Night Games and Prayers

My husband and I play a fun* game most nights as the air cools, whether in the Fall or Spring.  We don't even have to tell each other the game is afoot, we simply commence playing in the middle of the night.  It's called:

You Are Hogging the Blankets; I Am Now Going To Take ALL Of Your Covers.

I mean, what's not to love about a game like that?  Really!  It's gotten quite aggressive as our years together pass on; playing becomes more of a challenge and strategies have escalated to a sophisticated pinnacle.

I was thinking of this [among many other choice things that were roiling around in my brain at 1:38am] a few nights ago as the air in our room had cooled to an arctic degree.  We tend to leave the windows open along with the ceiling fan running.   The temperature dropped significantly and I was way too tired to grab another blanket to set on the bed.  So I did what any proper housewife would do:  stole the warmth from my husband. See?  I began the game without his knowledge, making it oh, so much fun**.

I snuggled in the blanket feeling very sanctimonious and was drifting back to dreamland with a smirk on my face when my head was suddenly in pain since my darling husband, now cooled and woken, attempted to grab the blanket back and accidentally collected some of my long tresses in the process.  I know he doesn't mean that part of the game and if I'm going to play, I better be prepared to get as good as I give.
I'm pretty sure we look nothing like this peaceful couple
 I had a good priest tell me once that I should "know how to solve that problem:  put two blankets on the bed".  And that's one real solution.  I've also thought about measuring and putting tape down the middle of the bed and blankets so my husband can see exactly what's my portion and what's his, but, alas, I would be pushing the envelope I think.  When I mention that tactic, my sweetheart gives me daggers and storms off.

Now, while I'm kidding about this being a game, I truly think this is important stuff in the realm of marriage.  It's important for us to figure out this whole sleeping thing because if I go to bed already strategizing about what I feel is 'my portion' of the blankets, I've set myself solidly in the Near Occasion of Sin:  I'm acting selfishly and looking for a fight.  And if I'm cursing my husband in the middle of the night, I certainly am not going to wake up in a very loving mood to start my day off on the right foot.  I am going to challenge him all the morning long and, quite probably, look for other ways to either make him mad or make me angry with him.  It hinders my morning prayer and my countenance with my children as well. Of course, all of this goes both ways, but they all lead to the same conclusion:  Sin.  It's a vicious cycle and something the Devil relishes in, most especially in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage, the one place he works the hardest.  In fact, if you read the Diary of Saint Faustina, you know that 3AM is the counter-hour to the hour of Divine Mercy, 3PM and prayer is very important at the pinnacle of darkness.  

All of this occurred to me last night as I, yet again, decided that the sleeping hulk next to me [who was, incidentally, providing me with luxurious warmth] was my blanket enemy and the game was afoot.

Except it wasn't.

It was an occasion for me to honestly participate in the Holy Sacrament of Marriage and be of heroic virtue.  I could choose to be selfish or be selfless.  I could chose to angrily curl up in the blankets, leaving him to fend for himself or I could get up, shut the fan off, close the window and say a prayer for my marriage.  I chose selfless, sat up, arranged the blankets in a very equitable fashion, and laid back down into angelic sleep.......

......Oh wait. That actually didn't happen.

I did choose selfless but I laid there shivering because I stepped into the icebox that is my room to shut the windows, slowly warming, but not satisfied because I wasn't rolled up like a taco stealing my hubby's blankets and therefore letting him 'win'.  I was fuming, if truth be told, and was kinda perturbed with God [more likely my Guardian Angel] for pointing out to me my selfish ways in the stillness of night.   After I settled down in my anger and warmed in my body, I began to understand that Heroic Virtue is something that must be cultivated always, especially in the seemingly little things.  I can volunteer, shine my Light in the world during the day and pretend all I want that I am a virtuous woman; but if I am selfish in my own home, with the soul I pledged my love to, I am nothing but a publican trying to gain accolades for my own benefit.

I needed to share that blanket and pray for my soul to grow in Charity - they say, after all, that Charity begins at home.  For me, I have discovered it is even closer than that - it is lying right next to me.

I can't say that I will be perfect and not resort to tucking the blanket around my shoulder for safekeeping again, nor will I be quite charitable if I am woken with my hair wrapped around my husband's forearm, but I will try and when I fail, I will pray for extra Graces.  God Willing, that will keep me on the road to Heaven with my love sleeping peacefully by my side.


* Sarcasm
**Extreme Sarcasm

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