Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve Thoughts

Okay, to be honest, I don’t have any. In fact (in case you haven’t noticed) I haven’t had any thoughts in a couple of weeks. That’s because I spent them either caring for my mom, or sitting with my best friend’s mom in the hospital ICU, as they discover one thing after another after another after another after ANOTHER thing wrong with her. So what AM I supposed to think? I don’t know; no thoughts have been coming lately, despite my many prayers.

My prayers have gone from “Please heal her” to “Thy will be done” to whatever. What DO you pray for, as problems continue to come, seemed to be helped (or at least alleviated), only to have more problems appear? How do you offer hope (much less faith) through all the feeding tubes and breathing tubes and tubes and lines coming out of just about every part of the body that you can think of? What should you think when all the hospital people greet you familiarly each day? (Is it like you should think if every bar tender greeted you familiarly each day?) I don’t know.

Each day I pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and the words “Jesus, I trust in You.” I was saying it late one night last week when I felt a strong urge to kneel. I looked at the altar then, and felt a response to my prayer: “Do you trust Me?” Do you trust me?? I was praying the prayer that said I did. Was this like a Job question, trusting is most important when it is the hardest? I’ve written about that here before, but these recent weeks my friend, her daughter, and I have been not thinking about but living the reality of Job.

So when the real challenges come, not just a simple pinprick met by the repetitive refrain of a chaplet or a rosary or the Our Father, but a REAL challenge. Then, what do you say to: “Do you trust Me?” In response I repeated the chaplet, and I substituted her name in place of the generic “have mercy on US”. Lord, she needs mercy. I’m not sure what else to do, as I look each day into her sad eyes and at her bruised and swollen body, and as the doctors say “there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we intend to get there --- moving one day at a time.”

Do you trust Me? Really? I’m not sure I ever really answered the question, but I put on a brave face for her and her daughter.

The below words were posted here on December 31, 2009. I don’t feel any urge to write lately, so perhaps it is best to consider these words again, as we face yet another new year. Peace and blessings to you, my friends. Please pray for Barb.

Dec 31 – St. Sylvester, Pope

“Few people realize that on the last day of the year the Church commemorates the first pope after the terrible centuries of persecution by the Roman Empire. Although he was not the very first bishop of Rome to die in bed, he surely grew up thinking he was going to be a martyr. As a boy he lived through the most ferocious persecution of all, that of Diocletian. Only a few years before he was elected pope in 314, the first decree of toleration of Christians was issued. One may suppose he made the same mistake we all make when times of terrible trial are over, that of thinking that things are finally going to work out and all will be peaceful with blue skies and roses.”

“Saint Sylvester’s feast falls on New Year’s Eve, when we happily bid the old year good-bye and wistfully hope that the next year will be better. For this reason each year the fourth-century pope always has a lesson for us: Keep going! Don’t look back! Look ahead and trust God, but don’t trust the next year will be wonderful. Rather be convinced that God will go with you. Christ will walk with anyone who invites him along. The Lord is my shepherd. Why should I be afraid? I don’t expect everything will be wonderful next year; in fact, one of these years will be my last one on earth. I don’t expect blue skies every day; that would mean a drought. But I do know that I will not be alone, because the lips of the man who was born in Bethlehem would say as he left this world thirty years later: “I will be with you always even to the end of the world” (Mt 28:20). “

Lord Jesus, as I end another year and prepare for the next one, make me ever more aware of Your presence. Help me to rest in Your presence even more than I have in the past. Help me spread the knowledge, the fragrance of Your presence wherever I go. Let more and more people know that You are with them, even in these anxious times. May this year, more than any previous one, be spent in Your presence. Amen.
Behold He Comes – Meditation on the Incarnation, by Benedict Groeschel, CFR

Not surprisingly, Fr. Benedict puts into words what is in my heart much better than I could. In many ways 2009 was a great blessing, in the midst of so many trials. I know, things could always have been worse. I look forward to 2010 with trepidation, and prayers. I am confident that if I do my best, and have trust in God, things will turn out well.

I will pray they turn out well for you, also.


  1. A familiar path... I will pray for Barb.

  2. Thanks, kam. Haven't heard from you for a while (nor read any other blogs for about a month). Hope all is well with you and yours.

    I'll try to post something more positive than this post today, for even in times of great difficulty, God is there, as He recently reminded me.