What I once described as the ‘Magic’ . . . (before I met a priest who described magic as being merely an illusion) . . . those moments just Sooooooo full of wonder ~ that you can do nothing other than surrender in awe before them ~ because of their undeniable very coincidental truly miraculous power. The magic that a child lives by, that cynicism diminishes ~ those moments just Sooooooo full of wonder ~ that you can do nothing other than surrender in awe before them again and again and again. ~ The beautiful poignant breath-taking miraculous magic of That Higher Power ~ that finds it way to securing your faith ~ miracle by miracle ~ wonder by wonder ~ awe by awesome presentation of IT tapping or thunderbolting into your psyche ~ with a POWER so gentle ~ and a proof so physical ~ that it knocks you from any lassitude ~ stoicism ~ or complacency.
Well that happened to me again this week ~ in such a profoundly All-Powerful way.
It has been another week of extreme contrasts ~ My arms as if stretching wider and wider and wider apart ~ are trying to hold on to both ends of the spectrum ~ absolute wonder and joy ~ to absolute fear and panic. And right there I let go of everything in faith. And float into that cloud of unknowing ~ praying ~ trusting ~ hoping ~ waiting ~ that what happens is of Love.
I watch animals ~ I learn a lot from animals and their humanity ~ if you can use that phrase for an animal ~ I learn a lot from animals ~ and their animality. I think God was wise in showing us how to Love without language by them. Their absolute humility. I look at mans best friend ~ so full of loyalty ~ so full of unconditional Love ~ so full of LOVE. So strong in spirit ~ so spiritual in their silence ~ in their rest ~ and in their communication ~ so tuned in to the emotions around them ~ so tuned in to extrasensory signals beyond mans insight. I look at God who was wise in His creating. His different expressions of LOVE. I look at the silence and the contemplation, and of the observing that mans best friend quietly does ~ and I sense a wisdom so deep ~ so God Blessed ~ that how we ever imagined that we were the greater ~ I will never know.
This week flying around Facebook there was a photograph of a dog who had rescued a discarded left for dead baby which was found on the side of the road. The dog gentle held the baby in its mouth and in its compassion took the baby to the nearest occupied house. The brief story went on to explain that the alerted household took the child to the hospital.
God created both creatures from the very D.N.A of His Love. I pray that baby survives. † I pray that we survive † by learning from the animals that God created ~ to teach us how to Love like God.
Last Sunday after Mass, I was delighted that a previous tradition in the parish had been upheld. Each year on All Saints Eve at church – as we leave church, if we wish to, we can place our hand in a bag and lucky dip a Saint (whose name has been printed onto a small strip of paper.) This Saint we will ask to intercede for us for the year ahead. It’s fun and special ~ and even though we choose, each year it feels more like the Saint chooses us. This year out of 150+ Saints, I put my hand into the bag blind and chose blessed Chiara Badano. I was disappointed as I didn’t have a clue who she was. I came home and looked her up. A Miracle ~ She was born the same year as Maria in 1971 – and she died at the age of 18 from bone Cancer!
For those of you who do not know by my earlier posts ~ I lost my Bestest dearest sweetest friend to bone cancer 2 months ago. And as the Blessed Chiara Badano facts unfolded before me ~ I felt held ~ protected ~ and awash with the peace of knowing that guardian angels and Saints in communion are watching over me from Heaven.
Blessed Chiara Badano – and beautiful blessed Maria Roper ~ pray for us. †
…I Love You.
This week I left work early to attend a beautiful Soulful mystical Mass at the ancient All Saints Church which is situated upon the top of the hill ~ on lay lines. Being in this church is particularly poignantly sad and yet sacred ~ and yet one day lest I am buried in the Cathedral grounds as a Saint ~ I think my Saintly bones might be laid right here ~ else somewhere Magdalene. In 2003 I was ‘not married’ in this church. Eight weeks ago Maria my dearest, was laid to rest here ~ & Tonight I had the privilege of reading this misty night ~ so beautiful ~ so sad. With prayers in the graveyard by starlight ~ to bring the All Souls Mass to a close.
I Love Maria and miss her daily hugs so very much. xxx
My prayer for you ~ Angel †
This week I experienced the Joy and wonder of going back to Walthamstow ~ the place where my happy family used to come and do their family shopping every Saturday ~ I haven’t been back here in 20 odd years. Beautiful happy memories evoked. The wonder of seeing through the eyes of a middle-aged adult, that which I only remembered through the eyes of a child and a twenty something, was just amazing. I Loved to be back ~ I felt alive and full of wonder ~ like a child ~ and I felt free and unruined ~ like the world was my oyster ~ as if I had my whole future before me unspent once again. This was a land of hopes and dreams ~ that had not yet been tattooed upon life with indelible ink. It was also the home town of my first marital home ~ where so much hope and so many dreams were borne before breaking.
In wonder and almost confusion at my interior map having shifted in scale ~ Noticing the land all at once as if familiar and foreign simultaneously ~ I headed towards my induction for my new job – but a stones throw away from my first ever brought flat. The difficulties, hotspots, and implications of my life, made the induction in interior moments painfully awkward – to the point that panic set in and I could no longer see how to manoeuvre through any restrictions. The mild cold which I began the day with, as if by magnified fervour decided to unleash itself in full throttle, as if expelling every germ of infection until the point that I felt I hit an impassable Brick Wall ~ End!
That night having lost all energy and all hope, of ever any resurrection, I tearfully returned home from London and went straight to the chapel to have it out with God. Tears of exhaustion. When I got home what was seemingly a lack of energy exploded into a great rage at R when he asked me how my induction went. Graceless I took no prisoners and accused him of securing my downfall ~ and for my imprisonment. I collapse in a rundown heap. And at that very moment my lastborn comes down from the bedroom and says Mummy my legs really ache, and they have a rash. I grab a glass and do the glass test ~ I have 5 children ~ that rash is a different rash not like any rash I’ve ever seen before ~ it is bruising under the surface of the skin, called blanching ~ Adrenalin kicks in and within 30 minutes we are at the hospital;
She is diagnosed with a case of Henoch-Schonlein purpura otherwise known as HSP – it is a disease where the body fights off a virus or infection and goes in to overdrive, by attacking its own tissue – It apparently happens for no known reasons to random children between the ages of 2 and 11. It can occur again – but usually in a milder form. It is not contagious but rather the body’s response to fighting off an infection or a virus. It can take several weeks for the aching joints and rash to fully disappear. And if it affects the intestines or kidneys it can cause real problems, hence all the investigations. After having had many test and waiting in an observation room for many hours ~ we were then given a bed in a bay ~ she was so brave and unbothered by having 5 vials of blood milked from her tiny little veins over a 1/2 hour period ~ more urine samples ~ more sats tests. We lay on the hospital bed ~ cuddling ~ laughing ~ and watching a film together. And after such wonderful care from those earthly and Heavenly angels we were released from the hospital at 1.30am ~ She appears to be perfectly well ~ but with an aching torso and legs ~ her personality forever wise bright and knowing ~ we return on Tuesday for further tests to make sure everything is back in line next week ~ Please may you pray for us.
The following day I went to my Spiritual Direction session. I offloaded the past weeks content ~ with its emotional ~ physical ~ and spiritual revelations. Ever exhausted by the drama. And then my Spiritual Director after asking me a few enquiring questions discovered and revealed to me that the ‘safe house’ where I had had my induction – which only yesterday I found out was an x-convent ~ is the community and home where my Spiritual Director used to live! She now lives over 50 miles away . . . How about that for a little miracle . . . To collapse in exhaustion . . . into the thought that That Power Up There, He has me covered. All the little threads and connections ~ connecting things I can not see ~ which have me endlessly falling into His arms again, and again, and again ~ and to realise that He is calling the shots. ~ Its like a safety net holding me when I have no strength left to hold on anymore ~ only to fall endlessly into what appears to be His arms.
My Spiritual Director has recently been on her own 8 day silent retreat to St Buenos. In her kindness and thoughtfulness she brought me home a beautiful card. It is a card of a sculpture created by a Jesuit ~ its entitled Easter; Jesus appears to Mary. Jesus’ body is arcd around Mary’s body ~ from behind ~ in Love.
It took me straight back to when I was a young girl ~ I witnessed my father go up to my mother who was standing at the kitchen sink overlooking the back garden ~ he approached her from behind ~ wrapped his arms lovingly around her waist ~ and tenderly kissed along her neck ~ so lovingly ~ with a Love so wholesome ~ so true ~ and so intensely beautiful ~ that I felt the Love overpour ~ and wash over me in a wave of deepest security ~ so much so that I felt Loved at the same time. I never considered that I would ever be distant from such a Love.
My Mummy has now returned to India for 5+ months ~ and upon her departure she gave me her and my fathers engagement ring ~ & That Love is embedded in the symbol of that ring. Just now I need to feel that Love ~ and all the hope that it represents ~ and so I have it glistening on my engagement finger, where only a week back a diamond Cross sat looking lackluster and sad.
As we re-focus ~ and more deeply enter into the 2nd week of St Ignatius Spiritual Exercises, my very special Spiritual Director remembers back to the time that she had ‘completed’ her training. She recalls the first ever time that she leads a retreat with her “tutor” ~ she attends supervision daily ~ and is told that now she has all her training in place (the nuts & bolts), all she needs to do is to make it her own, by being herself. At the very moment that she discloses this to me, I am filled with all the warmth and promise of a future ~ and with all the hope of Jesus’ arms lovingly wrapped around me ~ a pathway ahead that I never before envisaged or noticed ~ that maybe one day I too can work with my “tutor”. ~ Maybe just maybe one day ~ I can Lead formal guided retreats too.
And in an instant I feel held ~ and I feel guided ~ and I feel God who is Love ever holding me closer …
Despite it all