St. Clare and St. Francis in movie presented by RadiotelevisioneItaliana
Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. – St. Francis
Happy New Year and many blessings to each of you. I spent much of the end of 2015 and beginning of 2016 watching a marathon of movies on Formed.org about Saints. I watched one about St. Padre Pio, St. Clare and St. Francis, St. Rita, St. Peter and St. Paul, St. John, and St. Stephen. As the first of the year approached it’s the time when most people make their new years resolutions. I have never been much of a resolution person, but this year, I want to be revolutionary like these Saints. I want my resolution to be to love like never before. In watching these films, these ordinary people lived extraordinary love. To love others and have mercy and live like Saint Francis. To love in the most difficult of circumstances like St. Rita. To love with the truth like St. Padre Pio. To love without reserve and be detached from wealth and beauty like St. Clare. To love and preach with bold confidence like St. Paul. To stand at the foot of the Cross with St. John. To give, even my life, like St. Stephen. To love Christ with all my heart and lead people to Christ like St. Peter. A resolution that is a revolution of love. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a flame of love like these Saints were for Christ and for others, but as the song says, I want to try to be the Saint that is just me. I will pray that this year we can all live in love and mercy. Even in my miserable failures, I know Christ will bring me back to love.
I also wanted to give a few updates on my dad and my friend Eva. Dad is improving everyday. The doctors say he will be fine. There is one story I want to tell though, he did have a “vision” when he had a heart event at the hospital shortly after surgery. It was on December 20. He saw all of his dead relatives. They were singing O’ Come All Ye Faithful and going before the crib of Christ. He said it was peaceful, not like here. His vision gives hope. We may all one day see our loved ones again. I had to tell it to Eva, to let her know the hope on the other side.
Eva has been told they cannot operate on the tumor. It has scar tissue around it from the chemotherapy and they cannot get a clear picture of it to even be able to use the NanoKnife. She is supposed to have a nerve block at the end of this month so her pain will lessen. She has not liked pain medication and tries to go without because she wants to be able to live and not be sleeping because of medication. Her son worries she will die in her sleep. There is nothing more the doctors can do. If she lives past February, she will be in the one percent of pancreatic cancer patients who lived past a year after diagnosis. I believe she will. This is what she wrote on her latest posting;
I started writing letters to those who have so graciously written me in the past 9 months. The letters were incredible and heartfelt. I didn’t see myself as one that is dying so the time, money and investment in coming to see me seemed premature. Why spend your hard earned money on me with gifts and meals. Many films have a character with cancer or terminal illness ending in death and for whatever reason, I seem to pick them at random on Netflix. My son panics when I sleep, “mommy! Mommy! Are u OK? OMG, she’s not moving. mommy, mommy, plz don’t be dead!” Every time I take a nap, my son panics. Every night I wake up and he’s sqozen himself in our bed with his arm around me as if it were my last day. What you all must feel when u have contact with me wondering how long before I die. I never thought how awful it must be for YOU. You are left with a huge gaping hole. A pain you have to feel day after day while I will feel nothing after death. It almost seems unfair for you. In death all the pain is gone. Those who keep suffering are those left behind. I will not suffer as my son for my journey is nearing the finale and he will be living through the pain of his early childhood and the double tragedy of having such awful beginnings followed by the unthinkable, a mother with Pancreatic Cancer stage 4 at such a young age and less than two years after being adopted. I am so so sorry for the pain you feel as my friends, family and new friendships born under such sadness. May God hold you in the palm of his hands, as the song says. I take so many pain meds that I’m numb and asleep a lot. What is there for your pain?
It seems I have seen the revolutionary love in my friend. She is worried about all of us. It humbles me to see a woman in the pain she is in, and yet, always caring about others.
I went to the historic Cathedral downtown. We have the body of our first Bishop there. His name was Bishop Richard Pius Miles and he died in 1860. In 1972 his body was found to be incorrupt. It is said he was tasked with a difficult job, bringing the Sacraments and Catholic Church to a wilderness with sparse Catholics who had not seen a church in years. When he died he left behind 14 churches and a Catholic legacy. I knelt in front of his coffin and found a prayer card asking for his intercession. I prayed. I brought it to Eva, and we prayed for his intercession together. I believe He brought many to the faith, and so has she. Perhaps God will grant a miracle for both of them and dissolve her tumor.