Sunday, October 24, 2010

How to live and how to die

Since I listen to Christian music when walking on the treadmill and sometimes when working at repetitive tasks, I find that important life passages are invariably embedded with specific musical memories from whatever album I happened to be listening to at the time.

So it happens that Jars of Clay's "The Shelter" will forever remind me of my sister in the Lord, Katy McShane--her memorable life and equally memorable death.

Katy was in college at ND when my husband Joe first ran for State Senate in 1982, one of the many student volunteers whose efforts propelled Joe to that first win. Katy and Kevin have always understood why our family has chosen the path of politics and they appreciated the things we've been fighting for over the years.

At her wake, hearing about Katy's generous, open-hearted service and hospitality to so many people was a great consolation to me. Though our paths crossed infrequently, I experienced Katy's kindness to my children, her enthusiasm at soccer and basketball games, and her apparently effortless reaching out in sisterhood, embracing the joys and trials of those around her. I received many kindnesses from her, as well as encouragement and hope.

Katy didn't sweat the small stuff in life. In facing death, she eschewed fear and embraced the future willingly, and even in her final days keeping herself accessible for those who needed to be with her and say good-bye.

Thank you, Katy, for sharing with us your generous love and for showing us true abandonment to the will of God. We will always be grateful for the years we lived "in the shelter of each other."

Friday, May 7, 2010

So much life all around

Bulbs have been removed from the ground and annuals are being planted in anticipation of begonias around the Grotto. The flowering trees were beautiful this year and relatively undisturbed by frost (though we might have frost this Sunday for Mother's Day).

The birds are riotously loud in the morning. So much to accomplish in these lengthening spring days.

This week we re-watched the History Channel's "The Real Face of Jesus" and I've been thinking about Christ's suffering in his Passion and Death as reflected in the Shroud. Then today it struck me that Eucharist is ground wheat and crushed grapes, made possible by the same Passion and Death.

Finally, Incarnation is a powerful image...wrapping the eternal God in flesh, omnipotence, power, wisdom, grace confined within human expression.

Lowly entrance into our world, a refugee baby, a King enthroned in poverty, opened Himself/His Way/His Kingdom to detractors, disbelievers, uncomprehending annihilators. All that for us. What Love!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"But what is, therefore, God?"

"God is the unattainable Perfection, God is the perfect Beauty, God is the infinite Power, God is the incomprehensible Essence, God is the unsurpassable Bounty, God is the indestructible Mercy, God is the immeasurable Wisdom, God is the Love that became God. He is the Love! He is the Love! You say that the more you know God in His perfection, the higher you seem to climb and the deeper to dive into two endless depths of shadeless blue... But when you understand what is the Love that became God, you will no longer climb or dive into the blue, but into a blazing vortex and you will be drawn towards a beatitude which will be death and life for you. You will possess God, with a perfect possession, when, by your will, you succeed in understanding and deserving Him. You will then be fixed in His perfection."
--The Poem of the Man-God, Maria Valtorta, vol. 1