September 26, 2019
by Nancy Shirley
Creighton University's School of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 452

Haggai 1:1-8
Psalms 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a, and 9b
Luke 9:7-9

Praying Ordinary Time

My Mother's Suscipe: An Alzheimer's Story

Some readings seem to reach out and immediately touch my heart.  However, at first reading, today’s scripture confused me.  The first reading seemed overwhelming, the gospel seemed too short – what else happened or was said.  What did Herod do at that time?  But after reviewing a few more times, something did reach out and touch my heart:

.  . .Who then is this about whom I hear such things?”
And he kept trying to see him.

It dawned on me, that we all keep trying to see Him – sometimes with more success than other.  How often do we search and cry out asking where is God?  Yet, I firmly believe that throughout my life, throughout all the struggles, disappointments, and loses, God was always there.  My mother set that example for me.  I watched her: always faithful, no matter what, that God was there.  When my brother died tragically at 20, my mother turned even more to prayer.  She never doubted for an instant that her God was there for her and that my brother was in the arms of Jesus.  Her unfailing faith taught me to believe in a God that would always support me and walk with me.  When her husband (my dad) died four years later, she continued her daily prayers for the dead for both.  When she passed away (32 years after my brother’s death), the little prayer book with the daily prayers for the dead was on the table by the sofa – it was replaced a few times over those years having been worn out from daily handling.  No wonder one of her favorite poems and symbols was Footprints.

So, throughout my life in both good times and no so good, I knew (and know) that God is with me.  It fosters an attitude of gratitude in my many blessings – I see that God created a beautiful world that continues to awe me, literally from sea to shining sea.  I see God in the faces of my children and grandchildren.  I see God in all the loving actions of my husband.  I see God in the various “heroes” that touch my life – the women in recovery that I am privileged to support and wonderful people in the Dominican Republic that share their lives and hearts with me so freely.  In our Ignatian tradition, I find (and see) God in all things.  When I forget this and start seeing the negatives of everything around me, I am gently called back to my loving, all-present God.  A special song will play, a star twinkle more brightly, a person will reach out, a flower bloom at just the right time – I am reminded that God and my BFF Jesus are always there by my side no matter how cloudy things look.   When my heart and mind are in the right place, the world is truly a beautiful place full of good things, good places, and good people.  I am reminded that this loving, all-present God that I long to see is merciful and always sees and accepts me as a beloved sinner.  So . . .  I will keep trying to see Him.

And, of course, a song for you . . .   Lauren Daigle, Trust in You

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