Tag Archive | Witness

Easier Than Love

I feel like I need to apologize, because this post has nothing to do with caregiving. Or, maybe it does, in a way. As a parent, I am responsible for raising morally just human beings. And there is a great deal of care and giving that goes into that tough job (that lasts a lifetime).

Raising young kids is sometimes disheartening, in this culture, which worships so-called “reproductive freedom”. I wonder, how much has this so-called “freedom” cost us? We tell ourselves that we are in control, and that we can do whatever we want with our bodies, and that no one owns us. Really? You can say this as your government is requiring you to buy products whose purposes are not to actually save any lives, say like cancer or heart healing drugs, but drugs that destroy and prevent life instead. If that’s not control, than I don’t know what is. This kind of control and influence tells our youth that anything goes and that you never really need to commit to anything, because your choices are reversible and discardable.

Sex has become just a fun past time, a commodity, and a currency…a means to buy and sell tv shows, movies, music, and exciting products. We can trade a future of potential lasting love, meaning, and hope, for the seemingly more important intense needs of the moment. These “choices” prevent us from authentically believing in ourselves and in our capacity for being more fully alive, deeply loved, and understood. When we invest most of our time and money on things and strategies that tear down instead of build up doesn’t there need to be any moral consequences?

Our kids watch “Reality” shows that display woman after woman dating men in an assembly line of pleasure and anticipation, desperately searching for “The One”. There is competition, jealously, back stabbing, and heartbreak all on display for our joyous entertainment. And everyone so-called “wins”, as they get a chance at the painted prize and get to have their 15 minutes of fulfilling fame.And then, they are always wondering why they are unsatisfied and left wanting more.

In this “reality show” age, how much reality are our children really getting? Show after show tells them what they need to do to become thinner, sexier, funnier, and less of who they really are, and more of what others think they should be. Go here, and you’ll lose 100 pounds, and get that dream job and finally be HAPPY! Date this guy, and you’ll see a new world open up for you…you will go to far off exotic places and travel by helicopters and hot air balloons with some super hot guy you barely know (but who you THINK you know after going on 5 dates), and who recently went on 20 or so other dates with 20 or so other women. Just think of how truly “special” you will feel!

Yeah, now that’s some sad reality for you.

Because utlitmiatley; when sex, love, and life cease being sacred, precious, and real…than nothing can be

“Easier Than Love”

Ah La La La La La La,
Ah La La La La La La

Sex is currency
She sells cars,
She sells magazines
Addictive bittersweet, clap your hands,
with the hopeless nicotines

Everyone’s a lost romantic,
Since our love became a kissing show
Everyone’s a Casanova,
Come and pass me the mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Numb

Sex is industry,
The CEO, of corporate policy
Skin-deep ministry,
Suburban youth, hail your so-called liberty

Every advertising antic,
Our banner waves with a neon glow
War and love become pedantic,
We wage love with a mistletoe

Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone

She is easier than love
Is easier than life
It’s easier to fake and smile and bribe

It’s easier to leave
It’s easier to lie
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul?

Ah, la, la, la, la,
(Yeah!)
La la la la la la la,

La, la, la, la, oh,
(Yeah!)
La, la, la, la, no!

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

It’s easier to love,
It’s easier to love

She is easier than love,
It’s easier to love

Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of,
Everyone’s been scared to death of dying here alone,
alone

[Sing]
Sex is easier than love,
It’s easier than love,
It’s easier to fake and smile and brag

It’s easier to leave,
It’s easier to lie,
It’s harder to face ourselves at night
Feeling alone,
What have we done?
What is the monster we’ve become?

Where is my soul? (Where is my?)
Where is my soul?

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How Much is To Much?

Harrods department store, Brompton Road, Knigh...

Harrods department store, Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last summer, while I was in London, I visited Harrods’s Department Store. Harrods is one of the largest and most luxurious department stores in the world. It’s a place you really need to “see to believe”. The opulence and extravagance are unlike anything I have ever seen. The ceilings are decked out with intricate colorful hand paintings, gilded sculptures, and brilliant fixtures.

The opulent clothing department at Harrods, London

Harrods only sells the very top designer brands or “couture” brands, like Yves Saint Laurent, Burberry, and Marc Jacobs. They have an amazing shellfish bar, and they sell any kind of food in the world that you could possibly dream of.

At one point, we were browsing in the “discount” room looking at woman’s clothes, where the least expensive clothing item I found was a DKNY sequenced shirt going for 50 pounds ($80 or so). Just down the rack from that shirt there was a intricately embroidered suede leather jacket “on sale” for $3500, reduced from the price of $15,000. I joke you not. The first thought I had was “Um, shouldn’t they have this locked up or something?” And then I thought, “How much do they actually mark this stuff up, if they decreased the price by that much?” It probably cost a couple hundred to make it. It was total madness to me.

There were people from all over the world shopping. I noticed a lot of Middle 

Eastern women with beautiful brightly colored luxurious silk scarves wrapped

around  them, which probably cost more than my Grand Caravan minivan. Many

had their “maids” trailing behind them carrying their plethora of stuffed, heavy

packages. The women’s husbands or boyfriends wore expensive looking Italian

 leather shoes, silk shoes, and linen slacks. I got to thinking about what these

these people do for a living that they can come here for a shopping spree. Are

they wives of dignitaries or diplomats or important oil sheiks from

Due Bai or Empire Eu?

 

I thought, “Do these people wake up in the morning and think, “You know, I

need to go pick up that Burberry scarf (regular price 550 pounds) to go with

my $15,ooo jacket. I really haven’t spent enough of my millions lately….”

No, I am guessing that prices do not even enter their brains. Perhaps money to

them, is plentiful and endless, so it is of no concern.

 

We ate lunch there, which was fun, as it is such a ridiculously “surreal” place. I

had an $8  latte and a $20 sandwich, which was the best sandwich I have ever

tasted. For me, it was a fun place to visit for a couple hours. I loved the food

departments. I could’ve stayed all day dreaming up exotic food recipes.

We didn’t even make it upstairs to the furniture and housewares department,

but I hear they have pieces worth millions of dollars. All around there were big

burly security guards carfully watching the large crowd for potential

“problems”. It was a little unnerving.

 

After walking around all of the exorbitantly priced blouses and dresses, I

began to feel claustrophobic an annoyed. It reminded me of those days when

my mom would come home from trips wearing her St. John Knit dresses, which is  a brand that Harrods carry. I always had mixed feelings of awe and confusion.

Like, “Wow, mom looks amazingly fantastic in that St. John Knit dress, and then

“Why does she spend that much money on one dress?” “Does it really make her

feel that much better about herself wearing a $5,ooo dress, verses a $50

dress?” I think it did make her feel better about herself for a while anyway.

But was it worth it?

 

I am most certainly not immune to the sinful forces of greed, just like everyone 

else. I love to shop for beautiful things, and I have been known to get “sucked

in” all of that tempting materialism, which can leave you feeling like “you just

have to have it”, in order to be a happier, more fulfilled person.But, luckily for

my husband, the frugal teacher in me still loves to mostly bargain shop. I

rarely,if ever, pay full price for anything.

 

Over time, I have come to realize that those fulfilled feelings fade. Money can

make you more comfortable and make your life run more efficiently. But alone,

it can never buy lasting happiness. And the thing about my mom was that she

could have had almost any material thing that her heart could’ve dreamed of,

but the illusion of happiness that it brought her would have never been enough.

And that is because she could never truly find that happiness within her.

 

What my mom’s illness has taught me is that all of this “stuff” that we sometimes put to

much value and importance in will all very much pass away, and should not in any way

define our true selves. I think of my mom’s St. John Knit dresses collecting dust in her

closet now, and it makes me sad. All the glitz and glam can become methods and means

for appearing worthy or special. Sometimes material wealth can cause people to hide

behind their clothes and expensive shoes…..getting farther and farther from the truth of

who they are on the inside.

 

So, I guess my Harrods experience left my asking the questions,

“What really matters in life?” “How can I live a more authentic life, focusing more

on giving, than on getting?” “How can I best balance my time and money?”

“How much is TO much?”

“Gone”

She told him she’d rather fix her makeup
Than try to fix what’s going on
But the problem keeps on calling
Even with the cellphone gone
She told him that she believes in living
Bigger than she’s living now
But her world keeps spinning backwards
And upsidedown
Don’t say so long, and throw yourself wrong
Don’t spend today away
Cuz today will soon be Gone, like yesterday is gone,
Like history is
Gone, just trying to prove me wrong
And pretend like you’re immortal She said he said live like no tomorrow
Every day we borrow
Brings us one step closer to the edge (infinity)
Where’s your treasure, where’s your hope
If you get the world and lose your soul
She pretends like she pretends like she’s immortal
Don’t say so long
You’re not that far gone
This could be your big chance to makeup
Today will soon beGone, like yeterday is gone,
Like history is gone,
The world keeps spinning on,
Your going going gone,
Like summer break is gone,
Like saturday is gone
Just try to prove me wrong
You pretend like your immortal your immortal

We are not infinite
We are not permanent
Nothing is immediate
We’re so confident
In our accomplishments
Look at our decadence

Gone, like Frank Sinatra
Like Elvis and his mom
Like AL Pacino’s cash nothing lasts in this life
My highschool dreams are gone
My childhood sweets are gone
Life is a day that doesn’t last for long

Life is more than money
Time was never money
Time was never cash,
Life is still more than girls
Life is more than hundred dollar bills
And roto-tom fills
Life’s more than fame and rock and roll and thrills
All the riches of the kings
End up in wills we got information in the information age
But do we know what life is
Outside of our convenient Lexus cages

She said he said live like no tomorrow
Every moment that we borrow
Brings us closer to the God who’s not short of cash
Hey Bono i’m glad you asked
Life is still worth living, life is still worth living

“Fight” 

How cleaver is my pride, how it deceives my mind

To think I am in control when I have really lost it all
How brilliant is my greed for what it says I need
And then I’ve come to find I’m empty on the inside

Real, my heart is aching to be real
So I am coming to You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You for
So what am I fighting You for

How quick is my doubt to leave my heart without
The presence of Your peace so that I scarce believe
How pardoned is my guilt to crush the life You built
And to keep me far away from any kind of shame

Real, my heart is aching to be real
So I am coming to You
All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You for

‘Cause only You can save me
And only You can change me
And only You can love me
Here I come, here I come
So I come to You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness ’cause I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out so what am I fighting You

All my broken motives, all my selfish dreams
All of my foolishness now I understand where it leads
I wanna be in Your love, I wanna be so much more
I know You’re reaching out I don’t wanna fight anymore

I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight anymore
I don’t wanna fight

Surrendering My Shame

You know the saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me?” Well, in a family where there is an addiction problem, the family members, along with the addict herself, often live a life filled with crippling shame. The addict lives a roller coaster life of secrecy and regret, often viewing the world through a lingering haze of darkened, heavy shame. The other family members become enmeshed in a world of second guessing, desperate hoping, and pleading. This can lead to an almost unbearable shame, as their loved one never seems to “get better” from any of their concentrated efforts.

This tremendous amount of shame is a major difference between the disease of addiction and other types of diseases, like cancer. When a loved one is inflicted with other types of diseases, people are not often embarrassed to ask how he or she is doing. Concerned family and friends  don’t hesitate to offer support and encouragement in various ways.

Yet, when a loved one is away getting treatment for a chemical dependency problem (at least a 28 day stay), often times few people acknowledge it to the family that is left behind. The shame and embarrassment of talking of it, combined with the extreme awkwardness of people not knowing what to say or do, often wins out over the potential compassionate moments of reaching out.

The multiple times my mother went into chemical dependency treatment, our family did not get a whole lot of support, except from a few close family members. At least, I don’t recall much of it. Maybe my dad was to proud or embarrassed to receive any outside help. And maybe I don’t remember because I was so wrapped up in my own confusion and sadness . I believe that our family and friends were deeply concerned, but I think that the “don’t talk” policy was still very prominent in our family.

The “don’t talk, don’t tell, don’t feel” rule is a very common phenomenon in alcoholic homes. Especially in homes that are more affluent, as they struggle with trying to appear happy and well-adjusted to the outside world. Self Pride and denial also play big roles within this disease, as everyone is consumed with secretly trying to control the addict’s environment in trying to lead their loved one away from what is destroying them.

I was told early on not to betray any of our family “secrets” regarding my mom’s drinking problem. I was told not to tell ANYONE about what was happening, because it was not anyone’s business. I lived in a constant state of heavy sorrow and shame, as I did need to confide in someone. I confided all of my deep and dark family secrets to my  best friend on a daily basis. I do not blame my parents now for expecting that of me. It is the unfortunate  nature of  the damaging effects that result from this devastating disease.

In the book, “Adult Children of Alcoholics”, it talks about the difference  between healthy shame and toxic shame. Toxic shame is unhealthy shame, which originates from past verbal or physical abuse.

      “Others have been shamed by perfectionist goals that we could never reach. We were judged as failures for not being perfect or for not trying hard enough. Unhealthy shame is near the core of the adult child wound. We feel deeply flawed as a person due to this type of shame. Dealing with toxic shame takes courage, patience, and a Higher Power (God).”

      “Healthy shame exists when we recognize a wrong we have done, and we want to make it right with ourselves and with the person we have harmed. For example, when we gossip, we should feel shame because we know what it was like as children and teens to be gossiped about. We know how painful it is to be labeled or to be called names.”

Healthy shame allows you to honestly examine your life, choices, and your conscience, in order to seek reconciliation with God and those you have hurt. By seeking out forgivness in this way, you can begin to much more easily heal your toxic shame. Good counsel (pastoral, psychologist, support groups) can help you to recognize your different types of shame that hold you back from living a full life. This helps people to be open to receiving the healing and awareness that God wants all of us to have.

I recall a very painful situation of ridicule and shame that happened 3 years ago, when my mom first went into the hospital. When mom went into the ER, she was extremely inebriated and belligerent. She actually fell  down in the ER and broke her hip, which required her to get emergency surgery.

 One of the nurses that she had taking care of her was so completely and outwardly condescending and rude to her, that it was very insulting and painful to endure. Mom was very out of it and confused. She did not even understand where she was. Her dementia was worsened by the trauma of the surgery, and she was very demanding and anxious due to the effects of extreme chemical withdrawal.

It is difficult to describe  how hurtful it was to try to defend the dignity of this frail, sick, confused, difficult woman, who happened to be my mother and friend. I know that the nurse understood why she ended up in the hospital. He was visibly disgusted by her condition. Perhaps, he himself, had a parent who had sometimes also been a  belligerent alcoholic. Perhaps he did not have much compassion for those who ended up on that path in life. What I didn’t understand though, was his lack of compassion for me and my sister. By disrespecting my vulnerable mother, he was also disrespecting us. We complained about his lack of compassion, and we then got a different nurse to care for her. I prayed that he would not treat other families in the same way.

I can still vividly recall the pitiful glances of the nurses and doctors, as they watched me take my mom in for her second hip surgery. She fell out of her hospital bed a few nights after her first surgery, and tragically broke her other hip. The looks were mixed with pity, sorrow, and disgust. I have never felt so alone in my entire life, as my mom was grasping at me, begging for me to help her, as she was not even sure of what exactly had happened to her. I remember saying to her surgeon, while trying to choke down my tears, “It’s been a long 20 years”. He nodded his head in sympathy.

At certain points during her almost 3 week stay, it seemed that mom might not make it. After the 3 weeks, she moved into a physical rehabilitation center (on the locked down dementia floor)  for a month to help her recover. During that time, she was very sick. She was angry, combative, confused, and in tremendous pain. They needed to keep her in a bed that had a mesh tent attached to the top, so that she would not fall out or escape from her bed. She reminded me of a deranged caged animal. It was upsetting, to say the very least.

I have never clung so tightly to my faith, in the hope and love of Christ, as I did during that time period. I felt carried in a way that allowed me to calmly and gracefully put one foot in front of the other. And It was during that time that I began to get a glimpse of what true surrender looks like. “Letting Go and Letting God” became more than just a tired slogan for me. I started to commit myself to a deeper and more frequent prayer life. I prayed the rosary more often. I prayed with my family and church friends more regularly, and attended Reconciliation again, after not receiving it for a few years.

I asked God to please help me accept His will, what ever that may be…instead of focusing most of my prayers  on curing my mother. It was when I began to practice surrendering my will, for His will, that I began to experience moments of real peace and detachment. I started focusing on what I was grateful for, instead of mostly focusing on why this was happening to us.

You see, in many ways, I did not at all feel ready to be looking for a nursing home for my mom to move into when I was still in my mid thirties. This was not supposed to be in our plans. I was not supposed to become my mother’s legal guardian. And certainly not when I had young babies of my own, or just a few years after my mother and father separated.

But, slowly, God was beginning to show me that He was indeed, the One in control. And the more I surrendered all of my expectations and fears, the more I felt that He was guiding me. It was then that I began to see in a much more profound way,  that as long as I kept my focus on Him, on His Words and promises, and  nourished myself with his life-giving Body and Blood in the Eucharist, that everything would be just fine. That, actually, everything could be more than just “fine”.

Things could be GOOD, because I was starting to really KNOW, as I still know, that “I could do ALL things through Him, who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13. And I began to truly feel the truth, as I still do, in  Jeremiah 29:11, ‘For I know the plans I have for you’, declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

Called to Witness

My mom and I with my kids on Halloween!

Some different definitions of the word  ‘witness’ are, “one who testifies in a cause”, “one who has personal knowledge of something”, or “one who gives evidence”.  As a Christian, when I think of the word  ‘witness’,  I think of how the apostles of Jesus were first hand witnesses to His teachings, and then to his eventual passion, death, and glorious resurrection.  These followers gave up everything they had in order  to go and testify  how their lives were completely changed by the love of God.   I think of how Jesus told them to “Go out into the world and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation (Mark 16:15).  I think of how God calls every one of us to be a witness to His love and mercy in our lives.  We are all called to testify and share how God’s love has changed us, or how his mercy and grace has inspired us.  I feel personally called  to  let people know how the promises of God have given me a lasting and joyful hope, as a direct result of watching and caring for my parent who has a chronic and debilitating  illness.

When you have a relatively young parent who has dementia and is physically impaired like my mom, it takes awhile to get used to the ways that people tend to react to her.  People tend to notice us, both because mom is obviously ill, in a wheel chair,  and because we are both relatively young (I’m 38).  We often get the sympathetic, sad stares and the disbelieving looks that seem to say, “they look so young!” or “that poor girl or woman”.  At times, I even imagine some of them may be thinking, “Thank God that is not me!”  Sometimes you also get those welcomed truly genuine smiles of compassion that seem to tell me, “Good for you”, “Good job”, or “you are inspiring to me” On  some days, the looks seem to say all of the above!

At the beginning of her illness,  I loathed those uncomfortable stares.  I would dread taking her places, knowing I would  need to receive those unwanted looks of pity.  I was having a hard enough time fighting off and coping with my own internal feelings of intense anger, despair, and confusion, that those additional stares felt more like a burden to me.  In a way, they felt like just another painful stab at my already wounded heart.

As time has gone on, those looks of pity have given me an odd sense of  fulfillment.  Sometimes, I hear in my head the words, “I am a witness”, and sometimes I silently pray, “Lord, make me a witness and your example”.  At times, I get the feeling that it  is no “coincidence” that we are in this particular life situation.  I get a strong sense of “knowing” or a sense of a deep purpose, like I was meant to play this role in being an example or a witness  for this sort of compassion and mercy that is needed.

An example of this is when I took my mom to the neurologist the other day.  She was being evaluated for some  irreversible  involuntary facial and body movements that were caused by a particular strong  psychiatric drug.  During the appointment, there was a young med school student who was in her final year, who sat in to observe my mom’s appointment.  I could sense the young girl’s uncomfortable posture,  with her foot twitching and her legs crossed, as well as her obvious lack of eye contact with  me.  In those moments, I try to remember that my witness and compassion matter a great deal.  It is my hope that I showed this future aspiring young doctor what it looks like to lovingly and joyfully care for a parent with dementia.  It is my hope that I showed her patience, gentleness, and kindness; all of the things that she will need to exhibit to her future patients in order to one day be a good doctor.

This lent, I think about the ways I am called to further testify and be a witness to the love of God for others.  How can I extend my self even further than I have?  In what areas have I been only giving “just enough”?  How  can I strive to make more of a sacrifice for others by giving more of my time, more of my care, concern, or charity to others in need?  Have I given until it “hurts”? Because, sometimes that is the only way that any lasting and authentic growth can occur, when we are forced to “live outside the box”, where it is uncomfortable and difficult.  We can then gain a humility and a compassion that we could not other wise receive if we always live to “safe”.   Afterall,  If we are giving “just enough”, what is our true purpose in giving?  Is it to make a true difference and change….or is it just to appear to do so????

The following are a few songs that have been really inspiring me lately to look beyond “my own little world” of comfort…and help me to think about how I can give more, and strengthen my love for God and others!  The first is Josh Wilson’s song “I Refuse”.  The second is “Small Rebellions” (sorry, this one you need to go to youtube!) by Jars of Clay, from their latest cd “Shelter” (VERY good btw :))  The third song is called “In My Own Little World” by Matthew West.  For the last song, all you need to do is click on the address link at the end of this post to hear/see it on YouTube!   All of the videos show the lyrics of the song.

……enjoy & let them inspire you too 🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UywpoHe61sE

Feast Day For St. Therese of Lisieux!

Today, October 1st, is the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux, who is one of most celebrated Catholic Saints of all time!  Catholics honor saints because of the virtuous and selfless ways that they consistently lived their lives.  We don’t worship them, but we do ask them to pray for us and help us along on our faith journey.  Saints are our good friends…they are “best friends” with God, so they know God’s heart better than anyone!

St. Therese was born in 1873 with the name Marie-Francoise Therese Martin, and was the 9th and youngest child of Louis Martin, watchmaker, and Azelie-Marie Guerin, lacemaker.  After her mother’s death from breast cancer when Therese was 4 years old, the family moved to Lisieux, France.  At the age of 15, Therese entered the Carmelite order to become a religious sister.  She died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis.  She was canonized in 1925 and was named a doctor of the Church in 1997.  She is one of three women doctors of the Church, along with St. Terese of Avila and St. Catherine of Sienna.  She is known as St. Therese the Little Flower or St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

I am currently re-reading her autobiography titled, The Story of a Soul.  I have been so inspired by her wisdom and how she always tried to have trust and complete self-surrender to God in both the small and big things in her life.  She wanted to be known as the “little flower” of Jesus, a humble and simple follower, who always sought out the warm rays of God’s love in every moment,  through self-sacrifice and giving to others.   She used visual imagery so beautifully for describing the love of God.  She describes how in her mind she would present to Jesus a beautiful flower for every good deed that she performed….and then at the end of the day she would have the biggest and most beautiful bouquet to present to Our Lord!  That, to me, is a very tangible and accessible way to try to be closer to the heart of God!  I love some of her descriptions of  “Jesus’ garden of souls”,

“I understood how all the flowers He has created are beautiful, how the splendor of the rose and the whiteness of the Lily do not take away the perfume of the little violet or the delightful simplicity of the daisy.  I understood that if all flowers wanted to be roses, nature would lose her springtime beauty, and the fields would no longer be decked out with wild little flowers……..Perfection consists in doing His will, in being what He wills us to be……Just as the sun shines simultaneously on the tall cedars and on each flower as though it were alone on the earth, so Our Lord is occupied particularly with each soul as though there were no others like it.  And just as in nature all the seasons are arranged in such a way as to make the humblest daisy bloom on a set day, in the same way, everything works out for the good of each soul.”

I want to share an excerpt from a poem written by St. Therese, titled         “The Little Flower’s Prayer to Mary” .  I had recited a line in this poem during a very heart wrenching moment this past May, just before praying the rosary with my rosary group friends while standing around the bedside of our friend Angie Hegele, who was very courageously passing away from breast cancer.  Angie had a strong love and devotion to Our Blessed Mother, as well as to St. Therese, and I have no doubt that she is with them both now!

Beloved Mother   

in this harsh exile,

I want to live always with you

and follow you every day.

I am enraptured by the contemplation of you

and I discover the depths of  the love of your Heart.

All my fears vanish under your Motherly gaze,

which teaches me to weep  and rejoice!

Like St. Therese, may we learn to blossom where God has put us and realize that “Love is repaid by love alone!”