St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Acts of Mercy 12 Years Ago

The 8 works of Corporal Mercy Are:

Feed the Hungry
Give Drink to the Thirsty
Shelter the Homeless
Visit the Sick
Visit the Prisoners
Bury the Dead
Give Alms to the Poor

Today marks the 12th anniversary of my husband's death.
As he lay in hospice, 
we were given the gifts of these 
Corporal Works of Mercy.

1) We were fed by friends and neighbors.
2) The brought us whatever we needed to feed those who visited us including bottles of water.

3) They offered their homes to those who came to say goodbye.
4) They visited my husband.
5) They came to give us time off to rest.
6) They helped us through the sadness of death.
7) They helped us financially.
For this we are eternally grateful.
My son, though, reminded us of the most beautiful act of Mercy we were shown in his Facebook post yesterday.
He gave me permission to use his post.
To understand it, please read to the end.

As I said earlier I've been going through a lot of photos this week. Not going to lie, it's a tough week for me. Around this time 12 years ago my dad was ailing in hospice care. I'm not posting this to be a Debbie Downer. Maybe it's because I'm usually closed up and private, and sharing this is somehow oddly therapeutic for me. I think mostly it's because of going through the tough times I've found that if you look hard enough, there is good to be found in even the worst of times; sometimes you have to look very hard for it, sometimes it's right in front of you. Trust me, I've seen it. Not just in this story I'm about to tell you but in many other instances too.
The small paper lanterns you see in all of these photos are called luminarias. Consulting Wikipedia (yeah, I know how that sounds), luminarias are traditionally used in New Mexico and the southwest United States at Christmas Eve, lining driveways and walkways. The Roman Catholic tradition is used to symbolize a walkway that will guide the Christ child into your home. The luminarias are simple to make, consisting of a brown paper bag, sand at the bottom, and a candle. (There are other traditions and uses for them but you can Google that if you want to read about them further). Every Christmas Eve, my mom, and most recently my mom and sister would line the driveway with these luminarias.
As my dad's health began to fail, my mom began to line our driveway with the luminarias at night. Being that Minnesota is quite aways away from the SW part of the US, our neighbor asked about the luminarias in our driveway. Everyone in the neighborhood knew of my dad's failing health but no one had heard of a luminaria before. They were told the story you just read above (if you're still with me at this point). The next thing we knew, all of our neighbors began to set out luminarias too.
I don't have words to describe the overwhelming feeling of support, love, solidarity, and community, that came along with this simple gesture by the neighborhood.
Even in this dark time for my family, our neighbor's literally provided a shining light for us.

The photos above are the photos to which he was referring.

I am forever grateful for these acts of Mercy.  
My husband left this earth surrounded by love.

More than anything else, 
I am grateful! 

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