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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Saint Colleen

When I say I'm proud, I don't mean in the obviously arrogant or haughty, high and mighty sense.

How can I explain it? It's more like a sort of rather ridiculous vanity which is why I try to work on being humble which to most people may seem rather pointless in today's world of mad self promotion.

Like I'd like to be holy. Like a saint, you know? (Or maybe you don't, maybe I'm insane and the only person who instead of wishing to be rich or famous wishes they were a saint.) I like to laugh and joke though and I am a rather enthusiastic, smiley, chatty sort of person. I am too fond of ridiculous humor and very often find things funny that others may not. Still, who's to say there weren't saints with this very same trouble?

I want very badly to be a silent, humble and wise person. Like in my imaginary life, people would whisper together in little awe-stricken groups about how profoundly wise and deeply self-sacrificing I am. It's a weird sort of pride, I admit it.

So today in mass as I sat quietly in my pew, I was thinking "God? Today can you help me be really humble?" (I always get myself into this sort of situation during mass I'm afraid.) After I finished with these words I sat silently, smiling in what I felt was a calm and wise manner at the few people gathered in the seats around me and wondered to myself if my face was perhaps already glowing with a humble yet holy radiance. I knew my hair was quite shiny and that my lip gloss was freshly applied and thought perhaps that people would admire my gentle humility even more because of how very lovely I was. You know, like they would glance admiringly at me thinking that that girl has no need of humility looking like she does. (In retrospect I think God hasn't quite changed my heart to one of true humility just yet, wish it as I may.)

As you may know, today is Palm Sunday and though I joke about many things, I actually am very reverent when it comes to my faith. So I held William as I listened to the priest read the Passion of Christ and the most horrifying thing happened. At the most somber moment, the moment of silence as I bowed my head William began to belch. I say began because it must have lasted almost the entire moment of silence. The entire time we were supposed to be reflecting on the death of our Lord. It was loud and atrocious and worst of all, at such a terribly inappropriate time that in my embarrassment, I absolutely dissolved into a shaking heap of stifled giggles. Not that I am so immature that I find that sort of thing funny but you know when you know laughing is forbidden and that very fact makes the urge to laugh worse? So I stood there, shaking with laughter, or hysteria, hiding my bright red face in William's hair praying desperately that the other people thought I was crying. It was awful. I was so ashamed of myself. But I simply couldn't stop giggling. Honestly it was so inappropriate. Once I got my hysteria under control I sat there quietly, head lowered, blush fading, simply mortified...suitably humbled.

At this rate, I'll never be a saint. Never. And at some point I'm going to stop praying for humility as well if this keeps up.

You may read here if you are curious about the first time I asked God to help me be more humble during mass.

For some reason He always chooses to answer this particular prayer in a timely manner. ;)


Brian Miller said...

whisper, whisper, whisper

(in my huddled group)


Karen Kyle Ericson said...

Hahaha I've had those moments too. Mine was in a Passover celebration. Everyone was so silent and something happened and I couldn't stop giggling! The Reverend was trying really hard not to get distracted... Oy! God does have the most interesting ways of humbling us doesn't He?

Mari said...

I've had those moments in church too. It's awful to try and stop laughing!

laughwithusblog said...

These things always happen to me too!!! And always at the worst of times, it is quite humbling isn't it? :)

Lori said...

Oh Colleen..this is so me...I tend to find things humorous that others do not...and I have struggled with giggling in church more often then most others...yes it's embarrassing but the harder you try to stop the harder a person laughs...I couldn't help but laugh out loud reading this. Whether you intended this to be funny or not, I thank you for the was so needed.

I happen to think that God does have a sense of humor and whether we are in church or else where I think he understands.

I learned a long time ago to be careful about what I prayed and asked God for...because I know he will answer it until I learned it or get what I asked for.

I've missed visiting you here Colleen...I hope all is well with you and yours. XX

Peggy said...

I enjoyed your post. Isn't it true that God always finds a way of humbling us when we are feeling a little too proud of ourselves? What I meant to say on my comment on your post yesterday was "What a God thing your words of encouragement are to me!" and not
"ehat a Go thing" that showed up. Anyway, you're a blessing! Very saintly, I think.

Felisol said...

Seems like your prayer was heard.
William's burping made you humble during mass.
God always works in mysterious ways.

If it helps, I think I was worse off home in the church of my childhood for Christmas. We went the whole family, and the church was packed. The priest ask the congregation to raise and started reading the famous lines ffrom Luke 2.
Daughter Serina, 3 or 4, protested loudly, "I've heard it before."
My mother reddened with shame, Gunnar and I started giggling.

Become like a child again, the Master was and is still teaching that same old lesson.

I think Saints laugh a lot. They just have to.

Deborah said...

Colleen, that was priceless! I think this is my favorite post yet. And i love all your posts so thats saying something. And my favorite line was:

"I knew my hair was quite shiny and that my lip gloss was freshly applied and thought perhaps that people would admire my gentle humility even more because of how very lovely I was."

I can just picture you sitting there in that pew! What a great post. :)

Btw, i will probably blog about this at some point, but I am writing for a website now called My articles there are more about my experiences with kids. If you feel so inclined and would like to read more of my stuff, please feel free to take a look on that site. :)

Corinne Rodrigues said...

I am so awe struck I'm commenting in a whisper ;) I'm sure there were loads of saints who giggled in Church (why I do it all the time!!). Colleen, saintliness is not equal to seriousness in my books at least. I think that what makes the saints so special is that they all learnt to accept themselves as they were - and in doing so God worked through them. And if St Francis of Assisi could walk off naked, what's a little hole in your skirt ;). Love ya. So good to have you back!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post! I had a moment like that ... during my wedding ceremony.

Just Be Real said...

Guilty as well. Hee hee....

Colleen said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence Brian.:)

Karen, aren't they a funny sort of way?:)

Mari, I must admit to being relieved that this seems to happen to us all at times!:)

Esther, it is!:)

Dear Lori, don't worry it was meant to provide a bit of comic relief.:) I too think God has to have a great sense of humor.:) All is well with us thank you for asking. I hope the same for you Lori and think of you and pray for you sweet friend. God bless.

Peggy, I understood what you meant.:) And yes, funny, god's way of humbling me is never quite as I imagine it will be.:) I assure you I'm not very saintly but we can dream...:)

Felisol, that is a wonderful story! I think I would have laughed then too!:) And I couldn't agree more, I do think many of the saints were people of great joy!:)

Colleen said...

Deborah, I think that is hilarious that this is your favorite post yet but thank you!!:) I am really glad you enjoyed it and also glad you liked that line.:) I will definitely check out the site you mention...I would love to read more of your writing!

Corinne, you have an excellent point about seriousness not equaling true! And I have to say I laughed at what your wrote about St. Francis...yes, at least I haven't gotten to the point yet of venturing out in a snowy forest without my clothing!:) That makes me feel somewhat better.;) I'm happy to be back and look forward to checking in with you soon!

Jane...oh no!!:) That sounds like a post right there...:)

JBR, phew, we are all in this together at least.:) What a sorry lot we are!:)

kate said...

Good thing husband did not say, Colleen, are you allright? You should excuse yourself! Kate

Karen said...

Ah, Colleen, that is one hilarious moment! I think God has a great sense of humor. and He knows your heart and faith. I, too, laugh at what others may not consider humorous-we just choose to find the humor in life. Don't lose that!
Not to "one up" you but here's a story my Mom likes to tell: She was holding my baby brother on her lap in church, when he took the bottle from his mouth, looked at it and said out loud, "By George, that's beer!" He was copying a tv commercial he'd heard. :o)
Thanks for your visit today and blessings to you!

A Prairie Girl in California said...

o Colleen- ME TOO!!!

I had a moment just like this at my baptism. I snorted, out loud,in the middle of my wedding ceremony!!! I was laughing SO hard.than I turned 14 shades of red.and laughed harder!!! the beginning of embarrassing my dear man;) . The minister officiating was my best friends dad and he made a comment about her and I that - well caused me to laugh out loud. It seems that the most solemn of church services are the ones I get the giggles. I don't think I have attended one communion service that I have NOT had to hold back the giggles. why? I am not sure. there is nothing funny about it. but- we laugh. To ease tension? I think so:)

I LOVED this post! it made me feel a little bit more normal, once again;)

(thanx for your comment on my blog!!! xo)

Just Be Real said...


Carmody Wilson said...

Inappropriate laughter consumes us as soon as it is the worst possible moment. At my grandpa's funeral there was a new pastor, who was filling in for the regular pastor who was away, and so did not know grandpa from Adam. He had a meeting with us the day before the funeral to get the family details in order to write his sermon. The day of the funeral dawns, and my Auntie Sandra (of fame) is very visibly upset, quite naturally as my family is small and her father had died. The extended family was there, but the five of us who were chief mourners were small-my dad (Donald), Auntie Sandra, Mom (Charliane), my sister Kelly and me. So when the pastor gets up and in grand and carefully emotive tones motions to the our pew and says "Our hearts go out to those who were closest to Jim: Donald, his wife Charliane, their two children Carmody and Kelly and JANET." It hit my sister and I like a thunderbolt. Who was Janet?! We were crying we were laughing so hard, so in a (lame) effort at saving face, I took my sister in my arms so she could freely shake with side-rending, uncontrollable laughter. Horrendous!

Colleen said...

Hugs to you too JBR!:)

Carmody, I seriously think I would have died laughing at that! That is one of the best stories I have ever heard...right out of "Travels With My Aunt"!:) I always can count on you for the most bizarrely humorous stories!:)

Marie Wilson said...

That is too funny Colleen! God definitely has a sense of humor I think, especially when it comes to prayers for humility....I have prayed the exact prayer and like you, thought I was the picture of humility...and then next thing you know, I am completely humbled! Haha, I loved reading this :)

Shell said...

I could never be a saint. Not even close!

Anonymous said...

i know what you mean and in a way i am glad to see you write this because for the longest time, i felt like noone got me when i say things like this!

Nene said...

Hi dear friend. Happy Monday to you. Thinking about you as Easter "Resurrection" Sunday just passed, and we had some mighty fierce Storms here in Texas. Almost Tornado weather and warnings. It kept me "HUMBLE" as I was packing up extra clothes for the kids and I and putting it under the stairs just in case we were in danger. I believe we acquire Humility when we walk through different experiences, trials and life lessons. Yes, with more we deal with, the more humble we become. Amen. I am Praising God for His Risen Son and Savior and Friends who love HIM as much as I do. Hugs and Blessings to you Today sister.

PS. We were able to get a few family pictures taken for Easter after church yesterday. I hope you swing by to see... it's so hard to get these with my daughter who is Autistic, so I am happy how they turned out. xoxoxo

Colleen said...

Marie, it is SO nice to see you on here!! Thank you for your comment and I am so glad you understand!:)

Shell, I could say the same for myself.:)

Kamana, thank you for your words. I'm glad you appreciated this post.

Nene, I can certainly understand how that would keep you humble. I will certainly stop by and see your have such a lovely family! I'm glad you were able to get some good ones with your daughter too. Hugs.

Joyful said...

"I want very badly to be a silent, humble and wise person."

Amen. A good thing for us all to want ;-) let me whisper with you xx

Joyful said...

...and I can understand your mortification and stifled laughter ;-)

Mary333 said...

Hee! Hee! Loved this Colleen! I have a bad habit of giggling at inappropriate times and your post tickled my funnybone 'cause I could relate to most of it! One time at church the young man who was sitting in front of us pants fell down and we were mooned! I've got the cough/choke/laugh thing down pat though from years of practice :) I could teach it to you if you'd like ;)
I'm right with you on the saint thing, too. President? Nah! Not me! Saint Mary has a pleasant ring to it though (lol)!