Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Experiencing the Life of Christ in our Midst

Gospel reading today John 8:21-30
"You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong woth this world, but I do not belong to this world." John 8:23

This morning I reflected on The Passion and then wrote a Lenton/Easter letter to my family; therefore that doesn't leave me much time to write this morning on the blog. This past year, my brother and his wife suffered the loss of their 19 year old daughter to a 2 year battle of brain cancer. Morgan suffered more than I might ever witness intense suffering ever again. She endured 9 brain surgeries and the day before she died, her way of getting around was by crawling. Her mother had to feed her three times a day through a feeding tube. My letter to the family was to compare Morgan's suffering to The Passion and the sorrow of the Blessed Mother to Morgan's mother and father. I realized as I wrote the letter that in this world "below", we can experience what Jesus himself experienced as well as His Mother....the good, the bad and the ugly. My ,just the other day, experienced a "transfiguration" through confession. She walked away seeing all of the blessings in her life instead of the negative aspects. She realized through God's mercifu love that life is hard for everyone in all different types of ways. While some are witnessing the Passion of Christ in their loved ones others are witnessing the Birth of Christ, the Discipleship of Christ, the Transfiguration of Christ, the Tempation of Christ through a desert experience. Here below, we can experience Heaven and the Life of Christ if we just look around among us.

As mothers, hopefully we can open our minds up to living in Christ's precense every step of the way of raising children and caring for our families. We can help open the eyes of our husband and children (someday adults) to the life of Christ in each of us and those around us. Below is the letter to my family. Feel free to replace your loved ones or someone you know in the place of my brother, sister-in-law and loved ones in Heaven.

Blessings to you this Tuesday!

A Lenton Reflection and Easter Blessing March 23, 2010
To my dear family,
As I was praying the rosary this morning and meditating on the Passion of Christ, a story unfolded in my mind of how our family has witnessed the Passion right in our very midst. Some of our family members have lived the Passion. We have witnessed the love and sorrow of the Blessed Mother through Traci, the care and compassion of Simon who helped Jesus carry his cross through Klint.

Agony in the Garden
As I reflected on the Agony in the Garden, I thought about Dr. Garnett telling Traci & Klint the news of the brain tumor with tears streaming down his face. I can only imagine Klint and Traci behind closed doors as they fell to their knees in agony of the news. Praying for God to take this suffering away from Morgan, but also asking for His will to be done, just as Jesus did.

Scourging at the Pillar
After hearing the news, the dread of what was to take place lingered in their hearts and in their minds, just as it did when Jesus was handcuffed and taken to be scourged. Through all of the surgeries, Morgan was scourged and just as the Blessed Mother watched Jesus in complete grief and agony, so did Morgan’s blessed mother along with all of her loved ones watch in sorrow.

Crowning of the Thorns
Little Morgan experienced the crowning of the thorns through multiple brain surgeries. She wore her crown with courage and with out self-pity. With each “stab of the crown” (brain surgery), she had fear but complete trust in God’s will. I will never forget what she said about her last and final surgery. “If I make it, I make it. If I don’t, I don’t.” She had suffered so much that she had given everything up to God. I assume that is how Jesus himself felt as He stood before the crowd.

The Carrying of the Cross
We witnessed Christ’s love through Klint & Traci as they helped Morgan carry her cross. Just as Mary was able to reach Jesus on his third fall and they embraced each other in love through their eyes, so did Traci embrace Morgan with God’s love every moment of her suffering. Just as Simon was chosen to help Jesus carry His cross, so was Klint chosen to help Morgan carry her cross in this life…and Klinty helped carry her cross with God’s complete and perfect love.

The Crucifixion
The agony Mother Mary and Simon felt as they watched Jesus crawl to the cross and be crucified and given a sponge of wine to drink, so was the agony of Klint and Traci as they watched Morgan crawl on her hands and knees and how they had to give her food and water to drink. Just as Jesus cried out, “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me!”, so too did Morgan cry the same words. And in the middle of the night of May 27th, Morgan breathed her last.

We all say the same thing that people have been saying about Jesus for over 2,000 years. Why did God take Morgan in this way? Why did He take Morgan so young, just as Jesus was only 33 and still had His whole life ahead of Him? We don’t know the answers, but what we do know is that our beloved family members, Klint and Traci, kissed the face of Jesus. They held His hand through Morgan’s suffering. They experienced the complete horrifying agony of Jesus and they continue to experience the complete sorrow of the Blessed Mother. Good Friday for them, will last longer than three days….it will last until they die. Morgan’s resurrection has already taken place. And someday, Traci and Klint’s faces will shine like the sun and their smiles will be as big as all of the disciples when Jesus descended up them. For they will see Morgan again, just as we are promised to see Jesus face to face. This is what Easter is all about. We celebrate death being only the beginning of life. Because Jesus suffered on the Cross we get to live forever. And through Morgan’s redemptive suffering, one or many of us might be saved. Because of her suffering, one of us might have been given eternal life. We don’t know why this happened to our sweet Morgan, but we can only believe it was for the most amazing purpose….a purpose so big that it was only created by God himself.

Every Sunday as I witness the miracle at Mass as bread is turned into the actual Body and Blood of Christ, I picture our loved ones descending from Heaven and standing next to the alter. I see Pappy just as clear as day, standing their with his hands folded with his little sweet smile. I see Grandma looking so beautiful in her 30’s with her hair done just right and that sparkle in her eye. I see Mary Elizabeth so happy to be standing next to her daddy. I see Teteen, pleased as a peach that I am in Mass and receiving Jesus. And Gussy, is smiling and just thrilled to be in Heaven.

And then there is Morgan…….I see her sitting next to Jesus on the steps in front of the alter. She has a cute little bob haircut and she is laughing with Jesus and is blissfully happy. She and Jesus sit there side by side, understanding one another as they have shared the Passion and Resurrection.

This coming Holy Week, I hope you all can take this and find a new meaning in the Passion and in Easter. That there is HOPE. That even though we are here on earth and our loved ones are in Heaven, we are one. That when you receive Jesus’ body and blood, you are united with Him along with our loved ones. We are the closest to our loved ones through the Eucharist. As we take in the body and blood of Christ into our bodies, we are fed with Eternal Life. We have been given food from Heaven…..the very food that now nourishes Morgan.

I hope you all have a blessed Holy Week and Happy Easter. Just as Jesus is risen, so will we ALL be risen together and spend eternity in Heaven as one happy family.

I love you all very much.
In Christ,


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