Friday, August 27, 2010


"Fear is useless; what is needed is trust." Luke 8:50, Mark 5:36

Easy to say, right?

 I have heard and read lots of good teaching about this subject. But the best teacher has been life itself.

 I've found that trust comes a bit easier for the long term issues for which I pray--especially eternal salvation for my family and other loved ones. Also for people of whom I am not personally acquainted, the Pope for example. I pray for his intentions at the conclusion of each Rosary, and sincerely ask God for his protection and guidance; but I do not suffer the same pangs as when I am praying, for instance, for my two hospitalized  daughters, one here, one in Michigan. (that was quite a time!) In that state of  prayer, I awake all throughout the night. Every waking moment I have the intention in the foreground of my thoughts, often accompanied by  the physical  feelings associated with grief. If you are alive and reading this, you know that twisting of the gut that I speak of.

 Aren't the here and now situations, the ones with the hard edge of reality gouging you in the ribcage, really the places of life that are so difficult to hand over to God? Finances, for example. Nothing is harder edged, more coldly factual and without emotion, than money. Yet, people's emotions are often very linked to it. Look at the stock market, driven by the feeling of the day. I guess it is the necessary stuff of life, and we have to deal with it--I have been affected at various times by a pretty grim monetary poverty, and know the daily stress it can impose.

On the flip side, I also have experienced in that real, more real than real, way, the hand of God coming to me in desperate situations; bringing His love, assurance of His presence, sometimes physical relief. But always, a freedom from the prison of fear.

Several years back, our dear Father Terry (pictured  in the slideshow with us at our wedding ), in a session of spiritual direction,told me to look back at my life, and document my own salvation history. Meaning, the times I could see the hand of God, noting through whom or what He came, and what was the effect? So very often  the pattern was - me surrendering something I was holding tightly to for comfort--whether it be a relationship, a mindset (fear, pride, insecurity, for a few of the big ones) or even control of certain outcomes, say, concerning my children. The results? Grace. Overflowing, abundant, overwhelming at times.

Our Lord is so available, so immediately present, so attuned to our every thought, struggle and prayer,---

(O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. Psalm 139 1-4)

--that, if we were aware, I think we would continually be falling on our faces in awe and gratitude. Not to mention all we ask to help and guide us--our Blessed Mother, all the saints and angels, our dear guardian angels, to whom we give almost no thanks or recognition. I have often joked that I keep my favorite saints quite busy praying for my family--Saint Monica (today is her feast day!), Saint Augustine (tomorrow is his!), and I love some of our more contemporary saints, who walked the earth on our lifetime and saw the direction our modern times were taking- Padre Pio, Blessed Mother Teresa, Pope John Paul II (not yet!), Solanus Casey--these are just a few. And since his passing, I ask Father Terry for his prayers. I often joke that I didn't even give him a chance to get there and put his feet up before I put him to work. But he had a real love and interest for my family, so who better to ask?

The point of doing that was to see in my own salvation history--that God is worthy of my trust. That even in situations I never would have thought I could make it through at all, (poverty of heart and of pocketbook, abortion, abusive relationships), He has brought me through each and every one, to emerge stronger, more at peace, and immensely thankful and blessed.

May His peace reign in you today and always-


St. Monica, pray for us!

Feastday: August 27
Patron of Wives and Abuse Victims

St. Monica was married by arrangement to a pagan official in North Africa, who was much older than she, and although generous, was also violent tempered. His mother Lived with them and was equally difficult, which proved a constant challenge to St. Monica. She had three children; Augustine, Navigius, and Perpetua. Through her patience and prayers, she was able to convert her husband and his mother to the Catholic faith in 370· He died a year later. Perpetua and Navigius entered the religious Life. St. Augustine was much more difficult, as she had to pray for him for 17 years, begging the prayers of priests who, for a while, tried to avoid her because of her persistence at this seemingly hopeless endeavor. One priest did console her by saying, "it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish." This thought, coupled with a vision that she had received strengthened her. St. Augustine was baptized by St. Ambrose in 387. St. Monica died later that same year, on the way back to Africa from Rome in the Italian town of Ostia.

                                                                                             *note- whenever I see this image(we belong to St.Monica parish, so I see it all the time--it is a statue in our church) I cannot help but think of Father Kelley remarking that they look like they are watching the eleven o'clock news--thanks for that, Father! lol

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