Friday, December 9, 2016

Faith shared/still at work!..."I, the Lord, your God, will teach you what is for your good..." Isaiah 48

A most miraculous call in the middle of the morning yesterday..."We will be saying the rosary with mom and would like you to join us."  My heart leapt for JOY as I was just finishing up my blogging about Mary's Immaculate Conception and reading the Gospel with the words we would be repeating 53 times together - "Hail Mary, full of grace!"  How my mother-in-law has prayed each day this prayer, and for her family to come back to appreciate the gift we are given through sharing it as families united in Faith!  Just as Pat and I arrived so did Ruth and Luke, so they too joined the prayerful circle around her bed!
We arrived in the middle of the rosary and found the room filled with petitions to Our Lady with each "Hail Mary" honoring their wonderful mother and the legacy of Faith she and dad fostered with calling the family together to get down on their knees in the dining room and pray the Rosary together.  Mom and I have shared the rosary throughout her illness/hospice days.  Times of sitting out in the sun on the deck in the summer and her response barely audible due to her weakened state.  Precious memories that I will hold deep inside of me.  I shared that the miraculous trip up to Julia's wedding in August that Pat, I, and mom said the rosary twice - going and coming home 6 hours later.  There is no doubt in anyone's heart and mind that sharing this prayer around their mother's death bed was giving her a tremendous gift and honoring her with their heartfelt LOVE!
Luke you are witnessing LOVE lived out and mom still at work in her family uniting them.  22 months ago when she went on hospice and was on death's door she would ask for the rosary to be played on her Ipad or The Chaplet of Divine Mercy was introduced by her.  "What is this wonderful new prayer that is said on rosary beads?"  they all wanted to know.  This prayer that talks about the love and mercy of Jesus?  One night as they gathered around her bed in February of 2015 mom asked them all to join her in An Act of Contrition.  Most could pull it out of their rusty memory banks and get through it.  Mom repeats this each night before bed!
Image result for act of contrition prayer
Knowing of their mother's love for this and the Truth it reveals to all of us.... a granddaughter will calligraphy it and we will each get a copy to frame and place in our homes as a special gift of Faith from Pat's mother!  Talk about still doing work from a death bed!  It was quite precious to sit there as the girls read various versions of the Act of Contrition, and she would half open her eyes and shake her head slightly "no."  But when this one was read she nodded "yes!"  Such a strong woman who loved us all to the point that we long to share in her journey with prayer and LOVE!
  After the rosary Joyce read from the Gospel about how there are many dwelling places prepared for us in heaven.  Mom had expressed some fear at what lies ahead for her... beautiful reassuring words from Christ himself to us!  She seems to us to be most of the time in great peaceful sleep, and we gather around her to pray, talk and say our goodbyes.
One amazing loving grandma to all her grandchildren, and great-grandchildren... her eyes opened a slit as Ruth spoke to her, she pulled away the sheet and reached her hand out to hold Ruth's!  I have not seen her do that for days!  It is almost as she gets a bit better each day!  Yet, we know that she is on the narrow path carrying her Cross and following after Jesus and soon to enter Heaven with all the angels, Our Lady and all the Saints!
So very powerful and deep and PRAYER in a picture!  How I love these final days of Hospice as all that is passing and not important is stripped away and what really matters is what is left... Faith and Family!  Nothing else matters in this world, and all the superficial nonsense evaporates!  Mom's prayer - "That my family gets along."  She is there in her bed working on that prayer and we know that her prayers will continue from heaven.  Forgiveness and forgetting past hurts is what makes for families united in prayer!
All life is sacred and each day we are given is a gift of sharing our Faith with JOY and LOVE!

Jesus, may "this generation" be one that forgives and forgets and goes forward united in prayer and love and faith in You and your Bride, The Church.  May we always value All LIFE from conception to natural beautiful powerful death.  No matter the helpless state we find ourselves - whether newly in this world or totally helpless dying in a bed surrounded by loved ones.. that we realize we have your work to do - teach others about LOVE and Faith and unconditional forgiveness.  May our example over our lifetime lead others to come ever closer to you.  Jesus, we long to see your face in all those that surround us most especially those in our Domestic Church/family!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
"Grandma, don't be afraid.  Run to Jesus... he is waiting for you and loves you!"  Little Sister Hallel on speaker phone from Rome, Italy.  I know that her wonderful grandma Ann is in her many prayers throughout each day, her time in Adoration and her receiving The Eucharist each day of her journey as His Bride!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
About a year ago... with Nancy and Ruth's family - notice she is holding her jar of candy!  "Grandma with candy" is what my grandkids call her!

Thanksgiving 2009 - Hallel was here for John's brain cancer battle!

John and I miraculously got to France just after his second chemo to watch Hallel take her habit and change her name!

Then in 2011 Pat's mother came to France with us for Hallel's first vows with a healed John.  Both Pat and his mother wept the most the night before her vows and they witnessed 6 postulants take their habits and change their names - "that was so powerful to see, and know that this is what we had missed with Susan 2 years before.   The transformation is so beautiful!"  said Patrick.

A recent one this spring in Ruth's new home on the farm - the 4 farmwives!  I was very touched by one of Pat's sisters saying (all 5 are home now and caring with love for their mother) that there are 7 sisters in the family including Rita and I.  Close to my Faith is Family!

Can't get enough of her and Father Paul reminded us last night that she is the patroness of The Americas and today is the feast of St Juan Diego - Our Lady of Guadalupe is just 3 days away!

I love this!

I read this to John and Pat as they went out the door this morning.  I think my mother in law does this very well... may we learn from her!

We can certainly learn humility from Juan Diego!

Once again... this is what Grandma Ann is doing now!

Peter Mayer - Holy now
Casting Crowns - Praise Him in the storm
Laura Daigle - Trust in you
Christ works His love through material as well as spiritual things.  Into His worship, following His own lead, the Church, His Church, brings material things, pure wax, flame, oil, salt, gold, water, linen, the voices of people, the gestures and actions of people, our own souls and bodies–the substance of our flesh and blood.  All this is consistent with the Incarnation, when Christ took the human nature of our Lady to be Himself."

 Caryll Houselander
The Comforting of Christ, pp. 26-27

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