The Refining Fire

A rainbow appeared out my window this afternoon

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

This post is mostly an update on what has been happening in my life since I last wrote.

As you know my husband and I were preparing to move my parents in with us. It took weeks of exhausting work, rearranging my own home and moving my parents things. I had many moments of anxiety. I remember praying in Mass one morning feeling overwhelmed. The Lord told me, “I will raise your husband up.” I felt a peace come over me that I would not be alone in this endeavor.

So we moved them in last Monday. It was a very difficult first week. Though we have hired caregivers for the day, we don’t have any in the night and I was being awakened by one or both of them. They are very disabled and need a lot of assistance. I was in tears by the end of the week from sheer exhaustion. Then the one thing I feared happened. I was diagnosed with COVID.

All the “what if’s” spiraled in my head. As I write this I am locked away in my son’s room (he is at college) quarantined from everyone else, praying no one else in the household gets it.

The body aches I had were awful. I cried and cried out to God not understanding why this has happened. Did I do something wrong Lord?

But then I realized, I had prayed for this. Not COVID, I didn’t pray for that, but I prayed to be purified and refined. I had prayed to be stripped of comfort. And boy oh boy was I uncomfortable in every single way, physical, emotional and spiritual. There was nothing left to do except offer up my suffering and thank God for being good.

The readings this week included the story of the fiery furnace. I pulled out my bible. And it was there I found strength from 3 young men from thousands of years ago and I prayed their prayer from my heart.

Then the three, as with one mouth, praised and glorified and blessed God in the furnace, saying:

 “Blessed art thou, O Lord, God of our fathers,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever;
And blessed is thy glorious, holy name
    and to be highly praised and highly exalted for ever;
 Blessed art thou in the temple of thy holy glory
    and to be extolled and highly glorified for ever.
Blessed art thou, who sittest upon cherubim and lookest upon the deeps,
    and to be praised and highly exalted for ever.
Blessed art thou upon the throne of thy kingdom
    and to be extolled and highly exalted for ever.
Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven
    and to be sung and glorified for ever.

“Bless the Lord, all works of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you heavens,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you angels of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all waters above the heaven,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all powers,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, sun and moon,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, stars of heaven,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all rain and dew,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all winds,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, fire and heat,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, winter cold and summer heat,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, dews and snows,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.

 Bless the Lord, nights and days,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, light and darkness,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, ice and cold,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, frosts and snows,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, lightnings and clouds,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Let the earth bless the Lord;
    let it sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, mountains and hills,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all things that grow on the earth,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you springs,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, seas and rivers,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you whales and all creatures that move in the waters,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all birds of the air,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, all beasts and cattle,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you sons of men,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, O Israel,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you priests of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you servants of the Lord,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, spirits and souls of the righteous,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, you who are holy and humble in heart,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord, Hanani′ah, Azari′ah, and Mish′ael,
    sing praise to him and highly exalt him for ever;
for he has rescued us from Hades and saved us from the hand of death,
    and delivered us from the midst of the burning fiery furnace;
    from the midst of the fire he has delivered us.

 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his mercy endures for ever.
Bless him, all who worship the Lord, the God of gods,
    sing praise to him and give thanks to him,
    for his mercy endures for ever.” Book of Daniel

The Lord has raised my husband up. As we are all on lockdown he has done everything. Please pray that no one else in the household gets COVID, especially mom and dad. Please pray also that I recover quickly. I don’t know what the future holds, but I will offer the suffering to God and walk forward knowing He is in the middle of this with me.

Mom and Dad together on my back porch

About veilofveronica

I am a mother and wife as well as an RCIA and Adult Faith Formation catechist at a parish in the south. I have 3 children and a great husband.
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49 Responses to The Refining Fire

  1. lucy says:

    Praise is like breaking a glass ceiling. When you hit the wall of suffering, you have to break through it. The only thing that does it is Praise. You have to praise until you break through the wall…the glass ceiling. Then, when you get past it, you realize there was actually no barrier at all there. It was just the perception of the pain that made it so real. But the praise busts through with such power it takes your breath away. Then you are free. And the joy and the peace pervade. And you are ONE with God . Released from the pain. From the suffering. From the fear. Praise is like wings. Angels wings. Daniel 3 is to be proclaimed out loud over and over again ….until you hit the wall…the ceiling…the barrier…of breakthrough. I think it is the meaning of Easter. Pasch. Passover. The fire. Sunrise… it is not by chance at all that this is precisely the Canticle of Praise that is proclaimed in the monasteries and convents of the entire world every morning at the first Offices by our Holy Mother , the Church. Ecce ! Fiat ! Magnificat !
    I love you, Susan….have a blessed Holy Week ….

  2. James Ignatius McAuley says:

    Happy Lady Day, Sue! May the graces from the liturgies and masses celebrated for the Annunciation come upon you and yours. I served the Divine Liturgy this morning, what beauty, love, and glory!

    You will get better! Hang in there, Pascha is around the corner!

    Your parents look great, in fact they look younger! All that love that your family is showering your parents with is making them bloom!

  3. JeanT says:

    So beautifully written! I love the picture of your Mom and Dad on your porch! Their smiles say it all. Thank you for your witness and love and even sharing your struggles. You are not alone.

    As your sister in Christ, I pray, Papa God, you are all and I am nothing. I fuse myself to your Divine Will and ask that you provide health and healing to Susan. I also ask for your Shalom peace to descend on her. I thank you for what you are doing in her life and in her husband’s life and also in her parents life. Father I ask that she feel your presence in a mighty way and as she reads this foe your JOY to well up inside of her and to flow outward. I know you are giving her the rest she needs and allowing others to step in as caregivers for her and for her parents. You are mighty God! I love you Father and thank you for hearing my prayer, in your son Jesus’ name. Amen.

  4. Kathy says:

    Awe your parents are so sweet ! They are beaming joy! Everything is going to be ok. God is with you. Take great care of yourself .

  5. tayte999 says:

    May God bless you and your family.You are such a inspiration for all of us —carrying your cross with such love !!! Your parents look so cozy .

  6. Cathy D. says:

    I am so grateful for your words and example. I really believe that my being led to your blog is yet another sign of how God truly loves and cares for me. There is true grace in your writings.

    It must be especially hard to be deprived of attending Mass and receiving Holy Communion while you are suffering this trial. Please know that I will offer your needs and intentions at Mass tomorrow and will keep you continually in my prayers.

    God bless!

    • Mary says:

      May God continue to help you and strengthen you for all of your good works of love. I helped take care of my mother while in hospice and have been my sisters primary caregiver since a stroke in 2016. I totally understand feeling overwhelmed and stressed especially during Covid, etc. God will sustain and help you. That is the only way I can do what I do. It is not me. It is God. God bless you!!! You are an awesome person and God will bless you greatly I am sure. I will pray for you and your beautiful family. Take care and know God is with you. Peace be with you and your family. Have a blessed Easter!!!

  7. Lorna says:

    Hi Susan,

    Praying for you over here in Canada! (And for your family as well)…

  8. steveorlosky says:

    I will be praying for you and your family. Thank you for your inspirational reflections. God bless you.

  9. ivanacahill says:

    God bless you Sue ….I shall pray for your quick recovery and that your mum and dad stay safe x

  10. Finnian-John says:

    Thank you for the beautiful sharing,Susan!
    It appears that your prayers were answered in a way that only the spiritually minded can see. Coming down with Covid seems to be in fact a blessing in disguise, allowing you to have some time “alone” with God (with everyone’s consent), while at the same time the calling came upon your husband to step up (respond) to his call.
    I am always amazed how God always does for us what we cannot do for ourselves! It appears that the Lord knew what you needed an desired the most would be accomplished through the (additional) cross of Covid. Isn’t it incredible how God always brings good out of evil?
    Last, BUT NOT LEAST, countless people are finding inspiration from your writing that you could not have done unless you had the time and opportunity to do so, given the overwhelming circumstances of you life right now. Even more prayers answered!
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful praise from Scripture! How appropriate it is at this time!

  11. MrsMommy says:

    I am praying for you and your parents. My family and I went through this last year with my own father. A lot of sleepless nights, and the constant dread of my parents getting COVID in a house with so many people. In the end, God preserved my dad from COVID and took him home in the most peaceful and holy way. Surrender was all we could do. God is good! And our prayers for a happy and holy death for my father were answered. Knowing how it feels, I offer every prayer that I can give for you all!

  12. Mick says:

    Praying for all of you, Susan.

  13. Luisa says:

    Thank you very much for this beautiful post. You and your family are in my prayers. Also, I sent you an email to your gmail account. Thank you again my dear sister for all you do.

  14. Susan,
    I’ve been hearing this same reading internally. Just never expected to see it here and to hear of what you’re going through.
    I will use blessed oil and anoint you by proxy, calling upon the 3 Mothers – Mother Mary, St Anne and St Gianna Molla – and St Raphael, to intercede for a miracle for you.

  15. Terri Mohr says:

    What a brave and humble person you are Susan.
    Thank you for lifting us all up, as you praise God. I could imagine you bowed down as you prayed so fervently to the only One who can lift us out of the depths, and I felt His joy overflow for you and all who are dear to you. Our Lady gave a message on the 25th which said in part ” You are chosen to carry joy and peace because you are mine.” “The future is Gods. Surrender everthing into the hands of the Most High who created you.”
    Your witness is consoling, encouraging, and motivating. Come to us all Holy Spirit.
    Thank you Susan and I will include you in my prayers. Terri.

  16. Craig Belanger says:

    Hail Mary of Gold
    Hail Mary, White Lily of the Glorious and always serene Trinity.
    Hail brilliant Rose of the Garden of heavenly delights: O you,
    by whom God wanted to be born and by whose milk the King of Heaven wanted to be nourished! Nourish our souls with effusions of divine grace.
    Amen!

  17. Craig Belanger says:

    Prayer to Obtain the Grace of All Worlds Masses
    Eternal Father we humbly offer Thee our poor presence and that of the whole of humanity from the beginning to the end of the world at all the Masses that ever have or ever will be prayed. We offer Thee all the pains, suffering, prayers, sacrifices, joys and relaxations of our lives, in union with those of our dear Lord Jesus here on earth. May the Most Precious Blood of Christ, all His blood and wounds and agony save us, through the sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. Amen!
    (This prayer should be prayed daily, and Made known.) Dear St. Philomena pray for us for that purity of mind and heart which lead to the perfect love of God! God must be pursued and the more you chase Him the more you catch Him. (Maimonedes)

    Back when I was 33 years old, I adopted Saint Philomena as my Patroness and heavenly advocate with the Blessed Virgin Mary Through the Holy Rosary. Every night, I invite Saints Philomena, Therese, “Veronica of the Veil” and many other (patron) Saints and Angels to join me prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I highly recommend you begging this practice with your favorite saints and angels. The Spiritual gifts you will receive in doing so are… Glorious! Fear not! For you are under the mantle of protection of the Holy Family and The Blessed Trinity.

  18. lucy says:

    Susan,
    Reading this amazing book again, I am reminded of the great Mystery of spiritual maternity that Our Lady explained to Luisa. In this present trial of yours, you are acting in the mode of spiritual maternity, and thus magnifying its goods in the radiance of the Divine Will. As a daughter, you are returning the spirit of divine maternity to your mother, thus healing her and filling her now, co-redeeming with Our Lady towards the sanctification of your own mother, your own maternity and in the Divine Will, the goods and fruits of maternity applied to all souls, in all time. This is truly how the Communion of Saints , the Mystical Body of Christ is meant to function in spiritual unity. Simply put, your acts and sacrifices are being applied to the whole body of Christ…something you have written about often. The aspect of suffering and sacrifice renders the spiritual gift or the prayer fecund, and in fact …Eucharistic . This is where the initial offering takes on a tremendous degree of magnification in the Divine Will…precisely when God permitted you to get the C-19 and enter into the solitude of your Upper Room. We humbly desire to join you there as we all prepare to climb Calvary, in the presence of our beloved family …. the Church of Christ.

    “Now listen, dear child, to the point one can reach, when the Divine Will takes operating life in the creature, and the human will lets It work, without impeding Its step. This Fiat, which by nature possesses the generative virtue, generates all goods in the creature: It renders her fecund, giving her maternity over all – over all goods, and over the One Who created her. Maternity says and means true love: heroic love – love which is content with dying to give life to the one it has generated. Without this, the word maternity is sterile, it is empty, and is reduced to a mere word, but does not exist in fact. Therefore, my child, if you want the generation of all goods, let the Fiat take Its operating life in you, which will give you maternity, and you will love everyone with the love of a mother. And I, your Mama, will teach you how to fecundate this maternity, all holy and divine, within you.” Day Twenty. The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Luisa Piccarretta.

  19. Thanks for sharing, you gave me hope that all will be well.

  20. Susan,
    It’s been a few days. How are you now?

  21. lucy says:

    Super news !
    Easter is LIFE ! Go check out Pelianito’s Homecoming Rounds in the Divine Will !
    WE LOVE YOU !

    • Mary Therese says:

      Hi, Lucy
      I hope you are well! I have wondered periodically how you were…
      Mary Therese from Pelianito’s Blog…🙏🏻

  22. Mary Therese says:

    I have periodically checked your posts over the last few years. Always gaining insight. This last post is very meaningful to me. I want you to know that our neighbors in their late 70’s (and one of them disabled) cared for the mom who was in her 90’s and extremely disabled after a recent. stroke. I was so frightened for them. But the duration of care before she passed lasted the “length of a pregnancy” and they are healing now.
    I pray for you and yours in the covid situation too. My husband and I are recently recovered from it –after the second dose of the vaccine. It was milder than if we got it prior to the vaccine, and my husband is so compromised that he probably would have been a statistic. ( I still suffer fatigue)
    So thank you for your beautiful heart and blog. You are truly inspiring and listen closely to The Holy Spiriit. Have a joyful Easter with Mass online if need be… Much love to you🌹 Lynn

  23. Anne says:

    Susan…such an honest article. May God bless you all… especially the king and queen in their rugs on the deck!!!

  24. Pingback: Facing the Darkness | Veil of Veronica

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