“Behold Your Mother”

olphMy husband and I are members of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.  I have attended mass at this church all of my life, beginning at my baptism soon after birth.  There is a beautiful replica of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Icon in our Church.  I have always loved the icon, but never took the time to understand its meaning or significance to our church history.

It is the tradition of the Catholic Church that Our Lady of Perpetual Help is the oldest Icon of the Church.  It is believed that it was painted by St. Luke while Our Blessed Mother was still in Jerusalem.  According to legend, St. Luke showed the painting to Mary and she blessed it, saying her grace would accompany the Icon.  Many miracles have been attributed to the veneration of this Icon.

St. Luke reportedly gave the Icon to his best friend, Theophilus.  There is little reported on it until the 5th century when St. Pulcheria erected a Shrine in honor of the Icon as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” in Constantinople.  The Icon disappears around 1453 when Constantinople became under siege.  It reappears years later on the island of Crete.

After exchanging hands a couple of times, the Icon finally found its way on March 27, 1499 to Rome.  There are still centuries of war and reconstruction.  The Icon spent many years hidden away and at one point forgotten.  But the Lord gave us His Mother and He did not want her forgotten!  The Icon was eventually discovered and restored.  It is kept today in The Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri in Rome.

The Icon is full of symbols and messages.  There are angels on the left and the right sides of Mary and Jesus.  The left angel has the Greek initial for St. Michael the Archangel  He is holding the lance and gallop of Christ’s Passion.  On the right is the Greek initial for St. Gabriel, the Archangel.  He hold the nails and the Cross.

Mary is silent, but speaks volumes.  She is wearing a red tunic; which was worn by virgins at the time of Christ.  The dark blue mantle was worn by mothers at that time.  She is virgin, but also a mother.  Her eyes are large and turned toward us.  She seems to be pleading to us to avoid sin and love Her Son.  Mary’s left hand is supporting Christ possessively; she is His mother.  She comforts Her Son, but also everyone who calls on Her for help.

“Behold your mother.”  John 19:27

She was the mother of God.  She comforted Him and nurtured Him.  She knew of His fate; but she knew it was God’s Will.  She was full of faith and love even as He was dying on the Cross.  Her Son’s last gift to His faithful followers was His Mother.

Every part of Jesus that was human was from His mother – our mother – Mary.  She still sees Him suffer.  There are many more sins in the world today.  She is still trying to comfort and mother His followers.

Happy Mother’s Day to Mary, the Mother of God and of us all!

May mankind finally learn to follow the examples of your Holy Family.  It is not about making you and Jesus happy – You are radiant and in God’s Kingdom.  Following the ways of Jesus and His family will lead to OUR HAPPINESS!

C’est Bon,

Love Your Daughter,

Sherry

 

 

Regrets…..Rebirth

20130406_123205Last week I stopped by and visited a friend I have had for years.  She lives in another state, so we do not get to see each other often.  We had a very nice visit which included sharing with each other our Christian faiths.  That day my friend shared a very personal experience from her past with me that I have found to be one of the most profound and dramatic narratives of God’s Love and Mercy.  She has given me permission to now share her story with you.

My friend, about forty years ago, was nineteen, married, and pregnant with her first child.  The pregnancy left her extremely ill.  She did not eat much for two months, and when she did she became very nauseous.  There were further complications of bleeding.

Her doctor met with her and her husband and advised an abortion.  The doctor claimed that the pregnancy was making her too sick; and he insisted that the loss of blood would create a brain-damaged baby.  My friend’s husband at the time, a preacher, was extremely pro-child.  He wanted a wife and family as soon as possible; however, he did not want any “damaged” children.  The preacher insisted upon the abortion.  My friend was heartbroken and was unconvinced that the pregnancy would not turn out a viable child.  She asked her husband that they take one night to reflect.  All agreed.

Upon leaving the doctor’s office, my friend became hungry.  Her husband took her to a restaurant, and she had a hearty meal without becoming sick for the first time in two months.  She took this as a sign.  She begged her husband to reconsider and let the pregnancy progress.  He adamantly refused.  The preacher said his mind was made up, the procedure would happen the next day.

She cried all night.  She climbed onto the hospital gurney the next day crying and cried up until they put her to sleep for the procedure.  When she awoke, her doctor told her matter-of-factly, “It’s a good thing we terminated; you had triplets in there!”  Well, those words finished her off!  Not only did she end one child’s life, she ended the lives of three.  The pain in her heart was greater than she thought could be possible without the heart just tearing in two.  It seemed as if the life had been ripped out of her body; that she was a shell, broken.

She cried for a year.  The grief of the loss of her dear triplets was compounded by the fact that her mother had lost triplets in a miscarriage.  After a year with no conception and little relief from the pain in her heart, her husband informed her that she had two years to conceive his child or there would be a divorce.  No child came and the husband was true to his word.  The marriage ended.

Turning to her faith and her God, my friend prayed for healing and the grace to one day bring another life into this world.  She received an answer.  After a Sunday service, a fellow church member told her that the Lord had spoken and told them that she would one day conceive and have a child.  The messenger told her God had promised.

She married again, and for 12 years they lived a married life with no protection against pregnancy.  One day at age 38, my friend was feeling ill and for fun took a pregnancy test.  The test was positive.  Her husband was in disbelief and accompanied her to a doctor visit.  The doctor confirmed – she was seven weeks pregnant.  She knew this was the promised child.  Her husband was still in shock, but she was on top of the world.

Until the phone rang the very next day.  She had to return to the doctor.  She and husband were again handed news.  This time the news was bad, cervical cancer.  Once again she was told by a doctor to terminate her pregnancy.  The words stung like a knife in her heart.

Immediately she asked the doctor two questions: 1 – Do you believe in Jesus Christ? and 2-Do you believe cancer can go into remission or be cured?  Her doctor said yes to believing in Jesus and said in “most cases cancer.”.  She stopped him. She asked him again and warned him that the wrong answer would prevent him from continuing as her doctor.  He finally said yes, cancer can go into remission.  Her husband by this point had found his voice and was asking for termination of the pregnancy.  She told the doctor, “congratulations, you have a patient”… and come hell or high water she informed both the doctor and the husband that she would be carrying the child to term.  She did not care about what would be happening to her body; she knew this was God’s promise and it would be fulfilled.

She called her prayer warriors, starting with mama, and told everyone “pray for this baby, do not pray for me.  I accept God’s will for me, but I want this baby to live.”

That baby and his mother survived.  She now has a son who has given her two beautiful granddaughters.

I sat stunned at her story.  I was in awe that God saw fit to put her in the same situation nearly twenty years later.  She not only got a second chance at giving life, but she also received the chance to make the right choice.  Most facing her decision, would have said it just wasn’t in the cards and would have put themselves first.  She chose life and self-sacrifice and God’s Mercy rained down upon her!

Her three little babies in heaven must have been so proud!  Their mother was willing to give the ultimate sacrifice to save a loved one’s life.  One day in heaven, she will be surrounded by her children; her family will at last be reunited in Christ.

God always has a plan.  It is up to us to follow, although the road may be treacherous and hard, He is with us and helping us.

Thank you my friend!  You have lifted me up!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

is Knowledge really Power?

adam and eveGenesis 2:14  Then the Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and guard it.  He told him, “You may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad. You must not eat the fruit of that tree; if you do, you will die the same day.”

Genesis 3:4  The snake replied, “That’s not true; you will not die. God said that because He knows that when you eat it, you will be like God and know what is good and what is bad.”

What did Adam and Eve do?  They wanted to be like God and so they ate the forbidden fruit.  Who was telling them the truth?  Of course, it was God who is the Truth.  They were given everything, and still they yearned for more.  Man turned away from God’s truth and innocence.  The sad part is that thousands of years later, nothing has changed.

The forbidden fruit today is everywhere.  Knowledge is at our fingertips like never before.  As technology and man’s knowledge of this world advance, dependence on our God and His Truth decline.

Think about it; what does all this knowledge really do for us?  Are we using this knowledge to guide us in the path towards God’s Kingdom?

I will give one example of a technological advance that has brought about good, but also much evil;  something as simple as an ultrasound.  Ultrasounds have great medical value.  It gives doctors eyes into our bodies.  They are able to diagnose, treat, and heal with greater accuracy and less evasiveness.

I had my first ultrasound when I was expecting my second child.  (My first child was born two years earlier and at that time ultrasounds were only used during pregnancy if the doctor suspected a problem.)  My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were expecting our first boy during this first ultrasound, and that he was healthy.  Unfortunately not all parents receive that kind of news.

I recently read a wonderful book by Chad Judice, Eli’s Reach.  Chad and his family also live in southern Louisiana.  The book was a follow up to his first book, Waiting for Eli.  The two books chronicle the story of Chad and Ashley and their second son, Eli, who was diagnosed with spina bifida while still in the womb.  Although 80% of children diagnosed with spina bifida in the womb are aborted, Chad and Ashley chose to trust in God and His plan.  Today their son Eli is a blossoming five-year-old, who does have medical problems, but also has above average intelligence and the hearts of everyone who meet him!  Chad is active in the pro-life movement as a public speaker and has changed many lives with the story of Eli.

How many Eli’s are never given a chance to live?  Most parents with the KNOWLEGE that their child will be born with major medical issues and possible brain damage, chose to bite that forbidden fruit.  They think they have the POWER of God, and can decide whether or not a child should be born.  Too often they decide that their child’s life would have little value.  How could anything God creates be of little value?

Adam and Eve sinned against God and brought death upon man.  Jesus and Mary said yes to God.  They asked for His Will to be done.  This brought about new life for man.  It saddens me to think how much Jesus suffered for our sins.  He was abandoned, betrayed, tortured, and crucified.  He left this world with no possessions.  His mother had to watch in horror the treatment of her Lord and Son.  What mother has suffered more?

When will we learn that there is no knowledge outside God’s Truth?

Proverbs 3:5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know.  Remember the Lord in everything you do, and He will show you the right way.  Never let yourself think that you are wiser than you are; simply obey the Lord and refuse to do wrong. If you do, it will be like good medicine, healing your wounds and easing your pains.”

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

 

God, the Author of Life

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January 22, 1973, Roe vs Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court.  January 22, 1973, Life in the United States drastically changed.  In a country that was founded on the principle that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty, and the Pursuit of happiness”, LIFE was taken out of that Declaration which was signed July 4, 1776 by our founding fathers.

If God is the sole Author of Life, man is the author of death.  And so the deaths began…

A February 2008 issue of Scientific American, posted an article entitled, “Your cells are my cells“.  The article revealed that research has proven that women carry cells from every child we have ever conceived for the rest of our lives.  Surviving children also carry our cells and any subsequent children who follow the loss of a sibling carries cells from that sibling.  We are all connected because we all have one Creator.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb we have been created.  The moment we are formed in our mother’s womb, we are a human being, and as such, we should have the same rights and protections as all humanity deserves.

There are millions of babies who have never had a choice; never had protection under the law.  It is time that society stands up for these babies and the countless more who have yet to be created.

I met a remarkable woman this past week.  Her name is Brenda DesOrmeaux and she founded the DesOrmeaux Foundation.  After the tragedy of 1973, Brenda felt a calling and decided to act.  She became an active member of the Acadiana Right to Life, working for the Pro-Life cause.  Her years of participation in this Fight for Life led to her running the Women’s Center of Lafayette.  After forming the DesOrmeaux Foundation, Brenda gave up her role in the Acadiana Right to Life and devoted herself to defending Human Life, the sanctity of marriage, and promoting chaste relationships.  Through her efforts, Lafayette, Louisiana now has a Pregnancy Center which offers free pregnancy test, family planning counseling, free ultrasound and financial assistance; the St. Marguerite d’Youville home which provides women with a peaceful, secure setting to help them process their needs, emotions, and choices; and the Baby and Me Boutique which specializes in selling maternity and baby items at give-away prices. Brenda heard God’s calling and she responded.

These are urgent times.  The more we advance with technology, the more technology points to the fact that a pregnant woman does not hold a blob of tissue. Each person is created unique and in the image of God.

Jesus said it best to Nancy Fowler in Conyers, Georgia, January 6, 1991: “Oh what a terrible, grave sin abortion is.  Man does not know the destiny of each child conceived, does not know the destiny of any child conceived.  So popes are murdered, priests are murdered, nuns are murdered, and on and on. Does this grave sin not bring about the wrath of God?

And again to Nancy on February 6, 1993: “You must know that abortion is murder. I am the Creator, you are not.  I am the Author of Life, you are not. Do not kill who I have created.  The commandment of God is “Thou shall not kill”. You will battle with each other over laws that you create apart from Me.”

We are all called.

Romans 11:32 “Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind.  Then you will be able to know the will of God – what is good and is pleasing to Him and is proper.”

September 29, 1992; Our Blessed Mother’s message to Nancy Fowler for America: “America pick up your Rosary, kneel down and pray.

This week marks the 41st anniversary of Roe vs. Wade.  Do something.  Go to a March for Life; attend a prayer service or mass; contact your state representatives…. Together we can give hope to all the children of God who are yet to be.

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry

 

 

 

GOD SEES EVERYTHING!

20130406_123205I have three grown children.  My daughter is 28 and I have two sons, 26 and 21 years old.  When my youngest son was about 4 years old, he and I were playing the board game Candy Land.  (Board games were big in our family, we even had a family game night once a week).  My four-year-old was a very competitive person- even at that young age.  Toward the end of the game, my son noticed that if he picked the color blue card, he would win.  So, when it was his turn, he politely asked me to close my eyes.  While covering my eyes, I did peek and see my son fix the cards to the color blue.  He was caught!  I complained that he was cheating.  He then said, “Close your eyes again, I won’t cheat!”.  As his loving mother and knowing full well he would cheat again, I simply told him, “I will close my eyes, but God will know, GOD SEES EVERYTHING!”

My four-year-old then looked up at the ceiling.  He yelled out loudly, “GOD CLOSE YOUR EYES!”

Of course this is a very fond memory of mine.  It was cute, he was four.  What is sad is how many of us adults still think we can hide stuff from God.  We think we can bargain with Him, make excuses for Him, or even think we have fooled Him.  We are really fooling ourselves.

We are born of this world with a very weak human nature.  We must learn to follow our soul’s desire and follow God’s Will.  This will go against our bodily desires and against our human nature; however, it will lead to our life in the spiritual world with God in paradise!

Romans 8:3 “What the Law could not do, because human nature was weak, God did. He condemned sin in human nature by sending His own Son, who came with a nature like our sinful nature to do away with sin.  To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace.”

Galatians 5:22 “But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self control. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life, He must control our lives.”

Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy Kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily Bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

As you go through your day, each and every day, remember “GOD SEES EVERYTHING”!

C’est Bon

Love,

Sherry