Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Carrying of the Cross

  The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery

"And he said to all: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself …" (Luke 9:23)

This post was shared by my mother
 a true woman of virtue.

Oh Loving Jesus, meek Lamb of God, I miserable sinner, salute and worship the most Sacred Wound of thy Shoulder on which Thou didst bear thy heavy Cross, which so tore Thy flesh and laid bear Thy Bones as to inflict on Thee an anguish greater than any other wound of thy Most Blessed Body. I adore Thee, O Jesus most sorrowful; I praise and glorify Thee, and give Thee thanks for this most sacred and painful Wound, beseeching Thee by that exceeding pain, and by the crushing burden of Thy heavy Cross to be merciful to me, a sinner, to forgive me all my mortal and venial sins, and to lead me on towards Heaven along the Way of Thy Cross. Amen 1

1 Thomas D. Beven , Bishop of Springfield

We all carry many crosses. When I was five years old my father died. He was only thirty three years old. It was during World War II and my mother remarried. He was a Marine who had fought bravely in five major battles. The war had left him wounded inside and he was never able to talk about it.

When my mother was dating him he was nice to my brothers and I, but when they got married things changed. Where our home had been a home full of music and joy, it was now dark and lonely place.

My one brother David could not cope with this and at the age of eleven years started running away. He was deeply gifted. He could play almost any instrument and had a lovely voice. To support himself he started playing at bars at an early age. He also started drinking and this became his way of life. He joined the service for about three years and married, had two girls, got a mental discharge from the service and started running again.

He ended up in later years as a sick alcoholic living in a rented room with no friends. He was always telling me he would like to join the Catholic Church but I was afraid with his drinking, to bring a priest by.

Late one night my husband and I got a call from the hospital that my brother had had a massive heart attack and was in a coma and had only hours to live. We prayed for him and were led to bring holy water with us. When we got to the hospital and entered his room he was still in a coma, but we prayed for him and baptized him. He died two hours later.

He had left me a note in his possessions that he wanted to be buried at National Cemetery in Riverside and to read the Prodigal Son at his service. There were only four of us who went to his burial. When we arrived we where met by at least twelve fully uniformed military men. They led us like in a parade to his grave sight. They then proceeded to have a twenty one gun salute, folding of the flag and a full service. When they left I read the Prodigal Son in full tears of joy as I know my brother had carried his cross in his own way and Our Loving Father had showed His merciful love and taken him home.


kam said...

I was moved to tears by your story. I think we've all known souls like your brother who get trapped in the downward cycle and never fully recover. What you and your husband did with your prayers and with the Holy Water, and in showing us the bright light that shown at the end of his life, was a fitting tribute to him and from us you deserve our thanks. k

aspiring... said...

Good morning Daily Grace, and to your mom :),

A thought: although my spirit may soar with the Lord in freedom at glorious heights, I am yet attached to my body and subject to the grit of life on earth. It's easy to get lost in one direction at the expense of the other, when I am instead to integrate my life in body and in spirit right where I'm at.

Your mom sets such a good example of how to look back on, and deal with and present, and look ahead to, the grit in life. It's a part of life. You accept it well. It's a good example of one's focus on things of the body and things of the spirit, being well integrated. She brings to the forefront that grit touches our own lives, not just others' lives. And right up there at the forefront, too, she lets us know that we can opt for peace, even joy, in place of regrets and judgements.

Her account also just beeeaaaauuutifully correlates the two stories of bearing one's cross.

I am very moved and very heartened... Thank you, to both of you.

Jackie said...

Aweeee , that's so sad and beautiful. what a blessing to have been baptized into the family of God before he died . Alcohol is a killer alright. I hate it just as much as I hate drugs.

Anne said...

A touching story. It really is a miracle,isn't it, that he was baptized right before death? Thank you so much for sharing this! It is filled with hope.

Daily Grace said...

Thank you all for your beautiful comments, they mean so much.

I have passed them on to my mother and she was truly moved by the thoughtfullness of each one of them.

God bless