Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our Lady of Sorrows

I’m currently reading Cathy Adamkiewicz beautiful book Broken and Blessed. It tells the poignant and hopeful story of Cathy's baby Celeste, a child born to suffer, to die, and in doing so, to touch and transform the lives of countless people.

I’ve been highlighting some of my favorite passages and this one stood out in my mind:

I recalled that Jesus had given me His own mother at the foot of the cross. "Then He said to the disciple, 'Here is your mother.'" Jesus spoke not only to John, but to me, and Celeste. I left Celeste in Mary’s care, knowing that she was a better morther than I could ever hope to be.

Hopefully, most of us won’t have to watch an infant or any child of ours die, but we will all witness our children suffer. Our babies sometimes writhe in pain and cry uncontrollably despite being held closely in our arms. Our toddlers fall and get cuts and scrapes and other boo-boos that require a feel-better kiss. Older children get teased and hurt emotionally. They get rejected when they audition for plays or try out for sports teams. We’ll also likely see our kids suffer bigger pains like broken hearts, missed job opportunities, or even serious sicknesses.

I can still remember the time I lost the student council election for class president when I was in the eighth grade. I’d poured so much time and thought into my campaign. My supporters and I had passed out notecards with packages of Smarties Candies taped onto them that said, “Be a smarty and vote Kate for president.” I gave a speech that was broadcast to every classroom in the school where I opened with humor, borrowing a phrase from the first President Bush.

“Read my lips. No more homework,” I said and then admitted that while I couldn’t keep promises like that, I was going to stand for positive changes and improvements. (I was an idealist even back then. I can’t recall exactly what I thought I could do as an eigth grader to change the school, but I was sincere.) Lots of people told me I would win by a landslide, so imagine my shock when they announced the name of the middle school new president and it was not my own.

I did my best to fight back the tears and to be gracious to my competitor, but when my mom picked me up from school that day, I immediately fell into her arms and burst into tears. She gave me lots of hugs and encouragement that night. She allowed me to cry endlessly in her embrace. Later I would suffer greater sorrows and she was always there to hold me and to wipe away my tears.

Since I’ve become a mother, she has told me that seeing your children hurt is far worse than enduring your own pain. It is visceral. We have instincts to protect our babies and when we can't, it hurts. Badly.

I can’t imagine the pain Mary endured watching her son be tortured and nailed to a cross for a crime he didn’t commit. She is the Mother of Sorrows, but she's also the Mother of Consolation.

As Cathy reminded me in her book, she’s here for us not only when we are hurting but also when we have to helplessly watch our children suffer. Jesus gave his Mother to us when he died on the cross. We can release our children into her care and know that they are in very loving, faithful and healing arms.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Our Lady's Rosary Makers

Marianist Brother John, a Catholic writer, has shared this site with me. The following is from their website's description:
Since 1949, Our Lady's Rosary Makers has worked with rosary makers to supply the world with a steady supply of much needed rosaries. OLRM is the world's leading resource for mission rosary parts, advice and instructions for making rosaries, and guidance in rosary distribution to the world's spiritually needy, supplying 7 million rosaries annually.

We invite you to to join our 17,000 members in service to Our Lady. Through OLRM you can learn to make wire and cord rosaries, purchase inexpensive parts for making rosaries, find groups currently requesting rosaries and much more!
To learn how to become a Rosary maker for our Lady, please visit Our Lady's Rosary Makers

Saturday, July 26, 2008

We love you, too ... St. Joachim and St. Anne!

Today is the feast day of Mary's parents, Sts. Joachim and Anne. Such lovely people, to have raised such a holy and radically loving little girl ... and then offer her back to God, to use as He sees fit.

Could they ever have imagined what God had in store? Probably not.

And when they heard from her lips what the angel had announced as God's intention, did they immediately believe her? One can only hope so ... Scripture is silent on the subject.

St. Joachim and St. Anne, you were given a Treasure in your old age that became the vessel of God's only Son, the Messiah prophets had long foretold. Pray for us, when we offer ourselves back to God, and He chooses the unexpected path. Pray for us, as you must have prayed for your daughter, that God's will would take root and blossom inside us, transforming us from the inside out.

Would you like to read more about this holy couple? Here's a reflection from Lisa Hendey. The photo is from this site.

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament

I was sitting in Adoration this week without a thing to read. Some maintain that this is the best way to go to Adoration, and I've been known to write about it too. But I don't usually go in without anything to read. I don't usually go anywhere without a book tucked into my purse.

But I was having one of those hair-on-fire mornings, where I was trying to remember thirteen thousand different things, and I just plumb forgot my bag for Adoration.

So, ten minutes before my hour with Jesus, when I realized it, I had a moment of ohnowhatevershallIdo, right before I laughed.

God has a way of getting my attention.

He loves me enough to make sure, no matter what the obstacles, that I make it to Adoration every single week. No, seriously. It's not always the same hour, but every week, despite having a full-time job with the parish and two small children and responsibilities that keep me hopping, I find myself sitting at my Father's feet.

My soul needs that hour like my body needs oxygen.

As I was getting into my pew, I noticed a blue pamphlet on the bench. "Treasury of Prayer," it said, "Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament."

I read it a couple of times, and I'm sharing it here, because it is beautiful. For more information on how you can help to promote Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in your parish, contact the Apostolate for Perpetual Adoration at PO Box 46502, Mt. Clemens, MI 48046-6502. I also found them online at www.perpetualadoration.org.

Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Virgin Immaculate, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, we invoke you under the title of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament because you are the Mother of the Saviour who lives in the Eucharist. It was from you He took flesh and blood with which He feeds us in the Sacred Host. We also invoke you under that title because the grace of the Eucharist comes to us through you, since you are the Mediatrix, the channel, through which God's graces reach us. And, finally, we call you Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament because you were the first to live the Eucharistic life. Teach us to pray the Mass as you did, to receive Holy Communion worthily and frequently, and to visit devoutly with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Virgin Immaculate, you were present at the death of your Divine Son on Calvary, and you offered your immense sorrow in union with His Sacrifice. Again after the Resurrection you were present and the real, but unbloody, Sacrifice of your Son in the Holy Mass. Teach us to unite ourselves with Jesus at the Consecration as you did; obtain for us the grace to understand the reality of the Mass; and awaken in us the desire to assist at Mass often, even daily.

Virgin Immaculate, your Communions were the most fervant and the most holy ever made. When you received your Divine Son into your heart, you loved Him with a love exceeding that of any other creature for his God. Teach us to make Holy Communion the center of our life, as it was of yours, so that our lives may be entirely spent in preparing for the coming of Jesus in Communion and in thanking Him for the gift of Himself to us.

Virgin Immaculate, after the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, you found consolation in your separation from Him by visiting Him often in the Blessed Sacrament. Obtain for us the grace to be always conscious of His presence in the tabernacle and to visit Him often as you did, especially when we are troubled, lonely, afraid, and in pain of body or mind. Teach us to remember that He is always there, ready to listen to us, to guide, protect, and console us.

Virgin Immaculate, you are the perfect model of adorers of the Blessed Sacrament. You adored Jesus in the little white Host with the same faith, reverence, and wonder with which you adored Him on the first Christmas night and during all the years you lived with Him. Teach us not to forget that the small white Host is truly our God, infinite, eternal, and omnipotent. Help us to conduct ourselves at all times in His presence with the modesty and reverence we owe to our God.

Virgin Immaculate, you gave to Jesus the most perfect thanksgiving for the institution of the Eucharist. Teach us to thank your Divine Son for the gift of Himself in the Blessed Sacrament. Teach us also to thank Him after we have received Him in Communion. And since our best thanksgiving can never equal yours, permit us to offer Him your thanksgiving after Communion, your fervor, your love, your devotion.

Virgin Immaculate, you gave to Jesus in the Sacred Host perfect reparation. We desire to accept our daily trials for love of Him and with you, to console Him for the ingratitude of men and the slights and outrages He suffers daily in the Blessed Sacrament both from those who believe in Him and those who do not.

Virgin Immaculate, while the apostles preached the Gospel, you stayed close to your Divine Son in the tabernacle and prayed to Him for the graces they needed to convert the world. Teach us to pray before the tabernacle where Jesus waits day and night to hear and grant our petitions. Teach us to pray not only for ourselves, but also for those who do not know Him in the Sacrament of His love, so that the gift of faith may be given them, and His Eucharistic Kingdom may be spread throughout the world.

Virgin Immaculate, perfect lover of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, we ask you to obtain for us the graces we need to become true adorers of our Eucharistic God. Grant us, we beg of you, to know Him better, to love Him more, and to center our lives around the Eucharist, that is, to make our whole live a constant prayer of adoration, thanksgiving, reparation, and petition to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Amen.

Friday, July 25, 2008

St. Joseph: Extraordinary Husband

Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of Humanae Vitae, the Church's clarion call for couples to embrace God's original design for married love. One quote in particular caught my attention:

"Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one's partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife." Humane Vitae #13

Have you ever thought about what it was like for St. Joseph to live with Mary without ever touching her? Imagine the gentle beauty that must have radiated from his young wife, how difficult it must have been for him to live within arm's reach of her year after year ... and never touch her?

Some say that St. Joseph was much older than Mary, as though age alone would have put out the fire. But is there ever an age when a man looks on his loving wife and does not feel a stirring within? My father's eyes still gleam when he watches my mother bend over the stove, saying, "Just 'cuz there's snow on the furnace doesn't mean there's not fire in the furnace" or "God gives a man only so many hormones ... If some choose to use theirs to grow hair, that's their business."

Others contend that St. Joseph was a virgin from the beginning (and that the "brothers and sisters of Christ" were in fact cousins) ... but even those who have never experienced married love are not immune to the charms of a woman. Unless he was on a steady diet of saltpeter, at some point Joseph must have had to choose to contain his own urges for the sake of his beloved.

The vows of celibacy taken by priests at their ordination mirrors this kind of sacrificial self-giving. For the sake of a greater good -- the good of the Bridegroom for the Bride -- he remains faithful to her regardless of what it costs him personally. Like the Lord himself, he offers himself up -- body and soul -- and denies himself what others might perceive to be "normal" appetites to satisfy a higher calling.

It is this satisfaction that gives priests everywhere the insight they need to counsel husbands who are being called to a higher level of self-sacrifice themselves. Called to love. Called to give.

Called to worship.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Request for a Novena for an Expectant Mom

Sarah's brother Mike and his wife Kristy are expecting a child (their first, I believe). Now it seems the baby is in trouble, and Sarah has invited us all to join her in a novena to St. Gerard.

Just so you have it handy, here's the prayer ...
Almighty and Eternal God, we thank you for the gift of St.Gerard and the example of his life. Because St. Gerard always had complete faith and trust in you, you blessed him with great powers of help and healing.

Through him, you showed your loving concern for all those who suffered or were in need. You never failed to hear his prayer on their behalf.

Today, through St. Gerard's powerful intercession, you continue to show your love for all those who place their trust in you.

And so, Father, full of faith and confidence, and in thanksgiving for all the wonderful things you have done for us, we place ourselves before you today. Through the intercession of St. Gerard, hear our prayers and petitions, and if it is your holy will, grant them. Amen.

Here's another novena that looks good.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Gentle Woman

A friend of mine sent me this quote today ...
"Women are more geared to piety because they have a keener awareness of their weakness. This is their true strength."

Alice von Hildebrand
The Privilege of Being a Woman

I have a confession to make: I'm not a gentle person. Not by nature, anyway. Not with myself, not with my kids ... and not with the foibles and failings of others, even those closest to me.

This is something I try to change, with varying levels of success. When my kids drive me around the bend, and I can hear myself shrieking like a fishwife, I sometimes wonder if the car accident that scrambled my internal organs was God's way of saying He never intended me to be a mom.

It's a lie, of course. God created all women to nurture life, to embrace their feminine gifts as spiritual mothers even if it turns out the physical variety is not in the cards. He does this so that we can root out vice, practice virtue, and grow in the kind of perfection He always intended for us.

In my case, I look toward friends and loved ones who seem to have mastered this holy habit of gentleness, and I try not to covet (since that would only compound the problem). Instead I watch to see how they cope in the kinds of situations I tend to lose it. See how they regulate their breathing. How they open their arms for a cuddle when my every instinct sends me running from the room. How they step back to gain perspective, trying to find something worth laughing about in the situation. And I try to hear the flutter of the angel's wings as they bring whispered prayers from mothers' mouths to God's ears.

Over time, I've discovered that my capacity to be gentle with others is directly proportional to the amount of stress I'm foisting upon myself. When my "production mode" gets too high, I become exacting, easily irritated, and -- well, let's just say it -- not a model of gentility. But when I allow myself the time I need to attend to a few personal details, it's easy to cut others a bit of slack as well.

Dear Mary, Gentle Woman,
You were courageous in your compassion,
quick to accommodate, so slow to chide.
Pray for me as I live out the Passion,
that I will draw close to that merciful side.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

When the Lost is Found: Christine Trollinger

Christine Trollinger is one of the more memorable gems I mined from the slush piles of "Canticle" submissions shortly after I took over the job as editor of the magazine. She always seems to have a miracle within reach ... undoubtedly the fruit of a lifetime of prayer.

And so, I'd like to introduce you to her by sharing a story she sent me this evening, her first contribution to this blog devoted to the Blessed Mother. Right now Christine is suffering some physical limitations that makes it hard for her to sit at the computer ... but she found the strength to send me this. Way to go, and God bless you, Christine!

The Lost has Been Found

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel has always been special to me. For the last 20 years, I have said the nine-day Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and attended the special celebration we have at our parish. Each year Our Blessed Mother manages to shower some rose petals into my life in answer to my prayers in honor of her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

This year Our Blessed Mother has outdone herself in answering my prayers. For twelve long years I have prayed for my youngest brother, Michael, to return to the family fold. He disappeared from my life in 1996, due to PTSD from his service in Vietnam. He has suffered mightily from alcoholism and depression since Vietnam when our oldest brother was killed and Mike was wounded seriously. For these last twelve years I have always begged Our Lady to watch over Mike and one day bring him back to us.

Imagine my surprise this morning July 17th, at 8:59 am, when the phone rang. As I picked up the phone, I heard the voice of none other than my long lost brother. We talked for four hours straight, and he begged me to meet him in August in our old hometown for a family reunion. It doesn’t get any better than that. I shall always be grateful to the Blessed Mother for safely bringing Mike back home to us.

Thank you Blessed Mother. You are without a doubt, the best Mother in all of the world.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

On this day when the Catholic Church commemorates the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, I thought I would share with you what our dear holy Father John Paul II said about our Lady's Brown Scapular.
“ I too have worn the Scapular of Carmel over my heart for a long time! Out of my love for our common heavenly Mother, whose protection I constantly experience, I hope that this Marian year will help all the men and women religious of Carmel and the devout faithful who venerate her with filial affection to grow in her love and to radiate to the world the presence of this Woman of silence and prayer, invoked as Mother of Mercy, Mother of Hope and Grace. “
- Pope John Paul II

Source St. Michael's Center for the BVM, Honolulu, HI

Do Whatever He Tells You

"Listen to your daddy," I heard myself saying as my preschooler attempted to escape his arms as well as the tortures that awaited her (AKA potty time before bed; we are cruel, cruel parents because we force her to go potty before sleepy time).

I know I've probably uttered these words before, but on this night I immediately thought of Mary at the wedding in Cana.

Here I was urging my child to listen to her dad. And doesn't Mary do the exact same thing in Cana? "Do what he tells you," she tells the wedding servants.

I can bet she's still saying the same exact thing to me. Do what your Father tells you, but like my preschooler, I sometimes find myself fleeing from his call.

Perhaps I owe it to my Mother to trust that both she and my Father have my best interest at heart - just as most parents do, even the ones who make their kids use the potty and retire at a reasonable hour. It's time I started listening to them, even when I don't like or even understand what they have to tell me.

It's also in Cana where Mary intercedes for the wedding party when they run out of wine. Today she remains our Gracious Advocate before God as the prayer "Hail, Holy Queen" reminds us:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor banished
children of Eve, to thee do we send
up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley, of tears.

Turn, then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us; and
after this our exile show unto us the
blessed fruit of thy womb Jesus;
O clement, O loving, O sweet virgin Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Welcome to Our New Contributers!

One of the best parts of the Catholic New Media Celebration, at least for me, was the journey to and from Atlanta, when Sarah and I got a chance to brainstorm ideas about where we thought God might be leading us to use our writing talents.

Today Sarah posted the first installment of the "Mary Moments" Carnival, and I am so grateful to see how many people contributed to the "sneak peek." I am even more grateful for Sarah herself, who put the whole thing together (and, if memory serves, whose idea it was to put together the Carnival in the first place).

Now I'd like to take a moment to acknowledge a few women who have agreed to become regular contributers to this site, sending in their "virtual flowers" for Mary's bouquet in between Carnivals. They are:

* Elena-Maria Vidal (Tea at Trianon). Elena has written for me over at "Canticle" on a regular basis, and I was thrilled when she agreed to add her history-rich perspective to BYM. This week she has particularly lovely posts about the Mt. Carmel Novena, Mother of Mercy, and (my personal favorite), Star of the Sea.

* Esther Gefroh (Catholic Mom in Hawaii). Her recent post on the Third Apparition of Our Lady of Fatima was lovely. And her "Prayer for the Beatification of Father Patrick Peyton, CSC" has one of my very favorite images of the Madonna and Child.

* Kate Wicker (Momopoly). To those "dear brothers and sisters in Christ" who resorted to name calling after her InsideCatholic article on breastfeeding in Mass, a picture is worth a thousand words.

* Sarah Reinhard (Just Another Day of Catholic Pondering). What can I say about Sarah? Smart. Generous. And an overall good friend who I'd go another three thousand miles with anytime. Well, maybe in a few months... Time to let the bank account recover.

Anyway... I'm so glad you decided to join us here, and I just know the Blessed Mother is, too!

Mary Moments, a Sneak Peek

Logo courtesy of Esther

This month is the sneak peek of the Mary Moments carnivals we'll be hosting each month. Next month, we're theming the Mary Moments with "Great Books about Mary," and everyone is welcome to join us! If you have a post, you can submit through the online form or by emailing me at peerybingle [at] gmail [dot] com. If you have a book you would like us to consider using as we build the carnival, please contact me directly. Submissions are due by the 10th, and the carnival will go live on the Feast of the Assumption (which is conveniently located on the 15th, which is when you'll see the Mary Moments carnivals here each month).

So, this month, I have been thinking about various Marian themes. They've been filling the quiet moments of my middle-of-the-night prayer times as I nurse my baby and soothe my three-year-old. The various titles. Different prayers. Roles Mary plays in lives.

But it came back, for me, to what's been going on in my life, and the chaos that has seemed to be a part of how each day has been playing out. When I find myself sitting still (like in the middle of the night), I have thought about how busy Mary must have been, how her days must have been filled with different things to do. I've been reflecting about busy and rhythm, and in that I often turn to my Mother in heaven.

She, after all, didn't have the conveniences we have. Maybe she didn't have the distractions either, but I'm guessing I have things a lot easier than she did, and she was raising the Savior.

So, with that in mind and as I've struggled to be open to the graces that are there, waiting in the challenges of day-to-day life, we're going to start at the beginning, Mary's Magnificat, found in Luke 1:41-45.

The posts we've assembled this month have a variety of themes, and they all come back to Mary. Mary leads us always back to her Son.

In her Magnificat, she reminds me to be thankful, always thankful, and to say YES to the graces God is holding for me, if only I will see them.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior.

Denise presents A Blueprint for Your Domestic Church.

For He has regarded the low estate of His handmaiden; for behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

A Catholic Texan presents A response to Pilgrim.

For He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is His name. And His mercy is on those who fear Him from generation to generation.

Jen presents The distressing disguise of Jesus.

He has shown strength with His arm: He has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

Barbara presents Novena to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. She also shares Marian feast day activities and a prayer asking Mary to come to the aid of her children.

He has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree. He has filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He has sent empty away.

Fr. Joshua Wagner presents Miracle Grow!

He has helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to His posterity forever.

Hope you enjoyed this sneak peek. Things will be slightly different next month, as we're theming things around great books about Mary.

Until then, may Mary lead you always to her Son.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Feast, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha!

(Image and facts from this piece have been adapted from "Catholic Culture.org". They originated from the book A Saint A Day, by Leonard Foley, OFM.)

Today we celebrate the feast day of the "Lily of the Mohawks."

She was born in 1856, ten years after the martyrdoms of the first canonized missionaries to America. Ironically, she was also born in the same place these men were martyred, near Albany. The names of the martyrs are St. Rene Goupil (1642), Jesuit brother; St. Isaac Jogues (1646), Jesuit priest; and St. John Lalande (1646), lay missioner. Information about the shrine may be found here.

The daughter of a Mohawk chieftan, Kateri followed largely by instinct, having little formal religious instruction, the call to consecrate herself to God. At the advice of a priest, she left her village one night in order to make a two-hundred mile trek to a Christian Native American village near Montreal.

Blessed Kateri is the patronness of World Youth Day (being celebrated this week in Australia!), environmentalists, and orphans.

Blessed Kateri, Lily of the Mohawks,

Holy Mary, Mother of God and Rose of Sharon,

Today we call upon you to bind your hearts together

And intercede for the youth of our world.

So many lost, so many in exile,

Though the mark of Christ is emblazoned on their foreheads.

Go before them now, guide them in the path of renewal.

Pray that holy young men will respond to the call

to a living martyrdom, a holy priesthood. Amen.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mary Moments Coming in August

The first official Mary Moments Carnival will be here on August 15. The theme is "Great Books about Mary." Submit by August 10, using the online submission form (or, if that won't work for you, email me at peerybingle-at-gmail-dot-com).

Mary Moments is going to be our chance to sit down together with a cup of tea and reflect on and with our Blessed Mother. You don't have to be Catholic to participate, and you don't even have to have a blog - if you have a post you'd like to submit and you don't have a blog, I would be happy to post them over at just another day of Catholic pondering and link to them there.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me at peerybingle-at-gmail-dot-com.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Adding an Eleventh Hail Mary

Over at Catholic Exchange today, I explore the ongoing challenge I face of adding an eleventh Hail Mary when I pray a rosary. Do you ever face this challenge?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Mother of All Nursing Mothers

To Nurse a Child (excerpted from Mothers' Manual by A. Francis Coomes, S.J.)

Holy Mary, you remember devoutly how as a young mother you pressed the divine Jesus tenderly to your breast. You were not then denied that precious privilege of motherhood, to nourish life you had brought into the world.

Dear Mother of Mothers, I beg you to speak to God with me now to obtain the privilege that I too may so nourish [my child]. May I know the fullness of the office of holy motherhood. And ask with me, too, holy Mother, that, in the fulfillment of the blessed office which God has beautifully ordained, I shall be closely drawn to my child with the tenderest mother love and that by this bond of affection I shall likewise be better able to nourish the soul of my little one with the holy truths of faith, so that my child may serve its Creator with a strong body and an upright mind in fidelity and love.

For those of us who are blessed enough to be able to breastfeed our children as our Holy Mother fed the infant Christ, let us give thanks.

Mother of Mothers,
Pray for us!

Friday, July 4, 2008

"Now and at the Hour of our Death..."

This afternoon I received an e-mail about a church friend, M.J. Curran, who is in the hospital actively dying from metasticized breast cancer. She is heavily medicated for pain, and the message I received indicates that she is highly agitated and angry when she wakes up.

I've always known M.J. to be a woman of great faith. She is in the process of raising two young men, one in high school and one in grade school. I cannot imagine how painful it must be for her to leave behind her children like this, when they need her so badly. And yet, it does appear that she is losing the battle, and that God is calling her home.

Please pray for the Curren family: her husband Mike, sons Ryan and Sean, daughter Colleen, and the rest of M.J.'s family ... and of course, M.J. herself.

Mother Mary, while you were in this world
you looked Death full in the face
time after time, you had to let go
as those you loved most in this world preceded you to heaven.

You understand the pain of sorrowing children,
you know what it is to endure.
Be especially close to my friend M.J. right now.

Soothe her mother's heart with your motherly heart,
and walk beside her as she approaches the gate.
Pray for her, and for her family,
and those of us who will miss her terribly,
now and at the hour of her death.

Mary, Mother of Sorrows, pray for us.