Today I attended mass and a very special guest celebrated with us. The Auxiliary Bishop of Arizona, Bishop Nevarez. There was a lot of pomp and circumstance with the Knights Of C in full uniform and a full entourage of priests and servers. However when Bishop Nevarez stepped up to speak he was the most humble, joyful man with a very clear and simple message.
He spoke about suffering, and what he said about suffering resonated with me more than anything I have heard in my 46 years on earth as a Catholic Christian. I mean we have all heard the “everything happens for a reason” or “this will make you stronger” blah blah blah! All of these anecdotal stories were in my head like a broken record but never completely felt in my soul.
I am not sure if it was what he said as it was the simplicity and joy in his delivery, it was one of those “God moments” where the surroundings become a bit blurry and everything and everyone disappears and it is like they are speaking to you or God is speaking to you through them. In a nutshell he said that when we suffer an illness, loss of job, death, etc we are joined with Jesus. When was Jesus closest to God? Was it during the time he was performing miracles or dining with the apostles? No, it was the time he was on the cross. Symbolically when we are carrying our own cross it is our opportunity to be closest to God. If we offer up all that we feel and just truly breathe and release into those feelings then….. LET THE GRACE BEGIN! The Bishop said “the most beautiful graceful things happen out of suffering” and I believed him!
What is Grace? I believe I have been trying to define this very thought without knowing it since we began Mothers Grace. But our mission is very in line with Bishop Nevarez’s homily yesterday. Some of our Mom’s have endured some of the most difficult suffering! Many are enduring life threatening illnesses, loss of a child, natural disasters. The pain is not describable in words. The Moms I have interviewed have pain that is held in their bodies and it is a physical experience to speak with them. I have been in conversations with many that make me shake my head and say “wow I am not strong enough to endure this and how is that they still manifest so much faith?”
These very graceful Mother’s have found a way to carry their cross, commune with God, completely surrender, begin healing and now take this pain which is transforming before our eyes and grace begins as their healing touches the world and supports another.
The experience I describe above is simply too powerful for a simple description of words on a page from a mind scrambling to understand, it is a felt experience and it is only witnessed when we surrender to the feeling, the pain and the grace of what comes next.
May the grace of our Lord be with all of you very graceful Moms!
On May 20, 2011, at 9:57 AM, Michelle Moore wrote: