And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19
This, my friend, is what the Mass is all about. Everything in the Mass points to this moment, when these powerful words are spoken and heaven touches earth in an extraordinary way. We begin Mass by readying ourselves to hear the word of God by asking forgiveness for our sins. Next, we listen to a reading from the Old Testament, a psalm is sung, and then, the second reading is from the New Testament. A sermon follows, to help us live the message. But the Eucharist, which follows, is the highlight of the Mass. It is here, in the consecration...a re-presentation of the Last Supper...that the priest, echoing the words of Jesus, transforms the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ. No words can explain my experience at Mass. When I receive communion, a divine exchange takes place. Without even tryin…
I couldn't wait until Monday to deliver Part II (below) of the story, 'He's not dying or anything, but I think you should come now.' (You can find Part I here)
Peg, my stepmother, met me at the airport. We talked about trivial things as I grabbed my suitcase from the baggage claim carousel. When we reached her car, I threw my suitcase in the trunk, hopped into the front passenger seat, and asked about Dad.
"Dad is very weak," she said. "Now he's developed a bad sore throat or something that makes it difficult for him to talk. I don't think these doctors are doing anything to help him. He's been in the hospital too long. He needs to come home."
I listened. It was easy to read between the lines. The prognosis wasn't good when Dad was diagnosed with advanced bone cancer several weeks ago.
It was dark when we arrived at the hospital. Peg parked the car and as we walked toward the entrance, she spoke again. "Thanks for coming," s…
This post returns to telling my faith story, sharing those times I found God alive in the ordinary events of my life...transforming everything. If you've been following my blog, you'll know that my brother's death kick-started my search for God. Then, 5 years later, my own cancer diagnosis heightened my ability to see the little miracles surrounding us daily. And the story below, which took place a few months later, once again reveals the mighty providence of God in our lives. We have nothing to fear. My husband and I had just built a new home, and my dad, states away, couldn't wait to see it. However, relentless back pain caused Dad to cancel his travel. Sadly, it was a trip he'd never make. In the following weeks, Dad was diagnosed with bone cancer. Immediately, I flew to see him. Weeks later, when schools closed during Holy Week, I wanted to drive there and bring the kids to visit. If we had our car, we would have much-needed flexibility.
God is always walking beside us, helping us and guiding us. He still parts our
Red Seas, multiplies loaves and fishes, and gives us what we need when we need
it. I was reminded of that last Saturday. I’m rarely in
public, since ongoing cancer treatments zap my energy. Mostly, I’m homebound. But
the sacraments are important, and last Saturday, I went to confession. When I
arrived, I was next-to-last in a long, slow-moving line. When there were
only three of us left, I saw the lady next to me check her watch.The evening Mass would soon begin. We
wondered…would the priest have time to hear our confessions? Finally, it
was my turn. I approached Father Frank, confessed my sins, and listened to him
prescribe an unusual, and for me, a nearly impossible penance: “When you see someone,
smile at them,” he said. “Give everyone you meet a compliment. Say something
nice. Be happy to them.” Obviously, he
didn’t know anything about my predicament. Fairly new to our parish, he had no
idea that I wa…
Hurricane Irma ravaged our area last week. It's the talk of the town. Yesterday, while describing damage sustained during the storm, a fellow parishioner made an intriguing comment.
"We lost tree limbs but the trees stayed intact. We had no property damage. We didn't lose electricity." she said. "We're okay." Then she pointed skyward, adding, "God listened." I snapped to attention.
God listened? What did she mean by that? As if God is some deity that we pray to and we order around? And when things go our way, God is listening?
So what if things don't go our way? Does that mean God is not listening?
I grabbed my bible. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with wordless groans. (Romans 8:26)Maybe we don't always know what's best for ourselves. God's looking out for our eternity, not just for the comforts of this life. Further reading confirmed God is always listening. God is always wi…
God is always speaking to us, reaching out to us and helping us. I had a laugh when I read my own post from last Monday, which was written weeks ago, telling of a past event.
When it posted, I was sitting in a hospital room. Not exactly where I expected to be. My husband and I were out-of-town on vacation, but my 'vacation' turned into a weeklong hospital stay.
You can imagine my surprise when that post popped up. The story, written weeks ago about something that happened years ago, resonated with what was happening that very day: "The travel, the sickness and the outcome."