A part of one of my older stories. For technical language, I apologize for the specialty but it was what I wrote and I feel I cannot substract without unbalancing it. Please feel free to refer to: http://www.catholicculture.org/library/dictionary/ , Dictionary of Roman Catholic terms......Feel free to add a branch,and also to criticque in Comments!
Father Vincent-Mary was young, golden-brown haired, thick-bearded, and black-habited, as it was usual with the Benedictine Monks. What was unusual this occasion, however, was that his face wore an expression of deep concern.
“I know, Father, I know!” Margaret buries her face in her hands and then lifts them up in despair.
“I do not have to tell you, of course.”
“No,” Margaret looks away. “But, Father, it is so deeply associated with the other thing…”
She was brown-haired, even younger, and on scholarship to St. Anselm’s College, where Father Vincent-Mary was Campus Minister. She came from New York City and if not for her aunt rescuing her for the last three years of high school, she would have lived in the scrapes and not have been able to advance her education. Like many college students, but most especially with backgrounds such as hers, she did not care about religion, and up until young lay missionaries netted her interest in the Bible and the Universal Catechism, she was a nominal Roman Catholic. For the last four months, Father Vincent-Mary has been her spiritual director, and together they struggled with many of her troubles. He was one of her best friends.
One of her troubles, for example, involved her hands. She could not help it, she felt. It was habit ingrained from childhood. Her hands crept over store counters and bookshelves, sneaking little bits of this and that- tiny books, tiny pieces of candy- Her hands crept into people’s cars and greedily grabbed bills littering the floor, her hands were silent warriors lithely ambushing jackets and jeans. It only stopped at wriggling bits from Churches and Sacristies. For those were holy places, and they dared not creep in there.
She did not love it, but she thought she could not help it. It was tied with a deep anxiety- for lacking. Of course at campus she was able to enjoy enough food, and warm shelter, but before and after the semesters, and during breaks had been another story until her best college girlfriend invited her to come live rent-free at her parents’ house. No one knew about her hands, of course, but Father Vincent-Mary.
At this particular moment, he was studying her while she looked away. Then, of sudden, he reached across his desk and took her hand. “Look,” he said gently. “You don’t like doing it?”
“No….no, I do not.” She shook her head vigorously. He smiled.
“For those who desire to be obey His Commandments, God will always help. Do something for me.”
“In addition to your regular Eucharistic Rosary Guard, and your Vespers, spend an extra ten minutes a day asking God to help you overcome this habit. I will spend an extra 10 minutes also, to pray for you. Then let’s meet again next week. I have something I want to show you, but I want to wait till we pray about this first. ”
“Alrighty. Well, it’s almost time for community Vespers. We ought to go…and always,” he rises and lays his right hand on her head to bless her, “let God love you.”
Always let God love you. The phrase bounced around in her head as she left Father Vincent-Mary’s office. She went up the Hill, toiling back up to her dorm. Alice was there. They greeted each other, and then she faced her desk, opened her docked laptop and plunged into her blogging account. Father is always nice to me, and he understands me. But how am I going to ever solve this problem….
Then logging of her online diary, she went to her work-study job.
The zone was precarious for her hands. She had decided before her meeting with Father that she was going to battle against the temptation to wriggle and wreath into what was not hers. But this was especially going to be a very hard day.
As she went towards it- the campus bookstore- her minded wafted with worries.
The laundry is not done yet-no, she did it yesterday.
But are we sure we did it yesterday? She asked herself. No, better not doubt. Worrying got her nowhere and caused her to use her hands.
Her Constitutional Law class had a 15- page summary of a 200 page case study due. Did she do it? Did she, did she finish it? Her eyes strayed to the cafeteria, which she was passing. A singular urge raised in her heart. She felt pulled, she had to do it.
No! She shook her head vigorously. She could not use her hands. If her hands wriggled, other students would pay by the raising of meal plan costs.
Her Oral Communication class had a debate orientation due…. her philosophy class…..but wait! Why is she worrying? Those are not due till next week…But she always lacks time, better start now….
But then she has got to work… when will she have enough money? Always need money… never enough, better to save…. Save bills from the cashier’s drawer.
But no! Her hands again, her notorious hands. She cannot permit them to exercise. “O Jesus!” She prayed, “I don’t want to do this!” Making the Sign of the Cross, she entered the store. Her prayer was answered: The temptation lessened. But it was not completely gone, and of course it wasn’t Jesus’ fault- her heart was hardened enough to the addictiveness of stealing that there was no room for Him to go further in than He had in helping her.
She greeted her boss, who smiled at her. She was one of her boss’ favorites, but of course he did not know about her hands that stole trinkets from the front cashier places and little novels from literature classes that piled underneath her bed because she never really had interest in reading them. Just having them…was enough. It meant she did not lack.
Her boyfriend, Jack, was in the back-order room and when she went in to pull on the uniform cashier’s apron that was a staple in the staffers’ look, he stopped what he was doing and went to embrace her. He was a good Roman Catholic, chaste and pure. He had no greedy desires, and she never told him about the problem with her hands, as she was afraid he would run away (which, unknown to her, he would never, virtuous as he was).
As she passed sweatshirts and mugs and textbooks to the cashier’s front where she worked processing out various philaphaneria for customers, her heart pounded and her eyes wanted to stray to the many things that were there.
The corners of her eye caught a shiny mug, the school emblem engraved in gold and looking capacious enough to serve hot 18-ounce hot chocolate. Hot chocolate with marshmallows and whipped cream.