Curia Corner — ‘Up the Downhill Side’ with Ruby Lee
Note: Ruby M. Lee was a resident of Rapid City since 1941, a member of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and court St. Rita of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. She appeared as a columnist for the West River Catholic from 1975-1982. A smattering of her writings from “Up the Downhill Side,” follows, and once again, she appears as a guest columnist, posthumously, for the Curia Corner. I can hear my own grandmother’s voice in Ruby Lee!
I believe in it, don’t you? What can I find to sacrifice? I would gain no glory by giving away those things I’ve grown tired of, even if it helps the church. We can give the church money. That dirty old money everyone says is laden with germs of all kinds.
Don’t wash it first before putting it in your billfold. Let another person risk infection by handling it. They won’t’ mind. We can get rid of the dirty old stuff by dropping it in the collection plate, saving enough to pay our bills, naturally. With that germy money we can send along a prayer that those who benefit will be blessed by our Lord. (August 1976)
Where did May go?
The month of May didn’t register on my consciousness nor did any of the summer months and I may have missed them all. Now, I shall try and make them up to myself. I was taught about the virgin birth and Mary, the mother and I believed. But it didn’t make much of an impression until the month of May for that is when my first-born son appeared. I was also a mother! Mary was a mother! We had something in common and I could tell her of my joy! She listened and told me of her joy at the birth of her son. Fanciful! Somewhat. I came to love the mother of my Lord in a way as she ought to be loved by all peoples. Once, now with two sons, they both caught whooping cough. I was in agony at their suffering. I ran to our Blessed Mother. “Dear Mother of God,” I cried, “let me offer you my son in every way but please give me his life.” They have many years of credit now; they grew well and strong. In these later years the thought of my blessing has closed around me, thrusting out all thoughts of anger, selfishness, pride and envy.
Our Lady of Joy taught me this: from a short lifetime of many sad happenings, she saw the ultimate the awful death of her son. At the end she regained the presence of her Son again.
What a life after which to pattern our own lives! Without saying a word aloud, we will make the presence of a prayerful heart felt to others. (July 1978)
Love one another — touch hands
I was introduced to the pious custom of wearing a badge of the Sacred Heart early in my Catholic life. I wore the badge but couldn’t bear to look at it. I asked a good priest the cause of my turning away. He said, “Say your prayers to the Sacred Heart. Prayer is always helpful,” he added. “The picture and badge you wear calls to mind that the Sacred Heart of Jesus is burning with the love for all of us.”
A heart burning forever for me and all creation! What a beautiful thought. Love. That was the key word I had wanted to hear but didn’t know how to ask! … I loved my family, but it was all so different from the love emanating from the burning heart of Christ. I began to love in a greater way. I must call it supernatural love for this kind of love demands no love in return.
Touch hands — this is one of the most beautiful customs coming from Vatican II. Touch hands with a gentle clasp, a gentle touching, a smile, the showing of love is essential. We greet our own family and our friends with a happy shout. Most of us Catholic have put away the Catholic things in our homes which were visual thoughts of love. We no longer greet friends as the last generation did with “May God care for you and HIS love be with you.” Our actions must portray our love. Love is necessary in everything we do. Show it. TOUCH HANDS! (May 1978)