sister, you have me laughing so hard that I'm crying right now. My dad used to sing that "I don't want her, you can have her, she's too fat for me" song about my mother when I was a kid. I'm fairly certain that my mom would have really let him have it if she ever heard him sing it. You just brought back some very amusing childhood memories for me. I needed that today. God bless you!

JP said...

Hi Paulina

I am praying for you and your city!

I have a couple of ideas, if I may share them with you.

I would ask the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Ask her to wrap her mantle around your city.

Also, pray to St. Michael the Archangel. His prayer is like this (there are a few varations).
"St Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the Devil, may God rebuke him we humbly pray. Do thou, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan, and all his evil minions, who wander the world seeking the ruin of souls."

If you are in the Americas, the patron saint for us is Our Lady of Guadaloupe.

Your specific country (or even city) may have its own patron.

Hope there's some help there! God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

Now that someone has mentioned the issue of asking for intercession as an inhabitant of a crime-infested city, I think it's time to bring up the issue with American Catholic schoolchildren as many would have no idea of what it would be like to feel so unsafe. The children of war-torn cities must often feel so discouraged and apathetic, after the fear and terrified.

These children are in my prayers tonight.

Paulina said...

thank you very much for your kind answer and prayers.

Suzanne said...

Dear Sister,

LOVE the bagpipe analogy! People forget that we cut ourselves off by our own stupidity and stubbornness, God doesn't push us away.

PS-Having spent a few years in my youth unsuccessfully trying to play the bagpipes (blowing in and fingering the notes is the easy part - you gotta have a seriously strong arm, which I don't, to squeeze that thing and get any noise out of it at all), I found the analogy that much funnier but am now hearing bwaaaaaaahhhhhhhngk in my head! Ugh!

Tami said...

What a wonderful analogy and reminder to all of us. We may not have commited a mortal sin, but any sin can separate us from God. Thank you, Sister Mary Martha.