Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday's Passion

It’s been a rough week at the Benjamin household. Each kid has a unique challenge this week: stomach flu, failed potty training and teething. In the midst of this, I accidentally forced myself to attend traffic court this morning. (Who can remember to timely pay their dead tag tickets in the midst of all of this family chaos?) The three hour round trip into the city was just what I needed to reflect on how truly blessed I am.

While I was appreciating the lovely solitude of my journey, I ran into an extremely harried female lawyer on the steps of the courthouse. She was anxiously waiting for her client to appear. I’ve shared that look so many times in the past, I recognized her feelings immediately. I just said a prayer of Thanksgiving because I’m so thankful that I’m not “working” anymore. My work is helping this little family hang together in the rough times. When my kids get sick, it just means more sleeplessness and more piles of laundry for me. I don’t have to scramble for sick kid care or problem-solve on the cell-phone from a business meeting.

This stay-at-home life is a rare gift in modern life. Having a Catholic faith and strong marriage is an even greater blessing.

Here to celebrate the beloved gift of marriage is a portrait of Marc Chagall’s beloved wife, Isabella. I love how this sinewy mother floats gracefully over the laundry and a laughing husband and child. I’ll have to strive for more graceful “floating” this weekend.

Bella with a White Collar, 1917

Since it is a Lenten Friday today, check out Chagall's haunting crucifixion scene.

White Crucifixion

This painting emphasizes Jesus' Jewish faith. He has a prayer shawl wrapped around him. Surrounding him are scenes from Stalin's progams against the Soviet Jews. You can see the crowd bearing Red Soviet flags in upper left hand corner, along with burnt houses and a rabbi consoling his crying congregation. A robber in green makes off with stolen treasure. In the lower right hand corner, a precious torah is being burned. (Chagall was a Russian Jew and endured many trials before finally coming to the US.)

Prayer: Father, may we never take the sacrifice of your Son for granted. May we believe in his power to ransom us from sin. May we share his peace always with our Jewish elder brothers in the faith.

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