apple pie

In the Novena of Surrender to the Will of God”, the ending prayer is: “O Jesus, I surrender myself to you, take care of everything”. I mention this novena, because this current post speaks about ehhh, shall we say, my recent butchering of this novena. Let me explain…

I was in the process of making two apple pies this afternoon. The alarm on my IPhone went off. It reminds me with the prompt “Surrender” to say the highlighted prayer at the top of this post. (I like to think that I have my IPhone serve me and not the other way around.) Anyway, back to my pie making, I was adjusting the oven to the second temperature setting, that I use half-way through the process. I glanced at the IPhone, uttered a quick (un-meaning) prayer, and completed the temperature setting process. The pie already looked absolutely beautiful. The crust was turning a nice soft brownish color around the edges. It would soon be done.

Twenty minutes later the oven timer went off. The pie was done. Juices were bubbling out of the little slits in the top crust. “This has got to be my best yet”, I thought. Now here is where the gentle story about a pie, turns into a tirade of curse words, shouts of grief and anger you would not believe. (My Italian temper is always with me.)

As I said the timer went off. Normally, I take out together, the pie AND the pizza stone on which the pie is baking. But this was a special occasion and I was making two pies. I needed the stone for the next one. I brought the pie and the stone over to a pie rack and tilted the stone so that the pie would slide off. ….. uhh…. slide off.
Nothing happened. The pie sat right where it was. I tilted it a little more, but still nothing. The pie just sat there, kind of laughing at me. I had the heat gloves on, so I tried nudging it just a little. (The next two minutes I would like to leave out, but you are already aware that something not right is going to happen.)

As I discovered later, some of the bubbling juices had spilled onto the stone and were preventing the pie from moving. Pushing (or nudging, or hitting it with a sledge hammer) wasn’t going to dislodge it from the stone. That’s really not correct, though. The top half of the beautiful crust slid off exposing the cooked apples and juices that were inside. Fortunately, for me, the kitchen door and windows were closed, so my pretense of being a sane, calm, well-balanced neighbor was still intact. The invective that poured from my mouth and my vocal chords would have made an old-time sailor on a deck, proud.

My thoughts went back to my IPhone alarm. Surrender!!! I write this post with egg on my face, and the day’s events proved to me how much, once again, I do not surrender to His will. It is easy to rattle off words, “I surrender myself to You”. But to say them and let them mean “WHATEVER you allow to come to me, or  to happen to me, I accept… that is not so easy. How can I, how can we possibly mean that? It has to be more than words, more than pious platitudes. That surrender has to focus on His love for us, what He means to us, how can we possibly love Him back for ALL that He has done for us. It must focus on our true trust of Him, knowing that His love will not harm us, knowing that everything that happens to us…the good, the bad and the ugly, He allows for some better good, for something more positive, something that we will dearly cherish. Our trust in Him, will bring us into His loving heart. Every negative that we experience, and accept as passing through His will for us, brings us closer to Him, closer to His loving heart.

POSTSCRIPT: For all you bakers out there, there is kind of a happy ending. The pie was fixable. It kind of looks like scar face, but the taste will decide its’ worth.

And lastly, I don’t think I did a good job of accepting the crisis, when it happened. But I can say this, “It led to this post, which is trying to show how to make use of a mishap and strengthen our love of Christ.”

(At the top of TheSteppingStones page, you will see a little white box. On it are the words: “Search this site…” Type over those words with “Dolindo Ruotolo”, the author of the novena mentioned above.) This will take you to 3 posts. The first post is labeled “A Prophet in our time”…this contains novena days 1, 2, and 3. The next post contains days 4, 5, and 6; and the last post contains days 7, 8, and 9.

The 3 Posts directly below, blend with this theme. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 1
2) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 2
3) Dolindo Ruotolo segment 3