Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Where have I been? I have been allowing God to take care of Every Little Thing.

Hello Ladies,

I'm sorry to say that this is one of the most horrible things I have ever written. Why has it taken me so long to write? Well, for one I was pregnant and pregnancy always kicks my butt. Being pregnant and having three kids to care for is exhausting. Even so, I was very happy.

But let me go back a ways. This past spring (a very good friend of mine remembers better when we had a conversation about this- strange that I don't remember it as well) I was praying in the Adoration Chapel at church. I felt that God was asking me to have another child for His greater glory but that I would suffer. What an honor. But of course I said no. Who wants to hear "baby" and "suffering" in the same sentence? A joyful birth is difficult enough, thank you! (When I told my friend, Cheryl, that I said no she nearly fell out of her chair - I do remember that.)

And so it went. Every once in a while I felt that I was asked the same thing and I always said no. Then in July I was praying the rosary at home when I had a vision. In it a teenage girl was standing in front of an abortion clinic. Suddenly great evil fled the building in horror. What could make such horrible entities flee? It occurred to me that what terrified them most was a teenage girl refusing to have an abortion. This girl did not even enter the building. She said nothing. She just stood there. Then it came to me that the girl was Mary and the child was Jesus. The I was asked again: "Will you have a child for My glory, even though you will suffer?"

Okay, even I know that there are only so many times you can say no to God without being an absolute jerk. So I said, "I would love a baby but the transition is always so difficult. I'm prone to post partum depression. Pregnancy makes me so ill. Give me a healthy baby who is good natured and an excellent sleeper and we'll talk." Can you tell I've been through this before? So I gave God a list. Then I 'heard': " I will take care of Every Little Thing."

(As an aside, less than two weeks after my 'vision' of Mary standing in front on an abortion clinic, the Center for Medical Progress began releasing undercover videos condemning Planned Parenthood for selling fetal organs for profit. Many people refuse to watch the videos or investigate it. As always, I say research for yourself. Always question.)

As you can guess a few weeks later I was pregnant with my fourth child. I wasn't worried about my impending suffering - I was overjoyed at being pregnant. We made it through the first trimester. My kids were kissing my growing tummy and praying for "mommy and the baby" during morning prayers at school. Suffering seemed a long way off. And what did a healthy, wanted baby have to do with an abortion clinic? I can guess but have no real answers.

In my 15th week I felt a bit weird. Nothing to run to the Emergency Room for but enough that I went to my doctor. After a few tests everything checked out. I especially remember hearing the strong, beautiful heartbeat. I joked that it was worth the visit just to hear that sweet thump thump thump, even if I was a paranoid mommy. A few days later my child died. I didn't know it until my 18 week check up. I just didn't feel as well as I had and had a sense of unease. But then there was no heartbeat. A rush to the ultrasound showed clearly - no heartbeat, no movement. Only a little body floating in amniotic fluid. The next 24 hours were the worst in my life. I remember driving home on my own. I remember telling my husband - then my kids. I remember holding my sobbing 5 year old daughter while I tried to explain to my dad who has dementia what had happened to his youngest grandchild. I remember my 8  year old son sobbing uncontrollably for over a half hour while I consoled him. Motherhood does not stop with tragedy. I remember sobbing all night on the couch.

The next morning my husband and I dropped off our older children at school ("please pray for my mommy and the dead baby...") and then off to the hospital to have labor induced. My husband took our youngest home (she didn't really understand) and I was left in the compassionate care of amazing nurses. You might think that it would be horrible to be away from my family but honestly, it was So Nice not to have to worry about taking care of others. Of course the news spread. My husband, unable and anyway unsuited to sit around a hospital, took care of the kids. He also told my friends not to bother asking me if they should visit  - I would tell them that I was fine and not to worry. So after they picked up their kids from school and got them settled at home they began to visit. What a blessing!

I was supposed to be in the hospital for 2-3 days but my body was not about to give up a child. I entered the hospital on a Tuesday and after days of pills, creams placed on the cervix and finally pills placed on my cervix, I delivered my son at 9:40am on Saturday, Halloween day.  Then the placenta would not be delivered. I remember the doctor and nurses frantically trying to deliver the placenta so that I would not hemorrhage. They were already prepping the OR for an emergency D&C but less than a half hour after my son was born I began to bleed. A lot. I remember my whole bed being rushed to the OR and the doctors already preparing.  And I remember waking up feeling like crap. What was I thinking during this time?? "Fucking fantastic. Sure, why not? After days of labor and now this. Okay, God. You're in charge."

It sounds much more frightening here than it was at the time. Honestly. I had the best of care. I had my kids cared for by someone who loves them as much as I do. (And yes, my husband did bring the kids to visit.) I had amazing friends who practically held vigil with me. The worst part was willingly taking the abortifications. And they made me so sick!

In the end the question is do you trust God or not? I mean, Do You Really Trust God?????

The kids named their brother Michael Nicholas. He is the patron saint of our family. We will celebrate his feast day every Halloween. They visited us in the hospital. The nurse took family pictures. The cemetery gave us a tiny casket that the kids decorated with hearts and drawings of the family and messages (We love you Michael Nicholas! We miss you! Don't forget us! Pray for us! We'll see you in heaven!!!). Michael Nicholas was buried in the local Catholic cemetery on November 6, complete with prayers and white roses.

It has never been so easy to get a child to heaven. And I miss Michael with my entire being.

Now we are living a 'new normal'.

March is going to suck. He was supposed to be born on the 23rd.

We have no idea why Michael died. Or way he died in the second trimester and not the first. But I do know this: It was not God's will that Michael should die. We were created to be in the Garden of Eden where we could encounter God face to face and never die. That was God's plan for us. I have no idea why God did not heal Michael Nicholas. I can only suspect that God is more concerned about our eternal salvation than fleeting earthly pleasure. Am I angry at God? Not at all. Michael is my son. I would do anything for him. And really, he had a Good Life. He didn't know pain or suffering. He only knew love. Do I suffer? Oh, yes! Immensely. My suffering for Michael is as great as my love for him. I do not know why. I do not understand. But I am grateful - so profoundly grateful for the gift of motherhood that God has bestowed on my four times.

During my follow up appointment the doctor asked, "Your fertility will be returning soon. How do you feel about that?" How do I feel? I feel that life is a great gift and mystery that is far beyond my comprehension. Michael was not an accident. He is not a statistic. He is my son. He had his own fingerprints. There is no way you could have looked at him as a clump of cells or anything but a little boy. He wanted to live and he had the best life imaginable. It just happened to be short. I am not a victim. Nobody has wronged me. When I held him in my hand after waking up from emergency surgery I knew that I had done everything that I could for him. When I helped seal him in his little casket, with a holy medal of St. Therese the Little Flower in his hands and a rosary at his feet, I knew that I would do it again if God asked. I would not give up the casket easily though. My husband had to take him from me to place in the ground. The ground was blessed. His siblings and cousins and my friends children placed white roses over the casket. His cousin placed a blessed medal of St. Michael the Archangel, for whom Michael was named, in the ground with him. What more can a mother do??

Well, ladies, that is my story. I hardly remember the month of November. I had lost so much blood. And healing takes time. One day I will lay down my burdens at His feet. Until then I will carry my cross. I don't have to have all the answers. But even after all of it, if God were to ask me to be a mother again I would not hesitate to say yes.

Even so, please pray for me!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2015

On Becoming a Mother... Again!!!

Hello Ladies,

It's not common knowledge but what the heck! This blog is anonymous anyway so here goes: Yes, I'm pregnant with my fourth child. I'm mostly happy about this but to be honest I'm a bit frightened. First of all pregnancy kicks my butt. Secondly, I've suffered from postpartum depression... twice. I must really love my kids (though some days they might argue that). It's so easy to say that bearing children is God's work. And it is. But when you're sobbing at the bottom of your closet, well it would be nice is God would change a diaper. Or perhaps rock the baby to sleep. Or, well, anything.

So when that pregnancy test came back positive, I definitely felt happy and blessed. I also told Jesus that I simply cannot do this on my own. Yes, I believe in redemptive suffering, but that cannot mean putting your mental state and perhaps you children at risk. So far I have been underwhelmed by the mental health care I have received. 

This time around I chose to go to a Catholic OB/GYN who has been recommend by several friends. "The office is so peaceful," they said. "They really listen to you. They respect your body."  Well, ok then. I agreed that it would be nice to be in an office where pregnancy is considered normal and not the result of failed birth control. (I thought birth control was supposed to work??) But anyway...

So I went to this Catholic doctor's office. And the office was peaceful. There were no pictures of female anatomy anywhere and no information lying around telling you how to avoid your current state in the future. (There is nothing like telling a woman suffering from PPD that the real cause of her condition is the baby. Thanks!)

Anyway, on to speaking with one of the doctors. Instead of a whirlwind visit and tests, we actually had a conversation. She asked my about my concerns for this pregnancy. I mentioned the PPD. What she said next were some of the most beautiful words I have ever heard. "Postpartum depression is not your fault; It is purely physiological. We will monitor your progesterone throughout your pregnancy and can even give you a progesterone shot in the hospital if you need one."

Ladies, if you have ever suffered through depression you will understand the power of these words. It's not my fault. I don't have to go through it again. I am not a problem. My children aren't problems!

Now I'm not saying that only a Catholic doctor's office can come up with this. A good friend of mine, who lives in a different city, had access to midwives who gave her the same treatment. Me? I got a prescription for happy pills and an option of birth control. 

It's one thing to say that a physiological problem can be fixed. It's another thing to say that I'm the one who needs to be 'fixed'. (No more babies - no more problems!)

But honestly this isn't meant to be a rant. (Though those of you who have been pregnant before know how hard it is not to rant about things that really aren't that big of a deal. Yes, I'm avoiding commercials and the evening news. I've already mentioned that pregnancy kicks my butt!) This is just meant to say that it's so much easier to go through all of the physical discomforts when I know that I won't have to suffer through the isolation of depression at the end of it. 

Ladies, I'll tell you a secret. Before each of my pregnancies I have had a sense that God was asking me to be a steward of one of His little souls. I have honestly felt that I was given a choice. A part of me has always known that God has always looked out for me. But this time around I had to really struggle and pray before saying 'yes' to God. I never did have the faith of Our Lady. God waited. I waited. And finally I said yes. Three months later I was pregnant. Why now and not six months after my youngest was born? I guess God knows what I can handle. And I am now so grateful to know that whatever happens, PPD will not be a part of the journey.

So far I am expecting a healthy pregnancy and a healthy delivery of a healthy baby. Still, every new life comes at a cost. Please pray for me, my family, and for this tiny one.

May God continue to bless you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cut the Crazy!

Hello Ladies,

Gosh, it's been ages! I've missed you. I really have. I feel as though I'm sitting with a bunch of girlfriends talking about things that would make the men in our lives look blankly and then say something unfortunate like "That's great, Dear. Would you mind getting me some water while you're at it?" You've been missed.

In my defense I've been really, really busy. Couldn't exactly say what I've been doing but I'm always exhausted at the end of the day so that's something. One thing is that my youngest child is now two. Being two keeps children very, very busy. It's a fun age. The older two are in school and activities. Once the kids hit school the years fly by. As they say, the days are long but the years are short. All of that complaining from earlier posts about how things never change and I'll be stagnant forever? I don't say that anymore. As a matter of fact I don't complain about how much thankless work I have to do anymore. (Probably much to the relief of those around me.)

Why is that? What is my secret? Sleep. Like I have a shot at getting some. Pregnant? Not at the moment. Pregnancy for me is purgatorial. We have not been blessed with a fourth but you'll probably hear about it if it happens. Awesome parish. As you know I love the study of theology and have a hard time comprehending that others don't. If you meet me on a plane and I can't shut up about the Church Fathers or some saint it isn't that I'm trying to convert you. It's just that I think that it's Just That Cool. And our now pastor thinks so, too. Can you say Adult Faith Formation? (Without the tedious papers and the stress of being graded?) With free child minding? And coffee? This pastor is serious!

All joking aside there has been a major shift in my life - and people have noticed. One very good friend whom I'm able to see every few years mentioned that I'm more joyful than when she had last seen me. I realized it was true. She asked how (since I had had two more children and my husband was working crazy long hours) I could be less stressed than when she had last seen me. After a moment's thought I replied "Because before I was driving myself crazy and then going to God. God has proven Himself faithful so now I go straight to Him. I just cut out the crazy."

It's really easy to say "God is faithful" but I'm telling you there are times when you feel desperately alone. Alone with young, helpless children. And no sleep. With gifts from God. No help. Not feeling worthy of such gifts from God. Feeling like a total failure for totally missing whatever goodness God has given because obviously you're so pathetic that you wouldn't know Jesus in your life unless the baby miraculously stopped screaming or He showed up to change a diaper. And when you try to pray it ends up something like this: Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is - what on earth are you doing out of bed? Get back to bed!! - The Lord is with - what do you mean you just wet your bed? I just put you on the potty not five minutes ago... No that's not pee... what did you do?    Ok, you get the idea.

The above was a real life episode which resulted in pathetic sobbing at the bottom of my closet. You see - I'm far from perfect.

About a year later I was thinking about that incident and many others. I was wondering, perhaps praying, why, why a time that should be so beautiful (the birth of a baby) could end up like the scene of a horror movie. I was pretty angry about it for a year. Maybe it took that long for my body to heal. Maybe it took that long for us to heal from a death in the family about that time. Maybe God was waiting patiently until I was quiet enough to hear Him. But I don't think so. You see, my prayer was answered.

As I was asking this I felt peace in my heart and then the voice: Let me tell you where I was. I was there the whole time. With these words my world shifted a little and I saw myself of the floor of my closet. I also saw the possibility of my feelings of isolation and worthlessness feeding upon themselves and becoming So Much Worse. Our minds are incredible things, aren't they? We can convince ourselves that some momentary setback is eternal failure. We can make some pretty poor decisions in those moments. Possibly regrettable ones. But God doesn't leave us there. My world rightened itself and I was a bit dizzy. The voice continued:  I wanted it to be a joyful time for you. I'm sorry it didn't work out that way. I was there for you the whole time. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you  for giving everything you have for the souls I entrusted to you.

Just the thought God would thank me for anything made me sit down.

Ladies, I'm really not all that much. I'm not super mom. There are days when you would that my family a good fit for Super Nanny. I'm not Super Theologian. The likelihood of earning a PhD is slim to none. But God Did Not Abandon Me to My Fears. He Did Not Abandon Me At All!

When I think of where my mind was taking me....

But today was ok. And it only gets better. Not because of anything I'm doing but because I'm not allowing my own crazy to get in the way.

Some say that the Church is about mind- control. Don't believe it. It's about self control. It's about living in such a way that you would recognize God working in your life. Because God is always working in our lives. He doesn't ask for much in return. He just wants us to work with Him a bit. He'll do the rest.

And yes, the baby did scream. And yes, she did sleep. Sheets did not need changing. My husband got home from work and traveling. And I finally have time to blog.

Cut the crazy. All paths lead to God anyway. Might as well take the route that allows you time to grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the view along the way.

May God continue to bless you!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Feminine Genius!

Hello Ladies,

Lately I've been hearing a lot about a "war on women" and "what the church says". The thing is that the loudest voices have never even read humanae vitae or any other document. Many of them haven't even read the bible. One person admitted that he googled passages from the bible to support his point but never read the passages in their original context. As a scholar I find this insulting. I do not tell a lawyer the law. I do not correct a physicist. I do not tell a neurosurgeon that she her published medical paper is wrong because of my lack of understanding. Yet everybody owns theology - without even studying it. And unlike rocket science, everybody is capable of studying theology! 

Well, ladies, do not let it be said that I have not done my bit to inform the population. I believe that women are smart and capable of rational thought. So below I'm listing some links from the Vatican website which discuss the church's view on the role of women is society. Happy reading!

The Feminine Genius.


This is it: The big bad document which prohibits artificial birth control. This was written in the 60's and is somewhat prophetic. Be informed and read it before you judge. 


Have any questions? Contact me and we'll start a conversation. No subject is taboo! These are our bodies, our families. Our sons and daughters are watching us. They respect themselves only as much as we respect ourselves and those around us.

May God continue to bless you!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Conundrum of the Educated Mother

Hello Ladies,

You're all moms. You know what it's like to be grateful for that job but still wish you were at home with the kiddos. Or maybe you're grateful to be a stay at home mom who wishes she could get out more. This delicate balance is as old as motherhood. After all, women are capable creatures who keep society moving forward in spite of all obstacles - with screaming babies on our hips!

So I'm NOT saying that a woman's place is in the home or convent and that's it. I'm certainly NOT saying that a woman's life is over because she has children. There is a balance and our faith helps us find it.

What got me started with all this? Well, lately I feel like getting out of "mom mode" and using my theology degree. On a practical level this is much harder than it first appears. There are plenty of budding theologians who teach classes, work the speaking circuit and (shudder) blog. How am I to enter this world without putting my family out? And do I really want to?

On the other hand, I'm intelligent, motivated and educated. Shouldn't I be working to my capacity or working toward a PhD.? Should't I be planting the seeds of success now so that I can harvest them when my kids are a few years older?

It's really hard watching the years go by, helping others accomplish things and never seeing your dreams come to light. I don't claim to be the best parent but we've all seen children experience bad parenting. It's devastating. I don't want that for my children either.

So what to do? Being the reasonably good Catholic that I am my first course of action is to pray. After all, God did create me. I'm His daughter, too. He had dreams for me before I could dream for myself. And He can see all things which means that I will never waste my time by listening to His advice.

And do you know what I learned? Not that I'm stuck, but that He really values what I'm doing now. So what if I'm only volunteering for a parish women's bible study? Are they any less worthy of learning His word? (Not that I'm teaching it. But just being part of the group gives these ladies more confidence in their studies.) Should I take any less joy in their process of discovery than He does? And who better to raise my children to know and love Him than me?

In short, do I value what God values? Or would I rather be "a success", admired by the world? If I cannot do what is in front of me with great love how can I call myself Christian at all??

I am forced to admit that God values His children, the people in my home and who I meet in my daily life, more than He values my idea of success.

The beautiful thing about prayer is that it doesn't "keep you in your place" but helps you see the world as God sees it. I don't know where He will lead me but I know that it will be a much better place than I had envisioned for myself.

May God continue to bless you!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Crazy Days!!

Hello Ladies,

Things here have been crazy and I can't admit that I've been dealing with them well. One of the things I've been struggling with is migraines. These lay me out flat and it is so hard, so hard to do what I need, much less with great love. Mostly I just want to puke and pass out. Yes, my husband is a fantastic support. But when dad is out of commission it takes a few days for things to start to topple. When mom is sick this takes a matter of hours. So instead of being 'laid low' for a half a day it became over a week simply because I couldn't get the rest I needed. Combine this with the well meaning "why don't you just" and "you need time for you" and I was about ready to lose it.

Why do I mention this? Because at some point, no matter where we are or what we do, we are in danger of blowing it. In my case it was behaving poorly to my young children who cannot defend themselves. At other times it might have been yelling at a poor person who works behind a counter. Or perhaps yelling at a cop for pulling me over. You get the idea.

Sometimes my problems should not be the problems of the world around me. I'm an adult. It's not my right to make those around me feel bad. I'm a mother, so it's my responsibility to model proper behavior for my children. Actually,  I have always believed that it is the responsibility of every adult to model proper behavior for children. I seem to be in the minority. But I digress.

Or maybe this digression is important. I don't think that people set out to be jerks. Maybe we've just forgotten that we have a choice and tools to deal with things when we are at our lowest.

One thing I've notices about western society is that we know everything. Yes, people without kids tell me how to parent. Parents tell teachers how to teach. I can tell a physicist until I'm blue in the face that gravity does not exist and then cry when I feel the effects of it. But I still know best, right?

Well, coming from a place where I nearly yelled at my kids for making noise while they were playing nicely with each other, I don't know it all. Obviously.

Let me repeat: I do not have all the answers all of the time. I do not always have it all together. Some days I feel like a failure. Some days I don't like myself very much. And I do not think it is acceptable for others to be the target of issues that I refuse to deal with.

There. Now that I've established common ground let me get to the point: At some point we need to take responsibility and work towards healing so we can be good caretakers of others. But how do we do that?

The first thing is know thyself. This is more difficult than it sounds because we are bombarded with images of how we should be in order to be acceptable. For the purpose of this exercise ignore those voices. Turn off the tv, radio, computer, and phone if you need. to. Keep them off for a day, a week, even longer. Don't worry, the world will continue to spin.

The second thing is to try to see yourself as God sees you. Let me expand on this one a bit. Try thinking of God as the Source of All Goodness. Now imagine God getting down in the dirt, molding your body with His hands (yes, even the bits you don't like). Now image Him smiling at His masterpiece and blowing life into your nostrils.

Imagine the gut-wrenching pain Jesus felt when He walked among us on earth, seeing us suffer. Do you really think that we were created to suffer? Do you really think Jesus suffered and died for us to suffer? Did I go through the agony of childbirth to hurt my children? Do I get up in the middle of the night to comfort them so I can berate them later?

Okay, sometimes I totally blow it with my kids. I shamefully admit this. But the only way I can get through this is to remember that me and my children (and everybody around me) have been created by the Source of All Goodness and bear His fingerprints; our creator is present and wants to help.

When I lose myself I ask God to find me. This is a simple thing but it is hard. I have been abused and neglected as a child. I have suffered postpartum depression. Twice. I know what it is to be lost, over and over. This works.

I am reminded not that I am nothing, but I am in communion with all around me. Those who suffer despair suffer from isolation. We can do nothing on our own. My suffering is important because it reminds me that I can still achieve great things in the midst of seemingly impossible odds. I am stronger than I think. It also reminds me of what is important. Do I need to take a break? Will the world end if I do? Will I end if I can't? My choice.

I am reminded of God's grace, and I am thankful. I am not thankful for my suffering but for God's steadfast mercy. One day the house was a wreck. My husband would be home soon and I wasn't up for explaining why the kids weren't in bed and the kitchen a mess. (I was assuming that he would judge me and find me failing.) My children were eating and having fun together. (Telling potty jokes, no less. They did NOT learn this from me!) And I was about to lose it! So I took a moment where I was and I asked Jesus to enter. Then in my mind's eye I saw Jesus sitting at the table with my children and he was laughing! I felt a rush of peace. Suddenly the mess was no big deal. There was no need to start yelling. Jesus was delighting in my children, potty words and all. So I bit my tongue. And you know what? By the time my husband came home the house was clean and the children had gone to bed nicely. Don't tell me that wasn't a miracle! My husband told me what I great mommy I am. Gosh. And it almost wasn't so.

Sometimes I need to spend time alone with Jesus. I love going to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. I can ask Jesus what He wishes me to do.  He never wastes my time. I allow Him to remind me of who I am. After all, He did make me. And in all honesty, He likes me better than I like myself. And I cannot be at peace with others unless I am at peace with myself.

But now I must go and make food for my family. One day the children will be off and I will not have the opportunity to 'do for' them.

May God continue to bless you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Forgiveness- At Last!!

Hello Ladies,

If you've read any of my earlier posts you know that I have a problem with forgiveness. Or perhaps I should say that I have a problem forgiving others. I know that withholding forgiveness is a heavy burden that I impose on myself. But really, how can I forgive when I did nothing to deserve such treatment?

One of the latest instances has to do with the behavior of an elder family member around the time of the birth of my third child. This elder resented my latest pregnancy and told all of the family who would listen (and who wouldn't listen to an elder?) that I did not want my child and had no business being pregnant. So around the time of the birth of my precious child we were receiving phone calls and e mails stating that "the child should not be".  It also happened at this time that the elder in question was dying. You might think that the illness had some part to play is this horrible behavior but it was not so; this elder was known for lying and selfishness. For the life of me I cannot understand why other family members would add to the drama. This send my little family into a tail spin and I sunk into postpartum depression.

Several months ago I was praying about this. I was ranting to God about the unfairness of the situation. It has taken almost two years for those closest to this elder to admit that the baby might actually be wanted, loved, and well cared for and that my husband and I were in no way slighting this elder by having a baby. So as I was pouring my heart out to God,  I heard him speak in my heart: "Yes, it was wrong. You were trying to honor this elder but this elder did not allow it. You daughter is precious to me and I rejoice in her. But before you take this too far remember that I was with you the entire time." Boom! Suddenly a floodgate of memories opened up and I was able to see so many blessings  given during that time. I realized that God truly has been with us the entire time.

For me, it all began with gratitude for God's grace and wanting to remove all obstacles that I place between me and God.

So I went to confession.

You might wonder why I, who was wronged, would go to confession. Well, Ladies, all that I can say is that I really needed healing and in the confessional I encountered Jesus the Great Physician. If you have chronic pain you go do a doctor and let the doctor make the diagnosis so that you can heal. I wanted healing. And I found it.

As I left the confessional I realized why I couldn't forgive this elder before: Because you cannot give to others what you yourself do not have. I could not forgive because I did not have forgiveness. Think of all the time I wasted in anger!

It comes down to this: when you allow yourself to harmonize with Love your heart is too full for anger. When you feel that healing and peace you will happily let go of anything that keeps you from the Source of that healing and peace.

I cannot wait to go back to confession. (And since I am so much more at peace with myself those around me have been asking what I did to change. Imagine!)

May God continue to bless you!

Mariam Mom