Monday, February 04, 2008

Rejoicing In Our Suffering

There were eight mothers on our bus to Washington, D.C. Nancy is a mother of nine children and a dear friend. I first met Nancy many, many years ago when she led a mothers' Bible study I attended. A Bible study that helped me become a better Christian wife and mother. Though we don't see one another nearly often enough, she is someone I look to for wisdom:

After the March for Life one of my children wondered, "No one who was for abortion saw us. The newspapers and TV people ignored us. Our message did not get out. Were we just wasting our time? Was it worth it?"

No one saw us? I know God did. I would have missed some very beautiful things if He hadn't shown me what He saw. Because I am a mother the Lord focused my attention on three mothers. God saw a mother of seven struggling physically with daily back pain caring for children with various health problems and significant learning challenges. He saw her sacrificing her time and strength to stand for life. God helped her make the phone calls, send the emails, buy the food, charter the bus, make the arrangements and He was well pleased with her. With heartfelt prayers she asked that everything would work out so she and her teens and their friends could march for life. God assured her, "Whatever you do for the least of my brothers you do for me."

God noticed another marcher. A mother whose newborn daughter had a defective brain condition which took the baby's life. God helped this heroic mother smile and cry and love that little one till her last breath was taken. God speaks through this mother to others tempted to abort their handicapped children. He watched her march for the culture of life and for the love of His people.

The media missed a third marcher and neglected to interview her either. But God knows her very well. He pointed out a mother who has opened her home and adopted little ones from backgrounds where drug abuse and neglect scarred them from the beginning. She and her family have been instruments of His healing. God watched her march and God knew that here was a woman after His own heart.

God embraced these mothers and gave them the privilege of uniting the sacrifice of their lives, the suffering of their bodies to His own holy, infinite sacrifice. The offering of these mothers and all of us marchers won grace for the salvation of our fallen world, God's mercy on our country and for an end to the sin of abortion. St. Paul says, "I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ's afflictions for the sake of His body, that is the Church." (Colossians 1:24) John Paul II explained in the Gospel of Suffering that," Jesus Christ has opened His suffering to our participation in it."

The Lord is allowing us to stand for Him. To offer our lives as apostles of life and love. He doesn't have to work this way but He gives us the blessing of being His Body in this world. This is the meaning of offering our everyday and our extraordinary sufferings to Him. God invites us, "Come follow me. Save the world through My Cross, take up your own cross daily and unite yourself to Me for the salvation of your own souls and those most in need of My mercy."

1 comment:

Sam said...

I have been touched by all of these musings. This one struck a cord, as I am sure you knew it would when you suggested for me to head to your blog over the next few days.

The March For Life was a great experience for the girls and me. The Horton poster is also my favorite - so simply profound.

Thanks for all you did, Maureen, to make the trip happen!

Love ya,

Ask me sometime about the Sam name.