Sunday, June 28, 2009

Wise Men Seek Him

I found my yearly theme of "Focus on Him" come up during the sermon this morning. The Gospel was the story of the women who was bleeding for twelve years. I cannot imagine how she must have felt! She braved the crowded streets and looked for the man she heard that could heal. She was a wise woman who seeked Jesus. Through the heavy crowd she spots him, and moved forward to him repeating to herself, "If only I could touch his clothes." If only. She didn't ask for much. She knew exactly what she wanted, what she needed and where to find it. As soon as her hand reaches for his garment and she touches the rough material, immediately, she is healed. Her wound is fixed. She seeked and He healed.

Infertility hurts. Healing is available if only we seek it from Him, who created us. He can and will heal our hearts, minds and bodies. Like the brave, wise woman of today's Gospel, I earn to seek Him, and whisper to myself, "If only I could touch his garment, the pain will stop." I may not be in the same position as this woman, hearing His voice or feeling His touch, but He did not leave us here without some sort of tangible part of Him. We have Him, here, in the Eucharist.

This is where I seek Him, for healing. I am blessed to work next to a church where they have Eucharistic adoration. After work, I am able to drop in and sit with Him, in His Presence, for a few minutes before traveling home. It is an amazing, quiet time, that I cherish.

If you are hurting, I encourage you to be like the wise woman. Seek Him out.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

God's Power to Remove Suffering

In speaking about a hospital that Padre Pio established, Pope Benedict XVI stated,

"Can the experience of pain be considered positive? Who can liberate us from suffering and death?" These questions, he said, cannot be answered on a human level, "since suffering is an unfathomable mystery for our reason." He added, "Suffering is part of the very mystery of the human person." "Only God can remove the power of evil" that is the source of suffering, the Pontiff asserted. He explained that "faith helps us to penetrate the meaning of all things human and therefore also of suffering." The Holy Father affirmed, "There is, therefore, an intimate relationship between the Cross of Jesus -- the supreme symbol of the pain and the price of our freedom -- and our pain, which is transformed and transcended when it is lived in the awareness of the closeness
and solidarity of God." "Padre Pio had understood this profound truth," he said.

Full text:

Since I learned of our infertility, I have been desperately reaching out trying to find something that will alleviate the pain. I wanted and want to make the suffering stop. I want to be numb, not feeling the pain. I finally realized that there was only one way for me to do this. I needed to lay my suffering at Jesus' feet. There I am reminded that we all suffer. Pain is part of this world, and that includes suffering. However, as Christians we have Christ. I can offer my pain, my loneliness and my needs and wants for a child to our Lord. He will draw my closer to Himself and transform my suffering to the gloriy of God.

I was haunted by the 'what woulds'. What would life be like now without children? What would life be like five, ten, twenty years from now without children? What would holidays be like with only my spouse and me?

By focusing on God the past week, I am realizing that God is in control. He alone knows the path of our life. I do not need to worry.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Focus Upon Me....Focus Fridays

I recently went to a retreat for infertility. I was surrounded by wonderful women whose hearts just seemed to provide comfort and love. During a prayer session, I heard God whisper into my own heart.

I have been struggling with learning to accept infertility for four years now. I knew that if our treatments did not work that adopting was not on our horizon. In the back of my mind, I begged and pleaded with learning of a way to simply accept something that cannot be changed. The most difficult part of our ARTS treatment was the frustration, with everything. Our bodies, the clinic, the appointment times, the hectic traffic conjestion to the nearest clinic that was still 45 minutes away, traveling there multiples times during the week.

During this chaos, I lost something. I lost my focus. My faith turned from God to the Doctor, who surely would be able to get me pregnant, wouldn't he? During the retreat, amongs a room of laughter and tears, God's voice whispered in my ear the very thing that I needed to hear, "Focus on Me." Three words. Three simple but beautiful words. He reminded me where my heart and mind should be.

When I have something new to persue, I get very passionate about it and spend hours figuring it out. I am in pursuit for a Catholic support group on accepting infertility. Is there one? I am beginning to highly doubt it. I have spent hours searching the internet and writing emails.

God reminded me last night where I should be looking. "Focus on Me." The same three words entered into my heart. And I am realizing this is where I should be. With Him. By His feet, offering up to Him my sorrows and joys.

I am starting something new here on my blog called Focus Friday. I am reading a devotional called, "Every Day is a Gift."

Devotion for Friday June 19: "Jeremiah 31:33.... "I will write [my law] upon their hearts; I will be their God and they shall be My people."

The reflection listed indicates that things are at rest when they are in their proper place. God has spoken to me twice to focus on Him. And I am realizing that I am wasting energy working on things that are not in their proper place. For now, while my heart is hurting, my proper place is with Him.

Heavenly Father, it is with joy and honor that I take up my seat by your Son's feet and gaze upon His holiness. My heart finds rest within You. Help me to keep my heart attached to you and resting assured that my heart will be satisfied within Yours. Amen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Faith and Perseverance Novena to Sts. Anne & Joachim


When life seems barren,
help us to trust in God’s mercy.

When we are confused,
help us to find the way to God.

When we are lost in the desert,
lead us to those whom God has called us to love.

When our marriage seems lifeless,
show us the eternal youth of the Lord.

When we are selfish,
teach us to cling only to that which lasts.

When we are afraid,
help us to trust in God.

When we are ashamed,
remind us that we are God’s children.

When we sin,
lead us to do God’s will.

You who know God’s will for husband and wife,
help us to live chastely.

You who know God’s will for the family,
keep all families close to you.

You who suffered without children,
intercede for all infertile couples.

Good parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
grandparents of our Savior, Jesus Christ,

You who trusted in God’s will,
help us to respect God’s gift of fertility.

You who gave birth to the Blessed Mother,
inspire couples to be co-creators with God.

You who taught the Mother of God,
teach us to nurture children in holy instruction.

You whose hearts trusted in God,
hear our prayers for . . . (mention your requests here)

Pray with us for the ministry of Catholic family life.
Pray with us for the ministry of Natural Family Planning.
Pray with us for all who give their time,
talent and treasure to this good work.

Hail Mary. . . Our Father. . . Glory to the Father. . .

God of our fathers,
you gave Saints Anne and Joachim
the privilege of being the parents of Mary,
the mother of your incarnate Son.
May their prayers help us to attain
the salvation you have promised to your people.

We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Feeling alone amongst a room fill of people....

The restaurant was crowded as we waited for our table. The nine of us move towards a small room of the main restaurant at the Olive Garden. We are surrounded by the sounds of Italy and the wonderful aroma of Italian foods. And then it happened.

I should have known. I was there with a group of women from Church celebrating another year of Sunday School passing. Life was good. I was accepting our infertility fine. I looked forward to this evening for weeks. Until the lady beside me reaches into her purse and out comes the dreaded birth announcement. For the next twenty minutes, the picture is rotated around the table and everyone talks about their children and grandchildren.

In a room fill of people, I am alone. The wounds that I thought were healing seaped open again. I could feel the hot tears in my eyes and the tightness in my throat. I wanted to run, but I stayed. We were only served our drinks. Two and half hours later, about a half-a-dozen sentences from me, I was weaving myself out of the crowded restaurant where my first tears and grasps of breathe came in the parking lot under the cloud of the evening darkness.

I am not healed. My journey continues....

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.....

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, longing to love Jesus as He had never been loved before, you gave yourself entirely to Him, refusing Him nothing. In union with the Immaculate Heart of Mary, you accepted His call to satiate His infinite thirst for love and souls and become a carrier of His love to the poorest of the poor. With loving trust and total surrender you fulfilled His will, witnessing to the joy of belonging totally to Him. You became so intimately united to Jesus your crucified Spouse that He deigned to share with you the agony of His Heart as He hung upon the Cross.

Blessed Teresa, you promised to continuously bring the light of love to those on earth; pray for us that we also may long to satiate the burning thirst of Jesus by loving Him ardently, sharing in His sufferings joyfully, and serving Him wholeheartedly in our brothers and sisters, especially those most unloved and unwanted. Amen
Prayer equesting Blessd Teresa's Intercession

Jesus, you made Blessed Teresa an inspiring example of firm faith and burning charity, an extraordinary witness to the way of spiritual childhood, and a great and esteemed teacher of the value and dignity of every human life. Grant that she may be venerated and imitated as one of the Church's canonized saints.Hear the requests of all those who seek her intercession, especially the petition I now implore... (mention here the favour you wish to pray for).
May we follow her example in heeding Your cry of thirst from the Cross and joyfully loving You in the distressing disguise of the poorest of the poor, especially those most unloved and unwanted.
We ask this in Your name and through the intercession of Mary, Your Mother and the Mother of us all.Amen.