A Sign

We have had a spiritually rich year and a humanly difficult year.

Our memories of our visit to Lourdes will remain a highlight of our lives.  One of the things holding a crystal clear memory was the weather.  It was glorious and sunny each day that we were there but extremely cold.  Knowing the story of Saint Bernadette and the Grotto the weather was most fitting.  As it was winter when Bernadette herself was led by Our Blessed Mother to uncover the miraculous spring contained at Lourdes.  The night after the Baths we were going to walk in Procession to Mary – as she has requested.  As we returned from the Baths we gathered the children together to speak of the experience.  They remained hope filled that Catie’s healing would still be granted miraculously and still they each in their own way continued to pray.  Catie cried and as we began to cry the rain began to fall.  That night we processed in pouring rain – as though heaven was weeping for the pain along with us.

Yesterday as we prepared to celebrate the first anniversary of Catie’ eternal life the rain began.  We attended Mass for Catie and the rain poured and Mechanicsburg temporarily flooded.  Thus reminding us all of Lourdes and of heaven weeping for us and pouring cleansing waters upon us to renew us.  The day ended with bright and beautiful sunshine and another glorious sunset.  As though Catie herself was joining heaven and telling us the time for tears was over for now and to find strength in one another.

This morning my body was numb.  The sadness that was experienced yesterday was weighing on me physically.  Any excuse would work to keep me from Mass.  M.E. woke up after having slept through the night for the first time in five nights.  Her first words were “are we late for church?” and off we went.  Still feeling numb and yet knowing how much comfort prayer has brought me throughout this entire journey my prayers began.  Never having left a Mass disappointed or unfed by Our Lord; today was no exception.  The Gospel was Luke 10:1-9

After this the Lord appointed seventy[-two] others whom he sent ahead of him in pairs to every town and place he intended to visit.  He said to them, “The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest.  Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.  Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals; and greet no one along the way.  Into whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this household.’ If a peaceful person lives there, your peace will rest on him; but if not, it will return to you.  Stay in the same house and eat and drink what is offered to you, for the laborer deserves his payment.  Do not move about from one house to another.  Whatever town you enter and they welcome you, eat what is set before you, cure the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’  Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you, go out into the streets and say, ‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet, even that we shake off against you.” Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.  I tell you, it will be more tolerable for Sodom on that day then for that town.

It was a sign that we are headed in the right direction; that we are doing all that we should be doing to honor Catie’s memory, love and serve the Lord and be there for one another both as a family and as members of the community.  Realizing that many of us search for meaning and signs that we are going in the right direction – just think about traveling to a new place whether you use a map or GPS, there are moments when you search for a clue or sign along the way that you are headed in the right direction – when do you really know?  When you arrive at your destination on time is when you really know.  What happens if the only place you really are interested in going is heaven?

You search for signs in the prayer and in the readings and for me often the question arises “Am I doing what God wants me to do with my life?” for if I am that is a good sign.  Each day treating others with compassion, honesty, kindness and understanding is loving and serving the Lord.  God asks all of us to follow Him.  Then Jesus breaks it all down into two great Commandments: love your God with all of your heart, mind and soul and your neighbor as yourself.  Each day one simple way to say thank you Lord for the gift of this day is by doing your best to know and love your neighbor.

Since Catie’s illness pediatric cancer awareness has become our neighbor along with all the children who come to us each morning telling us their stories on CaringBridge and asking for our prayers.  These children and their struggles with pediatric cancer have been brought into our lives like the Haitian earthquake has been brought into yours.  There are many in need.  There will be many more in need tomorrow if we don’t do all we can today to help them – through prayer and through efforts to raise this year’s $1.4 million we can make a difference.  We still have a ways to go in the next three months. Please continue to pray for us.

We humbly thank you for joining us and ask that you continue journeying with us all the way to a cure.

God is good all the time,
Kevin, Christine, Maggie, Max, Mia, Molly, M.E. and always Catie

PS Please pray for all those who have asked for our prayers.  The complete list is now being compiled for the new website.

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