On the Road to 2012: An Exclusive Interview with Karen Santorum
Before Gabriel, I thought I was pretty strong and could handle just about any cross. Any cross except the death of a child or a sick child, I told the Lord. Don't give me those! But I've gotten both! Our crosses come in all shapes and sizes, but we're better because of them. All you can do is embrace the cross God gave you and thank Him for it, because there's definitely a reason. Even in the worst times God's light shines through and He is working.
Family, Faith and Church
Karen dreams of getting 8 hours of sleep someday. For now, she's up by 0600 and doesn't quit til midnight.
JH: How do you juggle all the demands of the campaign and family life and still keep your sanity?
KS: It's not easy. It's a cross to do without Rick at home these days. He's on the battlefield right now fighting the battles God wants him to fight. The only way I get through it is daily mass and keeping my prayer life in order. Daily mass, prayer time, family rosary; these things give you strength and I notice a real difference. I know if I'm not there I won't be able to walk this walk.
JH: Any advice on passing the Faith on to our children? What have you and Rick done that's worked well?
KS: It's a work in progress! They're not going to get the Faith if you don't live it. Live it with a lot of love. If you talk, but don't live it, or maybe there's anger, they're not going to get it. You have to live it. The family rosary has been a beautiful thing for our family. It's the time we can all come together again and you're praying, and offering your prayers for so many other people.
The most important thing is, do it with love. Always with love, never with force. You just can't teach the Faith without the love of Christ. It has to be infused with love.
JH: Why be Catholic in 2011? Isn't the Church outdated and full of criminals?
KS: God's truth never changes. No matter how modern we get or where we are technologically, God's truth is the same throughout the ages. We can still be pure in the middle of a modern world! The terrible betrayals and disgusting scandals have served to prove one thing: God is in charge. Despite the sin and failings of men over the centuries, God is still in control and we're still here. We are human and we're going to fail and make terrible mistakes, but God is leading His Church. We can never forget His love and mercy.
As I finish writing this, the Church is celebrating the feast of the Triumph of the Cross. My time with Karen left me keenly aware that I'd met a woman who knows the Cross intimately. She knows the suffering and the pain, yet she is radiant with hope, overflowing with Love. She understands that embracing and carrying our cross always leads to triumph. Her strength and faith are, quite bluntly, awe-inspiring. It is abundantly clear that Rick is forged by that same fire, and possesses the strength and courage born of a deep love of Christ and His cross. That, folks, is a house built on rock.
That's the stuff great leaders are made of.
* I highly recommend Karen's book, Letters to Gabriel, which chronicles the entire story of little Gabriel's life and death.
Jennifer Hartline is a grateful Catholic, a proud Army wife and homeschooling mother of three. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her online at Wake Up, Deborah! and MCH.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Rick Santorum, Karen Santorum, Presidency, campaign, 2012 election, Republican candidates, Pro-Life, Pro-Family, Jennifer Hartline
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