Faith, Prayer, Saint of the Month, Saints, Suffering

Blessed by the Cross

These are, the ones who have survived the time of great distress, they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb (Rv 7:14)

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross is a model for women and what God asks of each of us. She relentlessly searched for the truth and found it in The Catholic Church where she became a Carmelite nun after St Teresa of Avila. Being Jewish this decision to become a Catholic nun was not an easy one for she knew this would hurt her mother whom she loved so dearly. However, Edith Stein followed her Beloved to the cross, and as a daughter of Israel, she tasted the sweetness of the cross as she gave her life in the extermination camp at Auschwitz. Edith Stein embraced the cross and found strength in bearing the cross of Jesus Crucified. She found God in the prayer of silence, and He drew her close to Him, and she rested in His love. She entered the Dark Night, where Faith was her guide; hope sustained her and love led her to the cross. The Crucified Christ was her life, her joy, her peace. It must be ours also as mothers our vocation is to lead our children to heaven. To accomplish this, we need to search for God in the silence of the heart. In this silence, He will speak to our souls. We cannot spend all day in prayer, but our very lives are a form of prayer to God an active prayer that humbles us making us more obedient to God’s will. As we travel the path of Holy Motherhood, we must be led by God as St. Teresa Benedicta. We must be courageous and embrace the Cross Of Holy Motherhood aiding one another on this Journey. We must reclaim the Dignity of Motherhood imitating the life of the Blessed Mother. The world needs the courageous love that Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross modeled for us. We are made for heaven, and our lives should glorify God, not the world.

“A Scienta Crucis(knowledge of the cross) can be gained only when one comes to feel the cross radically.”
This quote from St Teresa Benedicta is my favorite.  On Sunday, August 2, 1942, she was seized by the Gestapo along with her sister Rosa. She left the convent the last words she uttered were” Come let us go for our people.”

Ave, Crux, spes, unica!
Hail Cross our only hope
(Self-PortraitEdith_Stein_(ca._1938-1939))

 

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Published Articles

Come Holy Spirit, Come Light Divine

Come , Grant me the Spirit of Understanding, enlighten my mind with the light of Your Divine Truth. continues his catechesis this week on the gifts of the Holy Spirit. After having examined wisdom as the first of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit. This week he draws attention to the second gift, the gift of understanding. He goes on to say that:” Born of our sharing in #God’s life through faith and baptism  the gift of understanding enables us to see in all things the unfolding of his eternal plan of .” The gift of understanding allows us to penetrate more deeply into the truths if our faith. The more we love the more we seek, the more we seek the more we find; and when our soul finds that which it loves it begins to understand God in a whole new way. The gift of understanding brings us face to face with the ‘Word who became Flesh.’  Our faith becomes personal and joy-filled  When the gift of understanding penetrates into the souls we are born again in the sense that we now see only what a soul in love with can see.images.jpg This gift sets our souls on fire and we want to share this gift with others because we now know a love, unlike all other loves. This love enables us to give our Fiat’ to Jesus in all that He may ask us. Our Fiat freely given strengthens us to carry our cross after Him, who has loved us so much that He gave His life for us.  This gift surpasses our human way of understanding, and now we began to see things in a divine way; what Pope Francis explained as “Intus Legere,” that is, “to read within.” Now we understand things with God’s understanding. I pray daily asking the Holy Spirit to give me the understanding to obey his will in my vocation as wife and .  We can get so lost in the things of the world that we lose our way, we stop seeing with the eyes of Jesus. We become entangled within ourselves and selfish behaviors set in. The gift of understanding is for all who have been baptized into God’s grace. The  Holy Spirit who helps us penetrate into the divine mysteries.  God communicates with the soul whose love has no limits, so the more we love the more our life reflects the life of God within us. Through the gift of understanding the Holy Spirit opens our soul to a new form of prayer, more simple, more profound, the soul now clings to the truth in all things and feels as though it’s soul has been immersed in the love of God. The soul becomes one with God and lives only by his will. This love is powerful, this understanding of God’s love is what drives us to become saints. For we now see with the eyes of God. Can it get any better than that? “By the light of understanding, I’ve tasted and seen Your profound nature, Eternal Trinity, and the beauty of your creation.” ~Saint Catherine of Siena, The Dialogue~

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Faith, Suffering

Love For Truth

I am the way, and the truth, and the life.
John 14:6
Pilate asked Jesus “what is truth?” Silently Jesus stands before Pilate longing to teach him the truth, but Pilate remained indifferent to the Truth standing before him. Turning his back on eternal truth he sentences Jesus to be crucified.  Pilate in his spiritual blindness fails to see the truth in the loving gaze of Jesus and loses the grace of repentance and conversion.
In order to live a faith filled life we must have a love for truth and a desire to seek truth no matter how difficult it may be. We are often fearful of the truth and the demands it makes on us, so we tend to shield ourselves against it and like pilate we turn on back on Jesus.  Seeking God in prayer we ask him to open our eyes and our hearts to receive  truth with courageous acceptance to the truth of who we are in the eyes of God.  Accepting those truths can be painful, however necessary if we are to advance in truth. Sometimes God allows a difficult circumstance and illness to practice this virtue.
Cancer is the cross he laid upon my back, painful as it is the grace of God has been at work in me. Jesus opened my heart to see the truth about who I am. In this dark night I looked into the eyes of truth and embracing that truth I found  the meaning of Agape love.
Truth guards us like a shield and protects you against the terror of the night.(see psalm 91) 
Truth liberates us, and gives peace to the soul. Obedience to the will of God will lead us to truth. As we journey through lent may Jesus let His gaze of love penetrate your soul with love and truth.
Behold, you desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Ps51:6

 

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Faith, Mom's with cancer, Suffering

True Rejoicing

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:5
My body is broken from my battle with cancer.  I battle numerous infections, decreased mobility, sleepless nights. I am on oxygen as my lungs are weak. There are days when I have no strength to move and must resign myself to the bed. I am unable to do anything and I ask myself how can I give all to the Lord when I have so little to give. I recall the words of Jesus to St. Faustina and I entrust myself completely to His will by praying”Not as I want , but according to your will, O God let it be done unto me.”  It is in this moment of brokenness that I can give the Lord all. And this fills my soul with joy. My broken body and aching heart rejoices in the Lord. This is my gift to the infant Jesus. There are times in our lives when all we can give to Jesus are the broken pieces of our lives and it is in these moments of surrender that we can exclaim with St Paul: I can do all things in Him who strengthens me.
Dear Infant Jesus I come before your manager in Bethlehem help us to remember that real worth is not so much found in activity but in the silent surrender of our will to yours. We pray for the gift of perseverance to endure all things for the glory of your name. Jesus, Mary and Joseph make our homes another Nazareth where peace and love reign. Blessed Mother be a Mother to our children when  illness prevents me. Wrap them in the Mantle of your love. Help us to always remember the great dignity we have as mothers and illness can never take that away.
Ponder in your heart how much you are loved and the life you live is one of joy to God. Do Not be Afraid. let go of all anxiety and Trust in the Infant Jesus to heal you.
Let your prayer be one of peace. Listen to some Advent or Christmas songs and sit in silence before the Christmas tree and manger, hold the infant Jesus next to your heart and let love do as love wants.

“We are able to go through the most terrible places fearlessly, because Jesus in us will never deceive us; Jesus in us is our love, our strength, our joy and our compassion”
Saint Teresa of Calcutta

anticipating-the-advent

 

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Tami Schuelke


You are never alone god is always with you. Live in peace

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Faith, Mom's with cancer, Suffering

Surrendered to God~ A Mothers Way of the Cross

Living in the present moment abandoned to ‘s will has been my way of of life for the past 6 years.
6 years ago I heard the words I thought I would never hear: you have stomach .
The doctor went on to say that stomach cancer is rare, after lung cancer, stomach cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death among cancer.

Fear,shock and disbelief instantly invaded my life. That was the day my life was forever changed, I had to face my possible death. As a of seven children all I could think about was who would take care of them.home school, and nurture them, how was I going to tell them I have cancer.
“It is most laudable in a married women to be devout, but she must never forget that she is a housewife; and sometimes she must leave God at the altar to find Him in her housekeeping.” – Francis of Rome

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Did I fulfill God’s will in my vocation as a mother? Did my life reflect  the I had for and Mary  and the gift our Catholic is. Would they remember all that I taught them and so seek the truth in all things. This pain was too much to bear, my biggest fear had become a reality.
Within the week I underwent I high risk surgery.Everything went so quickly leaving me numb. Now I see that this was God’s way of protecting me shielding me from the gravity of  what was happening to me.

Surgery lasted 6 hours in which 80% of my stomach was removed along with lymph nodes. The surgeon had to stop surgery because a large tumor was found on my liver and it had to be removed and biopsied. It was benign, how good God is.  I was in intensive care for 3 days. The pain was unbearable due to the surgery and the fact I am allergic to most pain meds. The only prayer I could utter  was Jesus I in You and to love Him with a love that was willing to go to the cross.
Placing my life and in His hands I said yes, yes to the life he had planned for me, yes to Redemptive suffering, to love with a love that is willing to go to the cross and so die to self.

As I left the hospital with the knowledge  that the cancer I had would require a vigilance on my part to be aware of any unusual symptoms and to notify my oncologist.  I will never really be what people call cancer free. When I asked my oncologist if I would be cancer free after 5 years his response was, maybe in 10 years. What they didn’t tell me was they didn’t think I would live past  a year.  Now I know why, I am deficient in most vitamins, I have malabsortion issues, (faulty absorption of nutrient materials from the digestive tract) a continual malaise that is worsening, anemia, my asthma has worsened to the point that I need oxygen.  My stomach is broken,  More days than not I suffer from  emesis  which limits my ability to go anywhere.

 Lord I am the servant of thy servant and I will always say with Mary be it done to me according to thy word.  Mother of all mothers that suffer pray for us.

The past 6 years  faith has carried me, love has sustained me as I had to undergo many ER visits, countless tests and procedures, Dr appt’s too many to count, hospitalizations I so wanted to avoid.
My life belongs to Jesus as I walk the way of the cross knowing I will die on that cross. Joy!

O my God teach me to be generous; to give and not count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labor and not to seek for any reward save that of doing your blessed will. -Saint Ignatius of Loyola

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The cross is love, my love crucified with the Love that flows from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as I receive grace upon grace.  Thank you Jesus for the gift of life, may I never take it for granted but to embrace each day with joy.

“Love is more important than suffering: it gives suffering it’s meaning and makes it acceptable. There can be love without suffering. But suffering without love has no meaning; with love accepted as Christ accepted it, as the saints accept it, it acquires an inestimable value.” –  Saint John Paul I

I pray for all those that suffer know that your life is precious and a gift from God a life to be embraced. You are never alone Love will never leave your side, God is with always. As I share my cancer journey with you it is my hope that it will aid you in some way as journey with Christ.  I ask for your patience as you read this, my eyesight is so poor due to my health.  May God bring you peace and love.

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