8/18/2014 (6 months ago)
Harvesting the Fruits of contemplation (harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/)
There are times when we should just stop, sit and silently recall some of the life-changing moments we have experienced in our lives but may have buried in the stone piles of our minds.
CANASTOTA, NY - My writing group recently suggested that we resurrect and record some of
those memories. It was a good exercise and one I hope you will be
encouraged to follow after reading these three little vignettes: "Cast all your worries on him because he cares for you."
1 Peter 5:7 "You are my refuge and shield; in your word I hope."
- Psalm 119: 114 "Though my flesh and heart fail, God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever."
- Psalm 73:26
I wasn't nervous - really. 'Should I be?' I asked my best man.
'Good grief, man,' responded my not too clear headed buddy. 'She's a half hour late and lives just one block away from the Church! That's a sign man - a bad sign. If I were you, I would leave this place pronto.'
There was no chance to even consider responding. The Church's interior rattled with the reverberating sounds flowing from the organ pipes. I glanced down the aisle. There she was - my bride, my soon to be wife. Gorgeous! Smiling! Radiant! Not a care in the world! - unconcerned about her tardy arrival.
I did not care. She was worth waiting for!
Multiple thoughts rushed through my mind. What awaited us? How would we change? Would our love last? Would we survive the stresses and strains that too often tear marriages apart - financial pressures, demands of work, illness, parenthood?
'Yes, certainly we would,' I assured myself. 'We love each other. Nothing would separate us.'
I was ready to say 'I do!' and to share the rest of my life with this lovely woman.
And even during the most difficult challenges we would later face, I would never look back. My wife has loved me more than I could have imagined or deserved.
Something did not seem right. But I did not know what it was.
'I'll be back next week to help you move,' I said.
Mom turned her head to avoid looking directly at me, and whispered 'I love you, son.'
I did not think much of this at the time. I thought she was anxious about leaving her long-time residence and relocating with Dad to a strange apartment in an unfamiliar place near my upstate home.
I kissed her forehead, hugged my Dad, told them I loved them and left.
My parents looked so apprehensive, so tired. I knew my wife, children and I could lessen their burdens and help them regain some normalcy as they struggled to cope with their illnesses and the aging process.
But Mom knew something I didn't.
Less then twenty four hours later, while my wife was in an operating room some 250 miles from my parents' home, my sister called to tell me my mother was dying.
When I kissed her goodbye the day before, Mom knew that we would never see each other again this side of heaven.
Had she looked me in the eyes, I would have known too.
Barely a year and one month later, we buried Dad.
Now both of my parents were gone.
Despite my wife's loving attempts to comfort and console me, the anguish and void in my heart and my soul were crippling. I missed Mom and Dad immensely. There were so many things I wish I had had a chance to do for them. It was too late.
Early one morning while on retreat trying to make sense of my life, as well as the loss of my parents, I sought shelter in the silence of the facility's chapel. No one else was there save for the Divine Resident locked behind the tabernacle doors.
I slowly approached the altar rail and knelt down. For the very first time in my life, I spoke to my Heavenly Father as if He were at my side and in a way I had longed to speak to my earthly Dad. I minced no words. I spared no tears.
Up to this point in my faith life, I believed intellectually that God was here with me. But I had not experienced that Truth in my heart. As I continued to bare my soul, I felt an unseen 'presence' wrapping Himself around me, followed by a tingling sensation that started at the top of my head, radiated down through my entire body and into my feet. I can only describe this satiating feeling as an overwhelming sense of being loved and at total peace.
I no longer doubted that God is real, that He desires a personal relationship with me, and that I had to align my will with His.
As far as I was concerned then, there was no better place to be. I had no desire to ever get off my knees or leave this sacred space.
A sudden tap to my left shoulder abruptly ended this most intimate and undeserved experience.
I turned around. The gentleman who had touched me bore such a startling physical resemblance to my father, that I gasped for air.
'Hi, I'm George McGivney,' he said. 'I wanted to tell you how much God loves you.'
Light a Virtual Prayer Candle today!
Have any memories that you would like to share?
"Cast all your worries on him because he cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
"You are my refuge and shield; in your word I hope." - Psalm 119: 114
"Though my flesh and heart fail, God is the rock of my heart, my portion forever." - Psalm 73:26
A blog through which I promote zeal for the salvation of souls, awe and amazement for the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, and fidelity to the Truths of our Catholic Faith.
By Mary Botha
There is a feeling that every parent, at one point or another has nightmares about. That cold, lost helpless feeling...almost like drowning, but then they get to wake up. I clearly remember the day my husband and I felt that feeling. Only our nightmare, we did not get ... continue reading
By Wendy RN., BA, MBA
Every year I pull out my favorite fish recipes that I save for Lenten Friday meals. Here are my top 5 that I love. I know that your families will love them too! LOS ANGELES, CA - Here are my top 5 favorite fish recipes that can be prepared in 30 min. or less.Feel free ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
Two days ago I wrote a post called, 'Shine, Child, Shine!' about being fully you, just as you were created to be and how important it is for each one of us to live authentically as ourselves. NASHVILLE, TN - I also acknowledged a tendency to allow fear to slip in and ... continue reading
By Chaplain Adele M. Gill
As today is Ash Wednesday, it seems only fitting to remember the man who asked Jesus, 'What good thing must I do to gain Eternal Life?' Like the man who asked the question, isn't it easy for us to think thatthe way to Jesus and Eternal Life is through good works?But ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
The world needs YOU just as you were created. Forget the expectations, facades, and cover-ups. Be you and be fully you. NASHVILLE, TN - You were uniquely crafted with a distinct mixture of specific personality traits and gifts that match those of no other person on ... continue reading
By Wendy RN., BA, MBA
Will you accept my challenge? The Three Pillars of Lent are Prayer, Fasting and Almsgiving. Of these Almsgiving is the most neglected of all! LOS ANGELES, CA - It is common practice for us Catholics to 'give up' something for Lent. It is usually something silly and ... continue reading
By Cheryl Jones
When something unexpectedly came across my pathway, it forced me to re-examine prayer, decision making, and how growth relates to decisions. LOS ANGELES, CA - I recently was presented a job offer. It came out of the blue. I wasn't looking for it. I wasn't expecting ... continue reading
By Michael Seagriff
Bet you have had a similar experience. You are reading a passage from Scripture - one that you have read many times in the past. Suddenly from the page leaps an insight that had heretofore escaped your grasp.I had just such an experience early Monday morning when I ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
Years ago after a retreat I attended, the Lord gave me a prayer which I've since remembered, which is kind of amazing because if there's anything I'm not so great at it's memorizing things word for word. Thank God it's a short prayer and that He knows my shortcomings ... continue reading
By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky
In part 1 of this discussion on rethinking your birth control, I defined what it means to be a woman. Not just a modern woman, but a whole woman according to God's design. ZEBULON, NC - Part 2 detailed attributes of her feminine genius in the form of female ... continue reading