Saturday, February 27, 2010

Rising while it is still dark

Last night my household inducted 4 new sisters, and it put me in mind of my own induction, almost 2 years ago now.

My household has a tradition of members choosing a patron saint for their household life and having something making reference to that saint on the back of their household shirt.

Accordingly, two years ago the assistant coordinator found me one day and told me that I had to come up with what name I wanted on the back of my shirt by x day. (I think x was about 2 days in the future.)

Now, the Cobbler and I had been dating for about a week at that point, but we had already established that he is an incorrigible night owl and I am an incorrigible early bird. And he'd already noted my habit of blaming my early-rising tendencies on my dairy farmer ancestors. So when I asked him who my household saint should be, he quipped, "Look for the patron saint of dairy farmers."

So I looked, and I found St. Brigid of Ireland, and after reading about her, said to the Cobbler, "I think you just named me." I chose her for a lot of reasons; the foremost one in my mind at the time was that she was closely associated with St. Patrick and I had intented on March 17.

As for why I chose her nickname, "Mary of the Gael," as the name on the back of my shirt...well, there were a lot of reasons for that. One was to honor the Blessed Mother, because you can't go wrong doing that. Another reason was to give a nod to Mary Magdalene, who was a close runner-up for my household saint, and who was tied in my mind with Brigid, the early-rising dairymaid, because of the passage in the Gospel of John that says she rose while it was still dark and went to Jesus' tomb.

I want to follow in the footsteps of all of those women, and not just in the sense of getting up for 6:30 a.m. Mass every day. I want to be able to follow God's will for me even when I can't see the way. I want to hear my Beloved calling me and rise despite the darkness and go to Him.

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