Remembering My Birthday Miracle of My Mother’s Life

Tomorrow is my birthday and it always brings back a miracle which happened on it, two years ago.

My Mom had Alzheimer’s and had to be placed in a nursing home because of it.  It became where we were afraid she would burn her and Daddy up in the house.  She was sitting pans on the stove and forgetting them.

Anyways, on the 11th of December, they called us and she had so much fluid on her body it was unbelievable.  Her head looked like a basketball. 

She had bronchitis and over night it was unbelievable what happened.  The fluid on her body begin to collect.  Truly, I cannot describe it.

We rushed her to the ER, and they told me, “Call the family in, she is not going to make it.”

I called my brother and my sister, and told them, “You need to come in, they are saying she will not survive the night.”

They came in and took care of Daddy, as Daddy loved Mama, more than life itself.  He thought she was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.  Many times I have heard him in my life say, “Isn’t she pretty?”

She was, as she looked just like Elizabeth Taylor.  I mean, exactly.

Anyways, they took Daddy, and I stayed through the night with Mom.  This is on the 11th, and the 12th was my birthday. 

I did not want Mama to die, but it was inconceivable to me, that she would die on my birthday!

The day she gave me life!  I knew for the rest of my life, every single birthday I had from that day on, I would remember Mama’s death.  Really, I did not know if I could do that or not?

So as I watched her in her comatose state, and that head as big as a basketball I begin to pray, “Lord, I do not want Mama to die any day, but please do not take her on my birthday?”  Tears and this prayer, all night long.  

At 8:00 a.m. the next morning, I was rolled over in my “cot like bed,” and I heard, “Sis, what am I doing in here?”   Most beautiful words I had ever heard!

I jumped up and her head was back to normal, and she had not one bit of swelling in her. 

The doctor came in and said, “This is a miracle./I do not know who was praying, but she should have been dead by all medical terms./Her entire body was full of fluid.”

I went in the bathroom, looked up at God, and said, “Thank you,” in the most softest of whispers.

Though it pleased Him to take her three months later, when I wake up tomorrow, on my birthday, instead of her “death,” I will remember her “miracle.”

God Bless, SR 

 

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If We want God to Show Up, We Need to Show Up for Others (Advent Reflection)

I was a horse rider, from I think the moment of my birth.  I cut cattle on them, rode all day, even went around a few barrels.  Trust me, when you climb off that saddle, your rear to say the least, feels as if the flesh has totally left your tail bone, on both sides.  

I could not of even imagined doing all of this while I was pregnant???  Especially during the months my head was hanging over a toilet! 

We do not see this with the Blessed Mother, though do we?

She and Elizabeth are pregnant. Of course Elizabeth is older and needs help.  Pregnancy does not stop our Blessed Mother.  She hops on a donkey and away she goes. 

From what I gather it was between 80-100 miles she traveled.  On a horse 20 miles a day, is doing good.  A donkey?  Only God knows?

Because of her willingness to sacrifice herself to “help her neighbor/kinswoman,” let us look at the miracles which truly took place.

“John the Baptist leapt in Elizabeth’s womb./Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit./Elizabeth exclaimed to Mary, “Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”/Elizabeth blessed Mary saying, “And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord./Then Mary begin the Magnificat glorifying God, rejoicing in God, saying, “All generations would call her blessed. (Hence the Rosary)/From there she went on to explain who God is, His many attributes, and what He does and why.”

What was the underlying foundation of all of this?

A pregnant Mother getting on a donkey, with no saddle, traveling with no convenient store to stop at to go to the bathroom, get a snack and something to drink.  Yards of material from her head to her feet, surrounding her as she rode. I cannot even imagine the twisting of all of that as she rode.  I mean it was hard enough for me in jeans and a pair of boots.  Still is!  

No hotel to stop at when she became tired, so she could rest on a nice soft mattress.  Did Joseph go with her?  Scripture does not say. 

Was it raining?  Was it hot?  What kind of weather did she endure, while making a journey which at best would have taken almost a week?

Day after day, riding a donkey over no telling what kind of earth?  Rocks, hills, and valleys, I am sure.

I have to admit, I would have had to think about this trip at least, two to three times!  I cannot even imagine, her back pain!

Either way, this was a pregnant woman on a donkey and all that entails.

The greeting between these two women was no less than opening a door for God to go through.  So many things happened and were said. Why?

For three, the love God bore for both of them, the love they bore for God, and the love they bore for one another.

Out of their goodness and love towards everyone, God moved.  The Holy Spirit was there in both wombs, at the same time. 

The Blessed Mother, was not even concerned about the hardships this journey and months with Elizabeth, were going to cause her.

Think about it, taking care of Elizabeth, would have meant for some, drawing water from a well, washing clothes probably with a rock, cooking over an open fire, sweeping a dirt floor with a homemade broom, and going to bed on what?  Straw?  Some material?  Trust me it was not a “featherbed.”

The Blessed Mother shows us in this, to be selfless.  To put our own discomforts and sufferings down for the needs of others.  To rejoice in each and every circumstance, which presents itself in our lives.  To recognize God in all of it, humble ourselves because of it, and give to Him all the praise and glory, for it.

What we do, so often decides what God is going to do. 

If we want Him to show up, we need to show up for others.

God Bless, SR

Image by James Tissot
Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

 

 

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When “Opinions” Become our god

Tonight at Church we had our penance service. I came away feeling so free. 

I went into Confession and told the Priest, “I was having some issues with the Church.”

That “some leaders” were making me angry and at times had thought about leaving the Church.  I also told him that the Scripture came to my mind where Jesus asked Peter if he was going to leave Him, too?  Peter replied, “Where would I go Lord?”

I told the Priest, “At that moment I realized I would be leaving Jesus, not the Church, and I could not do that.”

His reply to me was wonderful!  I want to share it with you.

“There is a story when Peter was in Rome and he was leaving Rome./He ran into our Lord and asked our Lord, “Where are You going.”/Jesus said, “I am going to Rome because you will not die for Me.”/At that moment Peter turned and followed Jesus back to Rome, where He was crucified upside down./Forget everyone’s opinion and follow Jesus./Ask St. Peter to intercede for you.”

At that moment, tears begin to stream down my face.  I felt so ashamed of myself, that I even considered leaving the Church because of “someone’s opinion??” 

The thought came to me what Jesus told St. Faustina,

“I hold myself prisoner here in the Tabernacle, and no one ever comes to visit Me.”

When we become disheartened because of the “opinions of others,” it can truly take our mind’s in many directions.  It can do the same to our heart’s.

When we dwell upon these opinions, all of a sudden we find ourselves like Peter.  Running away from what the Lord wants and desires from us, instead of to Him.

I had already decided I could not leave Jesus, but… when I thought about what He said to St. Faustina it made it even worse.

We as Catholics believe all of Jesus is in the Eucharist.  We also believe when He died He gave us this very Thing, so He could always stay united to us.

In essence when we think about leaving the Church or do leave the Church, we are leaving Jesus.

I can hear Him in the Tabernacle saying, “Please stay with Me?/Please do not turn your back on Me?/I stay here just for you.”

I know the Church is going through many things now.  I know it is making many divided on these things.

Jesus is enough for us all, or He is not?  That is the answer we are going to have to find within ourselves.

We can do as Peter did, turning around and following Jesus, or go in another direction, and Crucify Him all over again.  Making what He has already done in vain. 

We need to think about this when “opinions” become our god and we follow them.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

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To All of You! With All of My Love! SR

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The Day My Grandfather Killed My Uncle

I am telling this story, because it is one of what God can do with poverty, abuse, prison, and death in a family.

First some background on my Grandpa.  You never touched “his.”  His being brothers, sisters, kids and grandkids.

My great-aunt told me, “His mother died when he was about 10.  My great-grandfather remarried and my grandfather never accepted his step-mother.  If she ever looked at his younger brothers/sisters in the wrong way, game on! 

She said, “They whipped him until blood ran out of his back, and at the age of 14, he left home./They never could get him to stop.”

Anyways, he and my grandmother met, had six kids my Dad being the youngest. 

In the late 1930’s, my dad about 4, my uncle slapped my aunt, my grandfather’s daughter.  I think my uncle knew he was a walking dead man, and went and got his gun.

My grandfather found him, and walked him to the barn where my aunt was.  He walked behind my uncle and kept telling him, “Pull that gun on me and I will break your back.”

When they reached my aunt in the barn, my grandfather made my uncle get on his knees and apologize to my aunt.

When my uncle came up he tried to shoot my grandfather.  My grandfather always kept a gun in the barn, and he grabbed it and killed my uncle.

Of course they went and got the sheriff, and the sheriff told him, “W. I am not going to take you in./Get cleaned up and come on in.” 

My Dad said, “I don’t remember a whole lot about this, but I do remember him bathing and telling me, “Son, it will be a long time before I see you again./Bye.”

This left my grandmother with six kids, the youngest being four.  Poverty hit, and they had to sell their cattle and the like.

My grandfather went to prison for three years.  He became head of the prison farms in those years.  He also obtained a pocket knife in prison, which he bored a knot in a tree and plugged that pocket knife up.  He only had to use it once, where he cut the shirt off of what in today’s terms would be called a “bully.”

After he got out, (which the prison offered him a job of farm foreman, he declined) he went home.

One of the men who bought between 8-12 head of cattle from my grandmother told my grandfather, “W. I am going to sell these cattle back to you for 365.00./Pay me when you can or do not pay me at all, but they are yours.”  (My grandfather did pay him.)

This would have been about 1940-41.  By the mid sixties my two uncles and my Dad had one of the top ten dairies in the nation.  Started off of 8-12 head of cattle and 365.00.

We are now in the sixth generation which some of us are still living off of what my grandfather did for us.  My cousin’s just tore down the barn he built himself, about a month ago, which broke my heart.  It was sitting on their part, so could do little.

We had some of the best cuttin’ horses I have ever seen.  I can still remember “old Dunn.”  Did not even have to rein him when we cut, you just sit back and he did it.  He had one of the most beautiful saddle gait’s I have ever rode on or heard.  “Clippty-Clop, Clippty-Clop.”

The reason for this story is, there are many families who are suffering the such, if not worse. 

God moved when my grandfather got out of prison, and to the sixth generation, we are still living on the grace of God’s love for my family.  Not only regarding the land and the like, but who we are as a family.

None of us are lovey, huggie, kissie, people, but let something happen to one of us, it happens to all of us. 

This is the legacy my grandfather left, and we live it to this day.

So if your family is going through any type of suffering such as this, illness, or whatever.  Do not give up.  Remember my grandmother and grandfather didn’t.  God is there. 

When He does move, it will not only be for you, but your kids, grandkids, great-grandkids.  Many generations in your family will be okay, because He loves them, that much.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Litany of Humility

I thought since I had done a post on “humiliation,” and Hilary (a follower) reminded me of this, I would share it, for those who do not know about it.  Thank you, Hilary!

I used to pray this all the time for my “pride,” truly through the years forgot about it.  I think I am going to start it up again.

The Litany of Humility

by

Cardinal Merry del Val

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.

From the desire of being love, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease.  Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

God Bless, SR

 

 

 

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It is Enough, “If God sees My Humiliation”

Humiliation is something which has never been my forte’.  I have never liked to be embarrassed or put down either in public or private, though I can handle it in private better.

St. Faustina had a different way of looking at humiliation.  This really made me think about it.

“I will thank the Lord Jesus for every humiliation and will pray specially for the person who has given me the chance to be humiliated./I will immolate myself of the benefit of souls./I will not count the cost of any sacrifice, I will cast myself beneath the feet of the sisters, like a carpet on which they can not only tread, but also wipe their feet./My place is under the feet of the sisters./I will make every effort to obtain that place unnoticed by others./It is enough that God sees this.” (243) St. Faustina’s Diary

I don’t know?  How the saints accomplished all of these things, is why there is never going to be a book written about me! 

St. Faustina was always ready to “sacrifice herself for other souls.”

I went and looked up the word “immolate,” it means to “sacrifice for another, especially by burning.”

In life this is what she truly did.  No matter the cost or suffering, she always “laid it down for another.”

To make of myself a “carpet” of not only where one can “tread,” but to “wipe their feet on,” is totally surrendering myself to “humiliation.”  It really does not get much lower than that on “human terms.”

In “spiritual terms,” though, it is the most “Christ-like” thing I can do.  As that is exactly what Jesus did. 

They not only “wiped their feet on Him,” they spit, kicked, punched, beat, tore His flesh, stuck nails in His hands and feet, stuck thorns in His head, and a spear through His heart and side.

If you will ever notice, on the Day of the Cross, Jesus spoke very little.  The Blessed Mother, never said a word.  If she did, it is not recorded.

It was enough, that “God saw it.”

There is always cost to “humiliation.”  To accept it with grace and honor is so difficult. 

I know for myself, it makes me want to lash back!

As St. Faustina, I need to be grateful for those moments, as they give to me choices.

I can become angry, mad and resentful?/I can hold a grudge for the rest of my life?/I can call them dirty names and make them feel as if they are a “dirty carpet” as well?

Or

I can be thankful to God that I have experienced some of what Christ did, so I can relate to His Sacrifice in a more spiritual way./I can offer my humiliation up in union with His, thus participating in His redemptive works./I can pray for them.

I can also, let it be enough for me, to know that God has allowed this to happen for the betterment of my interior self./Producing a regeneration for my soul. 

In doing so, I should let it be enough for me, “God saw it,” and that should give to me the peace I need to handle it.

For every single thing which comes upon us in a suffering manner, we need to realize that is a chance given to us by God, to become humble before Him./To offer our distress for the souls of others, in union with the sufferings of Christ./It is also a chance for us to handle things such as this, in a more dignified way as a Christian.

Much spiritual growth can come out of our moments of humiliation, if we will just let it.

God Bless, SR

 

 

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