Faith Features Columnist
Growing up I always knew there was something different about my family. My parents were perplexingly unconventional. They were so chill that I often found myself confused why they didn’t take my life more seriously. The other moms and dads I knew were running circles around their children, tending to every anticipated beck and call. I was fleetingly jealous, but it never got under my skin. Things in my home ran a bit differently than most. We had rules, chores, and bed-time, but structure was certainly not our holy grail. As a child, I was too naive to put my finger on what made us different. However, I have a developing theory that the spirit of my family is rooted in my mom and dad’s mastery of recreation.
At Boston College, daily Mass is extra accessible, so three years ago I went every day during Lent. Leading up to the season, I was a quintessential bored Catholic. I had a feeling Mass was important, but my mind was never really in it. I didn’t have any expectations besides a hopeful desire to become more engaged in what the Catechism refers to as the “source and summit of Christian life.” However, it ended up becoming a special experience and I met God in a totally new way.
In elementary school we are taught that all good stories have a climax, ranging from a simple resolution to existential breakthroughs. Tales without a pinnacle were boring and not worth expression. If this were the case, my life would not be a story worth sharing.
A few years ago the Lord encouraged me to start looking for Him in small places and ordinary moments. I was enchanted by the task and decided I would write them down every night before bed to keep record. It quickly became addicting— my secret game with God. I started to realize things like retrieving warm clothes from the dryer, using Windex on a dirty window, and breaking the spine of a new book were more than sensations, they were little gifts of joy from God. My new hobby of recognizing glory in the tiny things taught me that God is constantly and lovingly orchestrating moments of small joy and contentment around every corner.
Last year Jackie, a movie written by Noah Oppenheim and directed by Pablo Larraín, gave Americans a view of Jackie Kennedy’s grief and resilience in the aftermath of her husband’s assassination. Natalie Portman’s raw portrayal of Mrs. Kennedy asks the viewers to contemplate how she managed to survive the days following JFK’s death with unspeakable grace and courage. The film’s spine-chilling score and jolting scene shifts leave viewers anxious but enchanted.