I enjoy learning about history. How it is people live or lived their lives. I wonder lately what it was like to be Princess Victoria Kaʻiulani, a young lady born into a dying monarchy. She was brought up in a life of privilege, wealth and refinery. Victoria had a double ancestry, her father was Scottish, and she was the crown heir to Hawaii prior to the thrown being deposed. The princess was not present during the rebellion, her father swept her off to England at the beginning of the succession. Despite the turmoil, and obvious lifestyle changes she had to overcome the princess was always known for being a graceful, beautiful, strong and determined young women. During her time in England their were stories of boarding school ladies scoffing at her color. I believe this taught her to be humble in spite of herself. Her strong will did not always work in her favor, but she always managed to compose herself or so stories would lead me to believe.
I’m also very fond of the story of Saint Marie-Françoise-Thérèse Martin of Lisieux, also known as Saint Thérèse. She was one of the youngest women to ever become a nun. She joined an order of Carmelite nuns, with two of her other sisters to be joined by two more, at the age of fifteen. There is an autobiography about her called, “The Story of a Soul” and a movie about her called, “Therese.” She was a beautiful soul, both humble and gentle in spirit. She always aimed to be simple, faithful to God, and to save souls. Most of all she knew herself. She knew that she may never do great acts of saints, but in minding simplicity of life and aiming to do good in every little moment she could become a better person and walk closer to God.
Thérèse herself said on her death-bed, “I only love simplicity. I have a horror of pretence”, and she spoke out against some of the Lives of saints written in her day,” We should not say improbable things, or things we do not know. We must see their real, and not their imagined lives.” In the movie of her life, she once confessed to her father that she had done great sins that day one was eating the last peace of cake and another was about her personal thoughts. In every little moment this women strived to be more like Jesus and closer to God with simplicity and a smile. One of her fellow Carmelite nun’s didn’t seem to understand Thérèse’s out-look on life until shortly after her death. I’ll never forget her asking Thérèse, “What is it that attracts you to me? You always seem to be smiling when I’m near or looking in my direction.” Thérèse simply responded that she smiles at the women because she is happy to see her. It is that simple, quaint and uplifting nature that reminds me of her child-like sensibility. It reminds me of my puppy, Sophie, who would always seem happy and energetic. I hope to take note of the little things in my own life that can be improved and where I can help people.
It was Thérèse Martin whom Mother Teresa took her name and vocational inspiration. Mother Teresa’s born given name was Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu of Indian decent. Like Saint Thérèse she was a Catholic nun who ministered to the sick, poor and the needy. Their is also a book about her called Something Beautiful for God. Theresa was a women who could have lived a life of comfort in the convent only seeking God and faith, but choice a different path because of her inner calling to help others.
In American society we are so blessed, even the poorest of the poor. It is so easy to over look or take life fore-granted. I’ve rarely felt the calling to go out and evangelize or help the needy. I’ve learned so much over the years, but could only hope to have helped a few people in my lifetime. A simple rain drop in comparison to the women’s lives I’ve just described who are more like lakes and oceans apart. It’s easy to over look our paths in life. From time to time I’ve reconsidered life from my location to vocation.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. That is from Corinthians, it always comes to mind in moments of soul searching. I’ve traveled to many cities across the globe and more then once moved for love. Love of friends, family or a partner but never a husband. Someday perhaps, but not likely anytime soon.
In my most recent adventure, I learned a lot about the latter part of life. In the end, it is those who surround you that are most important. I hope that when I’m old and grey, I have faith, friends, grandchildren and a husband to keep me company. That’s a big part of my move back to Iowa. I always thought I’d go to California, but something always makes me miss the mid-west. There is a sense of belonging, fellowship, friendship and it’s nice to be surrounded by like-minded individuals.
Yes, people are similar in any country and often in this country they have similar opinions thanks to national media outlets. However, core values don’t always cross state lines and the night in shining armor or southern gentlemen mentality certainly is not a trait that resides in every state. It’s hard to abide the disrespectful nature and lack of etiquette most men expect to get away with in today’s society. I’m not just referring to opening doors, but common decency and simple respect for their fellow man.
I’m sure not everyone will agree with my above thoughts, honestly they are more of a diary note to myself and where life is leading me than notes to be argued. I’ve often made a point of trying to separate my spiritual life from my work life, but this particular blog is my own reflection of both paths. My life, as of late, has been very focused on fitness, work, re-connecting with friends and studying my faith. I’ve always considered myself more of a quietly religious person, but I would like my life to reflect my beliefs a little more and that has made me re-evaluate daily choices.
I hope in some small way this post has helped you grow or learn something new, that is if anyone happens to read it. At the same time if you would like to comment or subscribe you are welcome to do so, but please refrain from negative comments or lewd banter. I’d like to think that trolling the internet or complaining to a friend simply to bring someone down or put them in their place is a lot like taking a can full of trash and dumping it on your best friends head and your own. It not only brings down my day a little bit, no matter how much I try to let these things roll off the cuff, but let’s face it, negativity also blackens your soul a little bit.
Wishing you nothing but the best in the coming week.