"Me neither." another volunteered.
"You have fourty-five minutes right now." I said and set the timer.
I considered Mary's lfe and grace once again. Mary had and has it hard; she had all of us to deal with, and we're all these messy squirly quarlesome children with different agendas. The mass ended and there was an opportunity to go and venerate a relic from the Blessed Mother. A piece of her mantle was presented. After I kissed the relic, I felt a deep sense of knowing, the obedience of grace, is the obedience born of love, that bears all things, hopes all things, and doesn't fail in patience or kindness, even when it seems like it would be so much easier to say, "Knock it off." because I said so. Walking up, children in tow, smelly, still struggling with the trials of the day and the very real issue of my own wardrobe problem, I felt very much like the stable coming to her, in all its dirty dingey undignified way, coming to be somehow made better by love. And it did. Mary's kiss made everything better, even if nothing physically changed, how we treated each other, how we saw each other, did.