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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Ants Go Marching

I used to really enjoy the start of the a new school year and the anticipation and excitement.

I still do.

I just grow weary right about now, when we have to prepare the classrooms, even though we cleaned and tidied at the end of the school year. This year, sensing my lack of enthusiasm for this particular task, Sister St. Aloysius decided to come along and pitch in. This means we have to bring Sister Mary Fiacre along, too, because we can't leave her home alone.

What a production!

Just getting there was a day's work. Then it seemed that wherever we parked her, was where we needed to be cleaning next.

What an opportunity to offer it up for the Souls in Purgatory! Heaven must be smiling on us with all the newly arrived saints.

Please advise me of a saint or saints whose intercession would help me with the following on going (for years) problem with neighbours. Vindictive damage and attempted damage to property by the children, not to mention glaring, shouting abuse and general nuisance all brought on, as far as I know because we've spoken to the parents a couple of times about them throwing stones at the window and knocking on the door a few years back. Lately this has got worse as they had a visit from the police and I suspect they've decided it was us who called them (wrongly). We've just had to talk to the parents again about new damage, but they don't care at all and just deny it's their little angels and make excuses - e.g. "kids will be kids". To be honest this is affecting my whole well-being and causing no end of stress. I would love to move house because of this, but would feel a bit sad about having to, I had no desire to move before all this started years ago. We also can't afford to. Please don't tell me to just put up with it and stop whining - I've tried, unsuccessfully. Also, talking to the kids or their parents seems pointless. I really need some heavenly help with this!

You sure do!

Let me make sure I understand what you are asking. You are not asking how to make these people behave. Talking to the parents and the kids is pointless. The police can't stop them. You can't move.

You could try a very high fence on their side of the property.

But that isn't really what you're asking, it seems. It seems to me that you realize that if you don't have any options, you'll have to put up them with and stop whining, but you bring yourself to do that either.

Nonsense. If you're not going to move and you can't talk with them, you're only option is to put up with it.

In order to do that, you're going to have to change your outlook. You're going to have to do what Jesus asked us to do. It's just awful what He asks of us a lot of the time. It's easy when we just get to love people that we already love. It's easy when we get to love people who we don't even know, but who are doing us no harm, just existing on the planet with us.

The rubber meets the road when we are asked to love our enemies. Yes, He said enemies.

Just awful, isn't it? You can't even tolerate them, let alone love them.

Well, get on the bandwagon, sister. There is a very good chance, as we believe in a loving and forgiving God, that these folks will share eternity with you. You'll never get rid of them, not ever. You may as well start in loving them now.

Because everything that happens here is finite. But everything that happens later is infinite. Everything you do here is a preparation for what is going to happen to you there.

Apparently, since every avenue of relief is cut off from you, God gave you this cross to bear. So bear it the way God wants you to bear it, with love and with a smile.

I do have a saint for you. The ultimate "things could be worse" reminder of what it means to do what God asks of us.

St. Maximillian Kolbe. Your life is a picnic by comparison.

A happy, happy picnic with quite a number of ants in attendance.


Anonymous said...

I had an obnoxious neighbor for several years. When his wife died (in her late 40's) from a heart condition, he started drinking - heavily. On weekends, he'd come roaring home in his truck (which I'm sure had a jet engine) at 2:30 in the morning. His driveway was right next to my bedroom window. On weekday mornings, he'd start warming up his (jet) engine at 4 in the morning, then roar off to his construction job. So I started baking cookies. About once a week, I'd bring a warm batch over to him. The first couple of times, he wouldn't even come to the door, so I left them on the porch with a note. Gradually, he started coming to the door - and mumbling, "'preciate it, ma'am." After several MONTHS, he finally asked if his loud motor was bothering me. (Remorse?) I admitted that I did notice it, but I knew he was going through a rough time. It didn't quit right away, but it did start to taper off and then gradually it quit.
There's a lot to be said for that "Love your neighbor" stuff. Eventually, most people find their conscience, and it's a lot harder to continue the meanspiritedness when chocolate chip cookies are involved. Basically, this is what St. Francis of Asissi did (albeit to a more heroic degree). He was repulsed by the leper, so he exchanged clothes with him. I'm not heroic enough to wear a leper's clothes, so I'll just bake cookies instead.

Sans said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha,

Who is the patron saint of musicians? I am currently struggling as a musician. These days, music from the heart is not supported and instead, "factory-made" music is preferred. It is sad but I am still inspired to continue playing and creating music for the right reasons. Please help me.

mph said...

Thanks sister,
I was kind of hoping more for a saint to pray for the end of discord or that we somehow manage to sell and find another house without problems. I'd much rather love these people from afar instead of ending up on anti-depressants. I am praying for the graces to put up with this while I have to (and for a bit of peace)...

Lina said...

Hi, I have a question. An atheist girl I work with keeps arguing with me (not in a bad way, but she does have her opinions) about Christianity. This week, she's hung up on all the "atrocities" committed in the name of "your god", especially in the Old Testament. How do I explain the Old Law versus the New Law, and the God-sanctioned killings in the OT, etc.? I know there is an explanation, I just can't rememebr it; and I feel her questions deserve a god answer. Thanks!

Lina said...

Oh, and Sans, the patron saint of musicians is Saint Cecilia. Good luck!

Katherine said...

Many municipalities offer an ombudsman service, often through the police department. This is a constructive and active but not too aggressive way to try one more time to communicate with neighbors who are noisome. It is probably worth looking into.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with you sister. Putting up with such disrespect is not loving at all. By putting up with the children's bad behavior, she is allowing the parents to be bad parents. Loving parents discipline their children for unacceptable behavior. By telling her to put up with it, you are asking her to not love herself and to not love her neighbors. This poster if she truelly can't afford to move need to start keeping records of all the nonsense that is going on and get the authorities involved. The police have been called ones and need to be more involved. There must be other neighbors who are just as irritated as she is.

Daily prayer and asking for the saints intercesion is great. Hopefully this will give her the answer she needs which I doubt will be putting up with it.

Anonymous said...

I would pray the modified prayer to St Michael the archangel by Leo the thirteenth

Sans said...

Dear Lina,

Thank you very much! God bless you. =)

JP said...

Hi Lina

One way the 'atrocities' of the OT were explained to me was that our understanding of God developed between the beginning parts of the OT and the later parts. If you actually read it, you can see that in the later writings, God is not seen to actively cause bad events, but more to allow them. Note the Book of Job.

BTW...the major atrocities of the 20th century were done by atheists...Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot...

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...

don't deny that the atrocities happened, or were (at times) committed by, or requested by, clergy. Admit to them. Admit that clergy and religious are often no better than anyone else. Then do two more things.

First, put them in perspective. Make sure the numbers cited are correct (e.g., some people credit the Inquisition with killing people in numbers greater than Europe's entire population). Compare them to the atrocities committed by secular leaders, and those of other religions, in the same time frame.

Then, pull out the Catechism, and point out that those atrocities were not from obedience to God, but disobedience.