I mindlessly scrolled through Facebook on Thursday evening. I was exhausted from another full day of transitioning into a family of 10. The newest addition to the Brix family, John, was born on Oct. 14.
Adam, Jacinta, Lucy and Joseph welcoming home baby John from the hopsital!
He is an adorable little baby, but has very strong opinions on life. I can easily handle his crying episodes early in the day, but by evening I can get pretty burnt out.
So, my thumb was on auto-pilot as I scrolled past the targeted ads, and zoomed by the Halloween posts from friends who clearly have their lives put together with their brilliant costumes. My eyes glazed over at the posts from some of the great Catholic groups I am in that offer cool education on the feasts of All Saints and All Souls. I just wasn’t in the mood tonight. But what really irritated me that night were the pictures of beautiful families visiting their loved ones in the cemetery.
Why did this bother me so much? Because, my dear friends, the Holy Souls in Purgatory, are some of my favorite
people, and I felt like I let them down because I didn’t come to visit them. I know that there are plenary indulgences to be granted during the first week of November in their honor and here I was lying on my couch wasting time.
You can say my conscious was pricked!
I spent all evening thinking about how I didn’t do anything to honor them that day. My mind went back in time to all the amazing things that we had done as a family in the past, and I was ashamed to think how I was now failing as a parent.
The nights are long these days. John is up every few hours at a minimum. Sometimes he eats and goes back to sleep, other times he doesn’t… the bags under my eyes are evidence of these shenanigans.
One of the many times he got up, I was again feeling bad about ignoring the poor souls when they needed me the most. I pray for them all year round, not just during November, so why, in November, am I forgetting to pray for them? Sometimes an exhausted brain is also surprisingly efficient. And my exhausted brain just said, “I surrender. I offer this feeding up for the poor souls.” And the negative self-talk went away.
The next time he woke up, I again offered it up for them. I know it wasn’t much. I didn’t bring flowers out to the cemetery, clean off a headstone, stop and specifically pray at an abandoned-looking grave, or anything else for my Holy Souls. But life with a 2.5-week-old baby requires special different expectations.
I didn’t feel as good about helping out the poor souls this year. But perhaps that was the exact lesson that I needed to learn! Humility is the foundation of all the virtues, and the Lord knows I need a lot of practice in that department!
I don’t know what next November will look like. I will have a 1-year-old, 3-year-old, 5-year-old, 7-year-old, 9-year-old, 11-year-old, 13-year-old and 14-year-old. I hope we have an amazing start to our November with plenty of cemetery visits, but for this November, I am just going to try to survive one long night at a time, knowing that those long nights on my end are the source of great comfort and joy to a dear suffering soul.
Until next time, your sister in Christ,
*If you are looking for more information on the Holy Souls, such as, who are they? How can we help them? What is devotion to the Holy Souls? Click on the link below!