#Significant Others

My Nana

Nonna, Abuela, YaYa, Bibi, Awa, and Babuska, are all names for Grandmother from countries around the world. My “Nana” was my Mother’s mother.  Some of my oldest and fondest memories are being rocked in her arms in the small rocker that had come across America in a covered wagon. I remember the love in her eyes and her sweet voice lulling me to sleep. The cookie jar was always filled with homemade chocolate chip cookies. She let me be me and more than any other person in my life, she showed me what unconditional love was like. She lived in a retirement community from age seventy-two until she passed away at age one-hundred and four. While there, she encouraged women to knit, crochet, and do needlepoint, all crafts of women from her era. All the items were then sold at a bazaar. It became an annual event and with the first money raised they purchased an ice cream machine for their community. What I wanted most growing up was to be like my “Nana,” loving, creative, compassionate, and giving.

by Gracie

 

Love You Forever

Being my birthday week, I find it no better time than to honor the woman that brought me into this world, my mom. Although she left this earth ten years ago, I feel her presence reaching out to me each and every day. She was affectionately known as Molly and had a humility about her that was so endearing to everyone who knew her. Mom gave me the beautiful gift of faith as I watched her each day live out her love of God in the simplest ways. She and my Dad raised six children and things were not always easy for her but she knew how to ride the wings of prayer and surrender everything to God. At her funeral, we read Psalm 23 titled “The Lord is my Shepherd,” because my mom didn’t just love that psalm, she loved that Shepherd.

by Cathy

Stranger on the Trail

As I walk or run on my beloved beach trail, I have been forever changed by one woman I have known for many, many years.  I do not know her name nor do I know her personally but she has made an imprint in my life.  She has taught me the simple gesture of a soul-filled smile  She has shown me complete humility as she collects aluminum cans and plastic bottles. She has taught me creativity in her array of bags and containers as she ties them up earnestly to her solid carrier. She has taught me honesty and confidence even though she has not spoken a word to me. My vocation of motherhood is no different than her vocation of recycling and possibly a mother, too.  She starts her day when the sun rises, as do I, as I purposely run the beach trail at that perfect time when she goes to work so I will see her before I go to work-and we smile.  She makes my day!

by Liz

Saint Juan Diego, Witness

The devastation of the last earthquake in Mexico City rages on. It has left death and destruction in its path. I can’t help praying for the awesome protection of God and for another appearance of his Mother Mary. She appeared there in what is now the heart of Mexico City. It was Juan Diego, in the 16th century, who witnessed several appearances of Guadalupe, our Mother Mary. She performed a miracle and uttered these healing words that echo out today, “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?” What Juan Diego witnessed, at the hill of Tepeyac, centuries ago, can be witnessed whenever a mother’s care is focused on healing and upholding. Who knows, in Mexico City today, someone is witness to another appearance of our Mother Mary? Right there in the heart of devastation, a mother cares for her children, she keeps her family together, she holds the sick and injured. We pray for another appearance of Guadalupe. Our prayers count. Juan Diego is our witness.

by Diego

Finding Nimo

Nimesh Patel was Ivy League-school educated, a Wall Street trader and an MTV Rap Star who found, after a long and painful walk on the wild side, an emptiness and suffering of spirit that afflicts so many of us who strive for the “American Dream.” After years of dissipation, Nimo, as he is called, realized that the only pathway for him to achieve happiness was one of selfless service to others.  For the past seven years, he has been serving and working with the underprivileged communities in the Gandhi Ashram in India.  After time spent quietly assisting others, the Spirit has led him back into music of another kind, now offering his gift of love, peace, and unity through his songs and videos.  I listen to one or more of his songs every single morning just to get my spiritual mojo going for the day!  Listen, look, laugh and cry, “We are One! AllTogether Now!”   Get “Grateful” – https://youtu.be/sO2o98Zpzg8

by Andrew

Sisterly Love

My sister had seven children in ten years. She married young and earned her college degree by taking mail-order classes while caring for this happy brood (it was long before the Internet!). Even while doing this, she managed to serve on her Parish Council, go to the local jail to minister to the prisoners there and serve hot meals at a homeless shelter. When the children were grown, she and my brother-in-law went on missions to Haiti where they built a school and cared for the poorest of God’s poor. Her love knows no bounds and she did all this because she truly believes in living the way Jesus taught. The example she set for me is truly inspirational. If she did all this with the enormous responsibilities of caring for a large family, there is no reason why I can’t follow in her footsteps in my own small way and serve my brothers and sisters, too.

by JAM

It Started With a Prayer

“There are more things in heaven and earth… than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” I have often recalled these words from Hamlet since the beginning of my spiritual journey.  Consumed by anxiety over my wife’s health and state of mind, I felt like I was caught in a vice. Chris Smith was the supervisor of my after-school guitar program. He could see that I was pretty much a basket case. Chris approached me after class and asked, “How are you doing?” “Not good.” He listened attentively as I told my story. Chris is a Christian Minister. I was a non-believer then. He did not preach or proselytize. In a gentle, confident voice he said, “Try praying.” I had tried everything else. If I could not pray now, it was my own foolishness, hubris. The next day my wife and I walked to the church on the hill (St.Edward), and for the first time in my life, I prayed. Silently. Fervently. Slowly, surely, God’s grace has unfolded a vast new world I never dreamed of.

by Nathaniel

St. Hildegard of Bingen

I was first introduced to Hildegard of Bingen a decade before I became Catholic. As a lover and performer of classical music, I stumbled across the most spirit filled and mystery driven Renaissance music I had ever heard. Curious about the composer, I began researching Hildegard. What I discovered was Hildegard of Bingen was a “renaissance woman’ to rival Leonardo da Vinci! She is a Christian mystic, visionary and considered the founder of the scientific natural history in Germany. Born in 1098, she wrote liturgical songs, theological, botanical, and medical texts, as well as poetry. Her music fills me with the presence of God as experienced entering a European Cathedral, built in the Middle Ages, with ceiling arches arching to heaven, and light streaming from stained glass windows, the air heavy with the prayers from generations of souls long departed. Please enjoy, Saint Hildegard’s, Spiritus Sanctus.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJEfyZSvg5c

by Gracie