Thursday, August 4, 2016

"When I am praying, I am not sinning."

Mom saying goodbye to her last living sibling - Maurice Louwagie- yesterday with 4 of her kids.  Mary, Pat, and RaTerra, and Ed had left with the honor guard.  Can a funeral for a 94 year old man be wonderful?  Yes, there was sadness for mom, who told Pat that she wanted to go ahead of her younger brother, and she will continue to miss him and mourn him.  Yet, there was much about the funeral and gathering with his wonderful huge faith filled family that made it all wonderful on so many levels, too!  The homily by Fr Matt, who had never met him personally, but knows 3 of his daughters and their families very well, was so good that Pat's sister, Mary, said that she was taking notes!  I smiled inside and out when Father said that Maurice always had his rosary beads and spent much of his day in prayer... "When I am praying, I am not sinning."  My newest motto for life!!!!  Thank you, Uncle Maurice!
Talk about crazy... Pat surprised me with roses for our anniversary, except he had me drop him off at HyVee, and then he ran into his sister, Mary, there to get some flowers for her mom.  Catching up in the car with my beautiful roses!

This all landed on our 38th wedding anniversary, so it gave me a lot of happiness to share this big part of the day with Pat and quite a bit of his family, who came up to the Basilica of St Mary for our wedding that same day 38 years ago.  Yes, Uncle Maurice and Aunt Bernie came along with all of mom's brothers and sisters with their spouses.  Now all 19 of them are gone... mom is the only one remaining of the 10 siblings and their spouses! 

We even had our Matron of Honor, RaTerra, there with us.  She introduced me to Pat at her wedding just a year before, so I always say she is the reason for my whole life!
Lots of deep thoughts and prayers...

Somehow this fits in my heart with the motto I have gained from Uncle Maurice...  If we are praying, we are not sinning and much of it is a love language between us and our beloved Christ Jesus!  This is so true for me... I only want to be with my Jesus every moment of every day.  How I long that every breath that I take and every beat of my heart could be speaking his name with LOVE and adoration!  I just remembered that today is Adoration and I have a need to go to town!  Now I am so excited to go and have the best hour of my week - such an amazing gift! 

Yes, today is the feast of St John Vianney, a truly humble man, who gave his life for the priesthood, and as a result is the patron saint of priests!  John and I were praying for all the amazing priests in our family and our lives, and prayed that many more young men would say "yes." 
Mom is so loved by her nieces and nephews!

Lots of interruptions with the phone today.  We are trying to get out of town tomorrow morning to see two of our daughters, so it always gets zooey when we try to get out of town and away from the farm.

Jesus, I think I should be praying always and give that sinning a wide berth!  May I carve out time today to come to you through your wonderful loving Mother.  She never leaves me and so often a "Hail Mary" will come to me in the midst of the frustrations and worries of life.  The peace then flows and I know that I am not alone.  Thank you for the lesson in humility we see in St John Vianney today.  We truly are called to be childlike in our care only for you and not for we ourselves. Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
Hard for mom to smile...  She is so supported and loved by her kids these last days on this earth, though.  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke

Pat and I went to bed laughing about our favorite story of Maurice and Bernie... We had decided not to invite the great aunts and uncles to John's graduation party.  About an hour before it started Maurice and Bernie arrived and sat on the couch waiting for it to start.  We politely offered them food, but they said they would wait for others to arrive.  They sat there and watched us do the final jobs like mopping the floor on my hands and knees, and all those last minute things you do last minute while you are frantic and dripping with sweat!  Talk about one of the most humbling moments of my life!  Oh, and Uncle Maurice had on his famous pink pants to top off the fun!  It brings laughter to us and we will always recall that funny time shaking our heads with chagrin!  I came down a notch closer to the humble Saint John Vianney that day and every time I recall it. 
Farewell Uncle Maurice - Jesus, is our all in all too!
Nuns needed to be there, too!  The handmaids knew his wonderful daughters and their families in New Ulm, so they needed to come and pray their respects to the man responsible for their Faith and Family!

Do you think Nancy has her arms full?  The Best!!!  Love to see how Josie is bright eyed with all the others!  So wonderful!

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