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Mary and Jesus seek our response!

When I think back to the moment of when I was being life-“flighted” just past Midnight on July 23, 2020; I remember thinking over the roar of the Helicopter rotors, heard outside the headphones that the paramedics applied so we could communicate en route, that all I had packed for this trip, God had given me, my soul.

I had been reading 2 books in the months prior to my stroke, “The Life of Catherine Laboure” and the” “The Life of Mary as seen by the Mystics “. Both books were nearly finished, and I felt great peace, excitement and communion with Jesus and Mary in the days prior to my stroke. Several months before, I also had been enrolled in the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, by Rev. Emmanuel S. Massawe of my parish, which I wore always, along with the Miraculous Medal that I had been wearing for years. The Miraculous Medal, took on added significance for me when visiting my daughter Heather, in Paris, about 5 years previously, and I witnessed the incorrupt body of St. Catherine Laboure, in the Sisters of Charity Chapel on the rue du bac in Paris, France. My life had been in a spiritual sense, surrounded with many things; many books read and unread, many rosaries and medals used, prayed with and not, and many statues and pictures, some seen and most stored. One thread though that permeated my entire life was my devotion to Mary, and my Love of Jesus through Mary. It is not the time to outline all the details of my 72 years on earth, but suffice it to say, that Mary was always the person I reached out to, she was always my protector in times of need, and someone I always sought out in churches, shrines, readings and images. This is not to say that I found Jesus less important, in fact, I always believed He is the Lord over my life. However circumstances from my early childhood, had me look to Jesus mostly as a fearful Father and not so much as a merciful Father; whereas Mary comforted and protected me, and in times of need, I placed my trust in her. I physically sought Mary’s presence in many places across my life, visiting statues and churches, discreetly hugging and lightly kissing her statues and images, during some moments of seeming despair in my life; and secretly wishing I could see her. One highlight of my seeking of Mary was when I visited Greensides Farm in Marmora Canada, with my friend @Colleen MacAlister, OFS (Secular Franciscan Order), in the ~spring of 2000. I expected to see a vision of Mary, as signs had been witnessed there in the past. While I did not see Mary, I definitely believed I felt her presence while in the field at Greensides. While I looked for a sign of Mary, at the farm, perhaps the greatest sign of her intercession had already happened. I had lost my job some years before, and with scant financial means, while daily praying to the Virgin Mary, I met Colleen over a Christian Music endeavor, and she invited me to make a pilgrimage from Tennessee, USA to Marmora, CA. I said it would be quite impossible, and she said if Mary wishes you to come she will find the way. Several months later I found work just South of the US Canadian Border, and the future pilgrimage was in the works, 4 months later!

As the Helicopter roared on, I knew everything about my past was inconsequential, because due to the seriousness of my bodily illness, it all might be no avail, as my earthly life would either be over, or if I survived, life would be very different due to extreme disability. Though fear was not in my heart and mind, but rather I felt a sense of calm, a sense of peace, and I trusted in my lifelong protector, Mary, that I was in her care. I remember minutes later after the helicopter landed, as the Interventional Neurovascular Surgeon at the hospital said, “this is going to go fast, every second is brain time”…I remember thinking to myself, of Mary’s words to the Archangel Gabriel, Fiat!

The details of that night and my road to recovery, shall remain for another time, but when I realized days and weeks later, that I had my life back as it were, I thought what’s next, what does this mean. And the answer kept coming back, it is simple, I have told you everthing you need to do, and you just have to respond, says Mary and Jesus!

Today I try and live life as before, but life feels very different. There is a daily anxiousness about my life, that has me wondering what would Jesus and Mary have me do? What purpose was behind my survival? The nurse in ICU said typically I would be dead from such a stroke, and in reality only 3% survive. Everyday is more time given back, and with such an oppotunity to live, seems like the responsibility to use that time wisely becomes greater. I truly believe as the days go on, and I find my fervor for Mary and Jesus growing, my prayer life deepening, that I have to share what I am experiencing somehow, someway. This blog idea came to me while reading another, and just passing the 2 year mark, from my stroke, this seemed like a good way to reach out to others who I may be able to help also. It is with this mindset this blog is being written. I will see where it goes, but I will tell this to the readers: that there is a cognitive dissonance, that I have been experiencing since my recovery, between the life I see happening around me, and the life I know as only a soul in a horribly injured body. Ultimately I, in the person of my soul, will live forever, and the only Doctor that has medicine to heal my soul, is Jesus. It has become very difficult to relax, knowing that there is nothing more important in life, than my soul and being united with Jesus. I know that other people will not perceive the same urgency about caring for their souls as I have, but if anything I write hepls even 1 person, grow closer to Jesus and Mary, my mission with this blog will have been accomplished.

Life is a gift, and it is the ship that Jesus has provided to carry our souls to heaven. This is why the three things Jesus and Mary ask of us, Prayer, Pennitential Acts and Mass with Holy Communion, have to be totally integrated into my day; so that I can attend to the responsibilities of this world, while also using these three Responses to Jesus’s Love and Mercy, to prepare my soul for the next world. More on my thoughts of how to integrate these activities, for even the busiest of persons, as this blog develops.

2J1D8H8 BARI, ITALY – MARCH 5, 2022: The painting of Exaltation of Holy Cross in the church Chiesa di Santa Croce by unknown painter of Veronese school.

While we might spend a lot of time searching, wondering, reading and analyzing to “deepen” our faith, Jesus and Mary are waiting…they are waiting for the Prayers from us, (one of our chief earthly jobs,); they are waiting to receive our Penitential Practices, acts, and they are waiting to be with us in the celebration of the Mass and the reception of the scarements; particularly “Holy Communion.”

All the spiritual books and practices come down to these simple things. Prayer, Penitential acts, and Mass with Eucharist reception. At the end of my time in this world, my soul will not be wrapped in an edition of Summa Theologica or my good books won’t serve as reference for my good intentions: the measure of my life will be my soul wrapped with the acts that I have done in imitation of Jesus and Mary, in my life on earth. These three endeavors are my treasures. My soul is eternal and in this world, my behaviors should be a testament to Jesus and Mary’s examples in this world, wrapping my soul with acts of love for Jesus and Mary, that I have done throughout my days. From now until my bodily death, I have the opportunity to adorn my soul with my Prayer, Penitential Acts and Mass with Holy Communion. . There is little time in our earthly lives, and we must be about the job of responding to our Lord and His Mother with Prayer, Penitential Acts and Mass with Holy Communion, as much as possible. If we really realized how little time we had, and how much that can be accomplish on Their behalf, our heart, our soul would be on fire and ablaze to get on with our spiritual work. Loving Jesus through Mary, is a way of life; it is living our life all the day, everyday, by living their example. In this manner, we will have a heart on fire, and a soul dripping, drenched in the Love for Jesus, and Mary. My soul is the only part of me that will live on and take the journey home in eternity. The only way I can assure my soul safe passage to eternity, is by making Jesus and Mary’s way of life, my way of life; not a portion of my life daily, weekly, monthly or yearly but all my life, let my life imitate Their life! Fiat!

Our Lady of Mt Carmel, Mary holding a brown scapular and the boy Jesus holding a scapular also.


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