Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A Very Fluffy Kind of Love

Subtitled: My Catholic Sinecure

Father and Son
A Fluffy Moment between Father & Son
This post has been kicking around in my completely overwhelmed brain for...what? At the very least, a couple of weeks. Enough is enough. I have absolutely no time for perfectionism these days and so…here goes.

Goodness knows we all need a little distracting today.

Or not.

Are you online? Or are you fasting and praying and praying and fasting and hoping against hope that your candidate wins? I can’t fast, so I’m attempting to blog instead. That will be my sacrifice.

Here’s what I have wanted to say. I feel I’ve complained a lot in this space and you, dear reader, have been nothing but kind. Thank you for that. I am truly grateful.

Except…am I? Am I grateful for all that I’ve been given? Am I responding to God’s call to lead a more authentic life and—most important of all—am I embracing my cross?

I don’t rightly think that I have been.

When I was in college back at Moorhead State, I decided to use up an elective by taking Latin. Twice a week, I hopped on a campus bus for the college across the river, where I joined a bunch of young kids who actually needed Latin.

This for a class I was taking as a whim.

I loved learning Latin, though; I loved the class and learned a lot.  My teacher’s name was Dr. Nichipor—an older guy with a dry sense of humor and a really good command of  the language. He had a way of making things stick. The proof? To this day, I remember being taught the word sinecure. I remember him standing in front of the class and asking, head cocked playfully,  “Do you know what the word ‘sinecure’ means?”

We did not. Collectively we blinked back at him.

He grinned and told us, “It’s a cushy job.”

This is the memory I had when I subtitled this post, because I think—no, I know—that I’ve been expecting my job—as a wife, as a mom—to be far more cushy than my faith would ask. Where is the grace in that? Where is the growth? Yes, there have been some unexpected events in my life—unexpected, and sometimes quite unpleasant. Yet God has willed to send them to me and then, in His goodness...

He has softened the cross.

He does that all the time, you know. He cushions the wood; He sends us people who care.

That brings me to the title of this post—to what I mean when I say “a fluffy love.” When we were home mid-October visiting my family in North Dakota, my sister presented me with a bulging gift bag. “It’s for your birthday,” she said with a grin. “Because I love you.”

Well, there were numerous items in that bag—indeed, there was much too much, as is this sister’s way. She just never stops giving, you know? One of her gifts was a large fleece blanket—the kind you leave in the family room for when you watch TV—and boy, do we ever fight for the rights to this blanket. It’s soft…and warm…and...and...so fluffy, really, that we want to die.

“It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!”

Tell me you’ve seen Despicable Me. If you haven’t, tell me you will.

My point? There have been so many people have softened my cross that I am deeply humbled. We have received PayPal donations and bags of clothing; we’ve gotten care packages stuffed with sweetness galore. There have been encouraging emails. prayers and Masses offered, and on one completely astounding occasion, a Groupon for two to a local bed and breakfast.

Who am I to ever complain? Who am I to take anything for granted? 

Still I do, because I’m a work in progress.

Still I thank God, for softening up my cross.


  1. I think God is just teaching you a lesson in trust because He ALWAYS provides!!

    Love this post, Margaret :)

  2. I guess that is why we are called "practicing Catholics" because we still trying to get it right eh ;-)

    A visiting priest from India at my Parish said a very interesting statement in a homily a couple of weeks ago. He stated that we are very willing to wear a cross on a chain around our neck, but are we willing to "carry and embrace the cross"!!! The former priest at this man's parish in India was martyered, so this statement was very meaningful!!!!........

    1. p.s. please post more "fluffy moment pictures"....they are better than anti depressants for me eh!!

      I will be watching the election results today and crossing my fingers and toes for my US neighbours!

  3. "You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them." -- St. Therese

    In other words (my words), it's not how big or how hard your cross is, but how much you want to carry it.

  4. I have not seen Despicable Me, but my kids have been asking me if we could check it out from the library. So far I've said no because it looked, well, like it was encouraging the despicable. But since you've endorsed it, I figure it's safe to let them watch it.
    Love and prayers for you and your family!

    1. Oh dear, that makes me nervous, Gail! Mind, if you do watch it, [SPOILER ALERT], you gotta stick around for his redemption.

  5. This post so much made me smile.

  6. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Oh my goodness, Despicable Me. Love that movie. My daughters love that movie, watch it every other week, know every line. Hilarious!

  7. Anonymous9:25 PM

    Ohhhhh the book he writes...., it leaves me a mush every time!


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