Monday, July 3, 2017

"This is the palace that Thomas built for..." in heaven forever with Jesus, and with Mary - braiding each other's hair


This day of most powerful memories and anniversary of the death of my beloved sister, Mary, as well as my miscarriage, Thomas, on this feast of St Thomas.  Much prayer with Pat and John and tears with both form me! 
Granddaughter, Mary Angela, with my sister, Mary Susan's, graduation picture from the cabin last year as we are most years in Michigan on this anniversary.  This is a wonderful grotto devoted to Mary's Immaculate heart across from the church in Manistique, MI, and my parents contributed towards it and were instrumental in having it built.  My heart is there today, and I am filled with sadness that we no longer have our cabin on the Inland Sea, Lake Michigan.  Yes, Mary was my daughters, Nancy and Susan's Godmother.  I realize that I need to make a page for her in my life as it was so special and is a very strong tie that binds me to her... my sweet sister 7 years younger than me, who fell in love with the farm while here helping me while I was pregnant with my second child, Nancy Anna, and on bedrest.  She then was led to her farmer husband, married and had a baby girl 20 months old when she died from cancer at the age of 28.
Flowers picked from what was left of my mother's garden and some from the ditch on the way to town last year. 
Being home here this year, and many pictures around the house of my sister... it is a bit over the top, but she is still so much a part of my life after she touched us by living here with us and embracing the farm life as wonderful and what she longed for... the Lord answered her prayers in a most mysterious way with only about 2 years with her dairy farmer and daughter. 


It has always been a powerful connection for her death to occur on the feast of St Thomas the doubter.  Mary had been through some rough patches on her journey, and was in a good place with her finding her path, so we find some comfort in knowing that she was in a good place at the time of her death.  Reading in the Magnificat starting last night with a reflection and the readings for today... I was very blessed by the sharing about how St Thomas is the patron of builders and construction workers in a cool way!  He went to share Christ in India, and the king gave him money to build a palace and then left for a few years..."Thomas preached with great fervor, converting many.  He distributed the money to the people(poor)."  Of course, when the king returned he threw Thomas into prison until his brother who had recently died appeared to him..."He told him how the angels had brought him to a marvelous palace in heaven. 'This is the palace that Thomas built for your brother.'  The Apostle explained to the King...'In heaven there are countless palaces, prepared from the beginning of time, and they are won by prayer and the giving of alms.'  "  Wow!  I pray for the soul of my sister a lot!  I have a decade of the chaplet just for her journey!  How I felt like St Thomas has helped her there to find her palace filled with the Thomas I lost this day with her, and all of my losses!
Taken years later, but we loved to go arm in arm down the beach in Michigan looking for fossils, or just taking in the beauty and sharing from our hearts!


How I giggled this morning as John and I were sharing The Magnificat morning prayer at breakfast and I wept at the thought of losing her shining light from my life and that of her husband and child, who are doing well by the way!  John and I have such a love for Mary the Mother of God and of course when you talk about heaven and the palaces there for us, as we stagger down the narrow path with heaven forever with Jesus as our only goal!  Looking at the pictures of beautiful Mary, my sister, with her long dark hair..."I can picture the two Mary's in heaven braiding each other's beautiful long hair" and sharing all the fruits of the Spirit!
Mary in the middle... on our hobby "farm" just before I met Pat and came to the real farm!


I just am so filled to the brim with this new look at St Thomas!  Such a powerful message to us to strive always towards that spot made for us in heaven through prayer and almsgiving, which would include giving of ourselves without counting the cost!  Yes, he doubted and Jesus dealt with him lovingly but firmly telling him that he needs to go forth to India to share The Truth!  He didn't want to do that as he did not know the language... "Jesus appeared to him in a dream and told him to make the journey" and we know the rest of the story!  The King decided to become a Christian as the result of Thomas trusting in the Lord and facing death in the eyes.  Yes, my sister did find death from this world at a young age and we find it hard to understand the ways of the Lord, but her death has certainly kept my eyes focused on heaven and that is always a good thing, right?
I love to share the story with my grandchildren, who never knew Mary.  It would be nice to be able to share it without tears.. with me I am not sure if that will ever happen!

Lord, this day of anniversary and the feast of St Thomas has taken on a powerful new meaning for me!  I am filled HOPE and am so excited to see that my prayers for my beloved sister have been answered more beautifully than I could ever have imagined.  I also see that St Thomas is a very important intercessor in my own journey as my only goal is to be forever in heaven with Jesus, Mary and all the Saints along with my sister, Mary, and my 7 losses - Christopher, Thomas, Joseph, Paul, William, Robert and Mary!  Jesus, we trust in you.  Amen and Hallelujah
May I pray without ceasing and give without counting the cost!  Bless-bless, Barbara Luke
Mary's Immaculate heart - holding us close to that gives us the strength we need to face all that comes our way!
Mary the Immaculate..."Virgin Immaculate lead us along the way of pure love in the footsteps of the unblemished Lamb."  She does this for us... so beautifully through The Rosary!
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Love this so much and it is ringing in me like a bell of Truth!
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"The nearer one gets to God, the simpler one becomes."
--St. Therese

Delight with the Lord in your smallness today. Leave the world behind, if only for a moment.
...
Remember that we are called to be like children.

Called to trust.

Called to laugh.

Called to rejoice and enjoy all that is around us.

Remember that you are small, and God is so very big. Rest in that knowledge today, and rest in Him.


Nancy along with St Therese' beautiful message about being small and embracing it!






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