On March 21 of last year, I wrote a post about a the day my dad died, and what has taken place in the years that followed. I have not had much communication with family for many years, outside of social media and a visit from time to time. One sister finally met my youngest daughter who is now ten, this past fall. The reason I post this, is that for most of my life, I always felt insignificant to anyone. Like garbage you could just toss away and no one would notice. Not so anymore. Although I may be insignificant and unnoticed by the entire world, I know I am not to our Lord nor is any human being.. As my conversion of heart continues, embracing my nothingness in this world and His vastness is something I could have never dreamed of before, as a key to seeing how precious every life is in the eyes of our Lord.
I share this today because of the call to go “One Step Further”. I was misdiagnosed with bipolar disorder not long after my father had entered into eternal life, which, after being re diagnosed a few years later, was actually serious grief issues after a series of extreme life changing incidents, emotionally abusive relationship, losing a job, my mother having lung cancer, losing my home, having to send my oldest daughter to live with a sister, surviving a brutal rape, I tried to take my own life. From that moment of waking up in the ICU, knowing our Lord had given me a second chance, I began to walk with Him and not away from Him any longer. Keeping my eyes on Him and focused on him. My dad and his timely death, played big part, which brought me to today, to see the beautiful significance of the connection of our Lord between us all. I can say, very easily, life is worth living, no matter how hard it may be, no matter how much suffering there may be, no matter how much one may be lacking in material possessions, each and ever human life, is worth living and only our Lord can take that life from us, as He gives us life.
I have written quite often about my conversion concerning the day my dad entered into eternal life. It was September 23, 1996, the feast of St. Padre Pio and my dad had been the glue that held my family, brothers and sisters and myself together. Since his death, many have left the Catholic faith and went off doing what ever. In all honestly, since I moved out to California I had lost contact with most of them and focused on what I had asked in that prayer.
The night my dad died, as he lay dying, I prayed that he would talk to our Lord and get me back home to Him. Here we are, 2016 and after extensive repenting and getting back in communion, I will be making my first Profession in the Third Order Of Carmel, TOC on October 1.
This morning at Holy Mass, during the Homily, my priest had told us that the main objective of our duties this Holy Week, was New Evangelization to those within our own Family’s who had left the faith. I sat with my head hung low as I knew this job that had just been presented to me, would be extremely difficult, as my brothers and sisters in my own family, along with nieces and nephews and even my own oldest daughter, have left the faith. Along with cousins, and others. Outside of an older sister of mine, the entire family stopped believing in Him and the faith we all grew up into and went their own ways. It has been extremely painful for me in many ways as I have been viewed by them as the crazy one. One never to be listened to. From the onset of my Conversion of Heart, I can not stop listening to our Lord, nor will I. I left them all and continued to cling to our Lord and the only Truth left in this world. And here we are.
This morning after Holy Mass, I took our Lord in the Eucharist to a few souls in the Nursing Home and had a conversation with an elderly friend of mine named Lilly, who is also a professed member of my Carmelite family.
We spoke about the topic of New Evangelization to family, and I had expressed to her that the only way anyone would ever listen to me, in my own family or home, was if I were dead. After leaving her, I prayed and realized I am dead to them. The person they knew no longer exists and they still won’t listen.
I arrived at home and the mail man had come. I noticed two packages and brought them in without even looking to see who they were addressed for. I assumed they were for my daughter and husband. As I was placing them on the table, I noticed my name on one of them. The return address was my sister whom I don’t talk to much anymore. I opened the package and cried when I seen what it was. Here in a package addressed to me was a message never intended for me, but for all my brothers and sisters who have left the faith. Directly from my dad.
Inside the box I found my dad’s First Holy Communion Certificate dated May 21, 1936 along with his personal prayer book. I read the letter attached from my sister which stated, she had found these in an envelop with my dad’s personal items, marked specifically, “Important Papers”. I knew just how important they are but unfortunately, my sister didn’t understand who they were meant for. This package was a direct message from my dad to my brothers and sisters who had left the faith. The “Important Paper” with your name on it. Remember YOUR Baptism. Remember YOUR First Holy Communion. Remember YOUR Confirmation. Remember OUR Lord. Remember OUR First Love. Return to Him. There is nothing else on the face of the earth more important than our faith. I also knew my dad needed me share this with them. They refuse to listen to me, I pray they listen to him. I pray they return to our Lord also. I pray all my Catholic Family return back home to Him, with their entire heart, mind, soul and strength. There is no greater Love than His for you. Repent. The door is open. Homecoming is just one confession away. I love you and I pray for all my brothers and sisters. St. Constantine the Great, pray for us.
All praise, glory and honor to our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.
EDIT TO ADD: After I had written this today, a tweet came across from the USCCB that just filled me with our Lord’s love.
From tonight’s Divine Office: Evening Prayer
“Listen, O daughter, give ear to my words:
forget your own people and your father’s house.
So will the king desire your beauty:
He is your lord, pay homage to him.”