Friday, March 22, 2013

To Pray Always


Somewhere along the way, even among the suffering within these walls where we temporarily live and on a larger scale, the suffering endured in the hospital, I have forgotten to pray.  How can this even be possible?  We are in the middle of Lent, both literally and spiritually, and yet I have started most of my days without any time on my knees at all.  Most evenings are also without much in the ways of recited prayer.  Why am I failing so miserably?

I wasn't always like this.  In the beginning, I was praying constantly.  I offered every breath Fulton breathed to Our Lord as a silent prayer of thanksgiving for saving my child.  Every flutter or pain in my own chest was offered in reparation for my own sins and used as a reminder of how greatly I needed a conversion of heart.  Hours of "Venerable Fulton Sheen, please heal my son" have been sent above, begging him to ask Our Lord to grant Fulton a miraculous heaing.  Every kiss and caress was not only for my son but for the Divine Face of God as well.  I had long, penitential and heartfelt conversations with Our Lady, St. Joseph, Ven. Fulton Sheen and of course My Lord Himself.  And I frequently wept out of sheer love of God.

But the last two weeks have been quite dry overall. 

My mother came to visit for about a week, and then my family came.  Perhaps it was the change of pace and change of routine that snapped me into an 'all business' mode.  I suddenly had other people around me and others to consider.  I had a house that seemed to get a lot messier in no time at all, a 21 month old baby to fret over, constant conversations, questions to answer and piles of laundry to wash.  I suddenly was worried about dishes being broken, spots on the upholstery, and rented towels with stains on them.  Food was sparse due to not being able to go shopping, so we left the house a lot to either go out to eat or run the errands I have not been able to do in a month or more.

And then there was the string of little excursions with everyone.  The aquarium, NASA, ferry boat rides, trips to the beach.  Absolutely, it was wonderful to be reunited with my family and to breathe fresh air.  It was good to get away for awhile with Fulton and do something 'normal' for once.  Yes, very good indeed.  But why was I so quickly able to set Our Lord aside? 

Perhaps it is because I have given up on a big miracle.  I have accepted the small steps forward as all He was going to do for us, and moved on.  Like St. Bernadette, I accepted that perhaps my role in all of this was to suffer as best I could, to prepare Fulton for his own road of suffering, and offer encouragement to others whenever I could.  Miracles, I decided, are for other people.  Whether we are unworthy of such a kiss from God, or because more grace would come to us through the daily suffering, I suppose it really does not matter.  Maybe it was a mix of both thoughts that changed my outlook.  I don't know.

I feel so ungrateful.  Even though there have been no miracles to amaze the doctors, the very fact that Fulton still lives is proof enough of God's love and that perhaps He wills something greater for my son.  And obviously I am comfortable with His decision.  But what rattles me is that despite all He had graced me with, all He had done for us, and all He still has in store for us, I behaved as one of the ungrateful lepers who was healed and disappeared.

Please Lord, please.  Do not let me wander so far from Your Cross again.  I return to you, contrite and humbled once again, but trusting You will not abandon me so long as my soul continues to long for You.  Strengthen my love I have for you in Your Holy Face, that I may once again at every moment offer my care and caresses I lovingly apply to my son's face to Your face as well.  Accept these physical acts as loving prayers to You, so that when my mind wanders or becomes forgetful, You will remember the tenderness of my touch.  Amen

"I firmly wish that my face reflecting the intimate pains
of my soul, the suffering and love of my heart, be more
honoured! Whoever gazes upon me already consoles me."
(Our Lord Jesus Christ to Sister Pierina)


  1. This is just so beautiful, Cassandra. I'm just speechless.

  2. ..."at the Cross Her station keeping, stood the Mournful Mother weeping"...
    The dryness of the soul, with all the distractions either put there by ourselves or others, are just that... some are necessary, some not, but even the time with your family, the change of pace, chaoticness, routines, or not... will again become part of your PRAYER to God! You are just going through a very different way, but the Face of Christ is always before you! You have not forgotten, nor will you, as long as you have the above reflections in your soul. God is blessing you in unmeasurable ways... some we don't comprehend, but what consolations we can give Him, even if it be only tears, or our business! Then when the time is right, flectamus genua!!!!

  3. Wow, to put in words what I think all of us have been through. It seems when life is the hardest or tragedy hits, your prayers are unceasing but then you accept it and get busy with the everyday mundane and God seems to get put on the back burner. Don't beat yourself up, God understands! Praying for you.

  4. Cassandra,

    You don't even realize it, but we are all praying for you. You have touched an incredible number of us mothers with your story, your struggles, your strength, your honesty, your humility, your motherhood, and your faith. Just as our Lord carries us when we cannot go on ourselves, so we, your sisters in Christ, carry you with our prayers, our tears, and our faith. When you are feeling as though you are falling short in piety and perseverance, rest your heart because we are praying for you and your whole family every day. I had a child die, but through that I learned how strong the prayers of others can be. Let us carry you, it is our honor. Yvonne