Monday, April 29, 2013

Portrait Of My Mother

My mother is the dearest woman I know.  My dad has called her a saint for as long as I can remember.  The older I get, the more correct I know him to be in this assessment of her.  

My mom grew up in Detroit surrounded by love.  Her mom, a widow since my mom was 7, was a strong Irish Catholic woman who took care of everyone around her.  She helped raise her 8 siblings, she raised her own family and she raised her brother's five children after he and his wife tragically died two years apart.  

My mother witnessed all of this and became the same kind of care giver. She is a nurse and in her last job before retirement she worked in hospice. She is entirely suited for the role of caring for the dying and their families.  She raised the seven of us, and showed us great faith in every aspect of her life. The depth of her faith became even more evident after the death of our brother.  Never once did I hear a negative word come out of her mouth. She comforted and supported each of us as we mourned in our own way.  If possible, her faith grew ever more deep. 

Until recently she attended Mass daily and gets there as often as she can these days.  She prays for us constantly and taught us to trust the Lord in all things by her firm, but gentle manner.  

She has taken care of sick neighbors, often sitting by an open window in our home so she could hear if the next door neighbor needed help. She visited the homebound and delivered food with the Meals on Wheels program.

She never puts herself first as we are witnessing as we help her care for our dad.  One big example of this is the $5 she slipped to my brother  the other day, so he could tip the valet when he and I were leaving the hospital during an ER visit with my dad. 

She is heroic in her efforts to keep my dad peaceful and content (and right now that's a pretty big challenge for all of us.)  She has a peaceful countenance and a ready smile.  And always, she is concerned for our needs. 

Those who know her will be nodding and agreeing as they read this. 

I love you mom!  You are my rock!  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Jesus In My Pocket

One of the loveliest things about being Catholic is getting to receive Jesus; Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity, in the Mass.

However, there is a special way for the sick, elderly and homebound to receive our Precious Lord even though they are unable to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass.

Eucharistic Ministers, those individuals trained to distribute Communion at Mass, may also take Communion to the homebound.

By means of a pyx, the Eucharist can be properly transported to the people in need.

My parents are, lately, unable to go to Mass.  It is my honor to be able to bring Jesus to them each day.

I don't have a fancy pouch for my pyx so I have to slip it in my pocket.  It's lovely to receive our Lord in Communion and then to carry Him close to me for a few extra minutes until I get to my parents' home.

So grateful for the Church, its Sacraments and the ability to bring Jesus to those in need.

I love having Jesus in the Mass.  It's also kind of neat to have Him in my pocket!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Green Scapular Miracle

As Catholics we use sacramentals as a way to  "prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it." (CCC 1670)

Sacramentals come in many forms, from a blessing, to holy water and the Rosary, to a devotion to a favorite saint.  

They are used as a way to draw us closer to God.

The Rosary is my favorite sacramental. Not only do I have several; under my pillow, in my van, in most of my outerwear pockets, in my kitchen,  I meditate on the mysteries daily.  

Another of Mary's gifts to her children is the Green Scapular.  The green scapular is a piece of cloth with a cord for wearing around one's neck (although your pocket or in your purse or bedroom suffice.)  

On one side of the Scapular is an image of Mary. The other side shows an image of her pierced Immaculate Heart.   The prayer inscribed is "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death."

On September 8, 1840 the Green Scapular was given for distribution to Sr. Justine Bisqueyburu.  It's main purpose is the conversion of sinners.  However many miraculous physical healing have been attributed to it as well.

My sister, Margaret, passes out Green Scapulars and keeps a record of miracles.  Last week, we got notice of another one.

My dear friend, Sooz, was told she had a brain tumor.  She was going to need a very intense operation that she told me about in graphic detail.  Scary!!  I mailed a Green Scapular to her and began immediately and several times each day to pray the above prayer.   I added to my prayers, "Lord, please let the doctor put her to sleep, do the MRI and find nothing, and wake her back up and send her home." 

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED!!  The tumor had shrunk to a sliver of its original size and the operation was cancelled.  Today she is at work when she would have been in the hospital, with her shaved head bandaged and hurting.  

God is so good.  And Mary's intercession is so powerful before His throne.  Never fear to entrust your needs to the Mother of our Lord and Savior.  

Thank you, Dear Lord, for this miracle. May lives and hearts be changed in light of it. Thank you, Mamma Mary for your devoted intercession for our needs.