Mary’s Viaticum

I am intrigued by the Hospice of Western Reserve volunteer training. It will be all day training, allowing a full social endeavor. I did a satellite view of their property, pleasantly surprised to discover the facility residing lakeside. I have been wanting photos of Lake Erie, convinced the wide open spaces of the immense fresh lake will complement photos of North Dakota landscapes. The Sorrowful Mother Shrine added splendid wooded forest to my photo assemblage. I would like to get back to Our Lady of the Pines, capturing the amazing array of flourishing pine trees. I will spend Sunday with Carol, returning to the Sorrowful Mother Shrine. I have not done anything with Carol in weeks, and the opportunity to spend a day with her provides pleasantry. I am hoping Mary will come along, however she is not committing to plans. Joseph, the Hungarian, has been missing in action lately, and rumors abound that Juanita is plying him into a marriage proposal. I look forward to hearing the story straight from Joseph.  His stories are always filled with adventure and a zest for life. It is pleasant to have social friends centered upon the Church. Mary is the only one I truly elevate to a contemplative comrade, although in value that means nothing. In sharing, it provides someone to discuss spiritual direction, a give and take exchange. She appears a bit crazy, homeless and neglecting, yet in one-on-one discussion she is profound, and most important in prayer she absolutely disappears. Her prayer life is stout, exercised through adoration, allowing stillness and quietness to color her disposition and soul. There is nowhere Mary would rather be than sitting before the Eucharist. Sunday, she spoke to me of being upset due to the fact several women during coffee at St Paul Shrine were laughing at her expense, whispering in her presence. I assured her within the Church she should never feel insecure, amongst those shallow in pursuit she owed no credence. She is a woman who answers to God, and though the words are easy to say, I know it is upsetting for her to feel she is being mocked. Strong in faith, fearless in spiritual direction, she is still sensitive to the tongue of others. The more confidence I attain, through humility and the reaping of spiritual succors, aligned with the devastation of a wounded heart, unrequited solaces directed toward proper consolation, structure and sense, an ending with dignity allied with the Church absent, the more capable I become in regards to conflict, the protection of my spiritual life. Mary need fear nothing in my presence. During this six month discernment, she is essential as a spiritual comrade.

During the last phase of her life, not only was Mary’s charity fully developed, but her faith also had its supreme exercise. She had to believe not only in the divinity of Jesus, as when he was physically present, but also in his humanity in the Eucharist. Moreover, there was a painful gap between her faith and her charity. Mary loved Jesus, her God, with a mother’s love. “The Divine Mother”, the saints have dared to call her. And her motherhood did not end on earth; she was predestined to remain his mother in glory. Deprived of the physical presence of Jesus, she was plunged more deeply than ever before into the darkness of faith. This made her the poorest, the most mendicant of all the saints. Her need for Jesus and the Eucharist was almost physical; the Eucharist was a true viaticum enabling her to go on living. –Father Thomas Philippe ‘The Contemplative Life’



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