A sister of one of our Sisters recently broke her leg severely and is basically off her feet for months. I thought I would share one of her posts. I’m sure you will be as inspired as I have been by God’s care for her.
I find myself mentally setting up my week with the goal of coping till the weekend when my family is all around me, to help, love and support me.
Week day mornings are a rush to get all my “assisted” tasks done before my children catch the bus for school…they closely follow a list to ensure I have everything within an arm’s reach so I can manage my world from the mossy green motorized lift chair.
Most mornings prior to my accident I would leisurely walk out to my kitchen and prepare coffee while marveling at the birds gathered around the feeder outside my window. The familiar sound of my favourite couple, The Cardinals, calling back and forth, one protectively watching the surroundings as the other fed taking turns to spell each other off. God’s morning gift of greeting me through nature, as I poured the rich aromatic dark roast coffee from the bodum to my mystic monk pottery mug, never ceased to bring a grand smile of thanksgiving to my face.
I am a creature of habit, with little rewards built into my everyday routine…a decadent coffee here, pastry there, thick fluffy towels and luxurious lotion after a shower…by no means do I possess wealth, but reflecting now, I managed to physically reward myself after every spiritual exercise of obedience. Oh boy did I have things backwards.
Friday I felt stuck… dark… alone… all of the creature comforts I used to cling to have vanished, I need aid to do them all and guilt prohibits me from asking a personal support worker to grind beans for a gourmet coffee – it’s so minuscule in the grand scheme of what they do. The walls feel like they are closing in and perseverance just out of reach. Reflection on the week brings me back to our study of the sacraments, the outward sign containing God’s grace… God’s grace… I feel empty. Last week Fr. Brian didn’t come by for my weekly confession and with many funerals this week in addition to his weekly masses I hesitated to bother him for a home-visit for reconciliation. My sister reminded me that Fr. Mooney, a retired priest that lives in a nursing home a few miles west of our home had his number in the bulletin for emergencies. Is this an emergency? I just knew that my heart was in its darkest place since my accident.
Nervously I picked up the phone, I prayed ahead that God would prepare Father’s heart for my call and I wouldn’t be disturbing him. Father picked up on the 3rd ring, his soft frail “hello?” producing a lump in my throat, as if I had connected somehow with much needed light in my darkness. “Father Mooney?” I choked through tears… and explained my circumstance. “Well… let me check my book” with a few words he ripped open a spiritual oppression that had been hanging over me for days “tomorrow afternoon I will visit and hear your confession” in a whisper it was gone – the walls, the shadows, the monotony of my days – uncertainty uprooted and HOPE was firmly planted.
When I got off the phone the dam holding all of my anxiety washed away and I wept in gratitude for Fr. Mooney. I emptied my heart and lifted it to God, thanking Him for sending me a super hero – literally, a super hero… because there is NO earthly person, except a priest, who can administer reconciliation. Father Mooney, in his sunset years of mid-eighties, will pull a chair up to mine… he will garb himself in the priestly purple stole symbolizing penance and a portal will open… between time and a place outside of time. I will be joined, through Father as the veil, with my Saviour and healing will happen…the broken made whole… my GPS set straight… the gifts of The Holy Spirit watered and nurtured.
Of all the people in the world, pro-athletes, music giants, movie stars, motivational speakers, fashion designers, models and a plethora of other multi-millionaires who claim to have the answers to joy, love and success…there is a tiny white haired man whose humble life belongings line the dressers and walls in one room of a nursing home. This afternoon he will pull a worn camel coloured cardigan over his black dress shirt and white collar. He will shoulder an overcoat past the aches and pains of his eighty year old body and cover his head with an ancient fedora to keep today’s misty rain out of his downy locks. Gazing at the back of an envelope where he scribbled my address in pencil, he will find my home… and walk in the front door – his spiritual cape invisible to everyone but me.
comes out of the sky
like bleached flies.
The ground is no longer naked.
The ground has on its clothes.
The trees poke out of sheets
and each branch wears the sock of God.
There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
I bite it.
Someone once said:
Don’t bite till you know
if it’s bread or stone.
What I bite is all bread,
rising, yeasty as a cloud.
There is hope.
There is hope everywhere.
Today God gives milk
and I have the pail.
These people are incredible. And we are called to be the same.
Christ knows the depths of the human heart, and despite all the wretchedness it can harbor, he always sees its capacity for good. ‘Jesus’ look penetrates the veils of human passions and reaches the depths of the human heart, where one is alone, poor, and naked’ (Karl Adam). He understands and encourages us to continue struggling. His loving look sees our immense possibilities for good and also the weaknesses that are so often a reality in our lives. Christ knows what is within man. ‘He alone knows it!’ (St. John Paul II) And nevertheless he asks us to follow him: ‘Come, follow me’ (Mt 4.19). . . .
The spiritual life of any saint is the story of God’s love. This love impels forward every effort towards sanctity and lies at the very heart of all spiritual accompaniment. At times some people, if they have not been fully faithful to our God, may think he is upset and angry with them, and the devil makes use of this falsehood to distance them from God when their need is greatest to draw close to him. It is then that they need to recall with special force the parables of divine mercy: the prodigal son, the lost sheep, and the lost coin that brings joy when found.
We often need to remind souls that every moment is appropriate for beginning again with trust. Our Lord does not want anyone to be cast down by the negative experience of past weaknesses and sins. (Francis Fernandez-Carvajal)
Something to remember today on 9/11:
“Contrary to the predisposition to believe more easily in evil than in good, Mary bore witness to the truth that God is the good Father in whom each one can put his trust.” (Simone Trois & Christiana Paccini from Chiara Corbella Petrillo, A Witness to Joy)