Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Real Mother and a Rare Child #RareDiseaseDay2015

I can't know what it's like to watch my baby in the hospital, constantly subjected to painful tests, surgeries and procedures, to not be able to hold him, to not be able to heal him, save him, comfort him or do anything at all to make it better.

I can't know what it's like, for over a year, to not know what's wrong and how to help, despite the tests, despite the experts, despite the fights, despite the prayers and despite the tears.

I can't know what it's like to dedicate my life to fighting day and night for a way to heal my precious baby- to argue with doctors, to demand a fair chance for diagnosis, to seek to the ends of the earth for someone who can save my precious son. 

I can't know what it's like to have a tiny little girl who also wants her mommy's attention, and to give her every ounce of my time that I can and always feel it isn't enough.

I can't know what it's like to have a nearly paralyzed baby on life support who could stop breathing at any time, to deal with that daily fear and pray constantly to our Lord for his help, for strength to make it through and to have the faith to believe in what feels like the impossible. 

I can't know what it's like to have nurses and caregivers getting sick or cancelling their work shift, leaving me to abandon my plans for the entire day to watch my little child to make sure he doesn't stop breathing, while watching my little girl at the same time and being the best wife to my husband I can be. 

But I can admire her. And I can support her. And I can hold her up as an example of what it means to love, to sacrifice, to devote my life to faith and courage. 

Priscilla Zahner Rosenlund, I love you. 

And that is one of a million reasons why I support #RareDiseaseDay2015.

And I ask for more research, more funding for research, more public attention and more prayers for the one in ten people with rare disease, such as Baby Truett and for mothers like my cousin Priscilla, with nowhere to turn. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Falling for God

We are born to die and dying is the most important thing we can do, to prepare for leaving this world. I want to do that well. Can I feel pain and suffer and still love and forgive? Can I look for every opportunity I can to show God how much I love Him? Can I make my life a gift to God that culminates in the final sacrifice of my life?

Blessed Titus contemplated these things from prison as he waited to be killed. He had been tortured ("experimented on") in Dachau, day after day for many weeks. The entire time, he prayed for his torturers and cried out, "Thy will not mine be done!" 

While in prison, he wrote, "(Christ), in your weakness, you conquered the world. Let me be weak with you and bow deep under the weight of life. Be insignificant and small in the eye of the world and stand up again with you for new suffering until my death will be the crowning of my offer. Amen." 

Blessed Titus lived and died this prayer. 

The world we live in does not teach us these things. The world we live in teaches us that "Heaven on Earth" means an abundance of wealth and pleasure, and that we can be empowered, full of great self-esteem. Some take it to the extreme and see themselves as gods and goddesses. 

Yet, it is pride that separated us from God in the beginning- The pride that we knew better than God whether or not to eat the fruit of the Garden. And it is only through humility that we may return to Eden. 

Jesus fell for me. 
May I also fall for Him, and when I fall, let it be all for His glory.
Let me fall to the ground and never get up, but let only Jesus rise in me.
Blessed Titus Brandsma, pray for us.

Edit: As of 02/25/15, this blog has been significantly edited. There were a couple of theological errors in it that are now corrected. So, some sections have been omitted in order to make a clearer point. Thanks for your patience!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

An Invitation to Eternal Friendship

My former formation director asked why I haven't blogged in a while, and she suggested that my writing about the humanity of Christ may be a good idea. I had shared with her something my spiritual director taught me last week and she said it had revolutionized her thinking and deepened her experience of the Eucharist. So, she wanted me to let more people know.

I will be happy to share it, although it is not my idea, but my understanding of his lesson. Jesus Christ is more human than we are. He is not less human, but more human. Humanity doesn't equal sinfulness because humanity was never intended to be sinful. As humans, we were created perfect and our fall from grace actually made us less human, a warped distortion of what it means to be human instead.

Jesus came to restore humanity to our original perfection and goodness, as a “second Adam,” and to offer humanity a second chance. Jesus is 100% human, which is 100% good, and He is also 100% God.

So, what does this mean to us? I imagine it means something different to each one of us personally.

For me, it means the opposite of what I was taught in my "new age" spiritual path before. I believed that we lost Eden because of our desire for knowledge of good and evil, which had to do with judgments. If we could stop judging, we could return to Eden, where we could reign as gods.

Well, good luck with that, since even if we did not judge we would still live as a human who is less perfect than were designed to be. We would just convince ourselves we were perfect anyway, and lose the opportunity to know the real return to our natural and perfect human state.

That solution does not re-unite us to God our Creator. It only blinds our vision from the truth of our alienation from that God. Judgment is not the enemy. Alienation from our loving Creator is the enemy and judgment did not create that. Pride did. We wanted the knowledge of good and evil so we could “be as gods,” after all.

And this explains why I am creating the app I am developing. I want to bring us closer to our loving Creator through Christ, the new and perfect man. I want people to relate to Him as a human man, as well as to God, because this is the reason He was born and died for us.

In Father's homily this morning, he talked about what Christianity has that secular “spirituality” lacks. We have a real relationship with the Trinity, the Trinity that original sin wrenched us away from. My new app has over 500 quotes by Jesus Christ himself, from Sacred Scripture. It also includes over a thousand quotes by four Carmelite saints and four blesseds.

What's the point of using quotes from our saints and blesseds, and not just the words of Jesus Himself? Their life was dedicated to helping bring people into a deeper relationship with Christ. So, I want to do that for us, too. I want their words to help us form friendships with these masterful guides, so we can come to know our true Love and Master, Jesus Christ.

I want everyone to know the profound and permanent intimacy, healing, love and joy this friendship offers.

So, in my usual peculiar style, I have been developing a “communication gadget,” a “telephone” of sorts, to help us form a deeper connection with Him.

“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” -St. Teresa Benedicta (Edith Stein)