Sunday, 3 March 2013

Shelter from the Storm


Icon "Our Lady: Shelter from the Storm", by the hand of Sarah "Sallie" Thayer, 2013

I apologize for only offering you new icons of Our Lady these days, but that is where my heart is -- and when it comes to "writing" icons, I must follow my heart. 

The real issue is what verses from Holy Scripture are running through my head -- it is often these verses which determine the saint or incident that my heart is drawn towards.  The scripture that has sustained me through so many of these long and difficult days is the short but powerful statement made by our Blessed Mother at the Annunciation:  "Be it done unto me according to your will."  I know that translations of the last word of that statement vary according to which translation you read; however, I have chosen the version which says "will" as that needs to be my focus these days!

Even now when I seem to be nearing the end of this difficult segment of my life, I am aware of how many things there are to which I continue to need to say FIAT.  I will say more about this in the "Suki and Sallie" section of this edition of my blog.

Meanwhile, let me just ask for your patience and understanding as you continue to see more icons of Our Lady in the days ahead!


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Our Pope Emeritus


My friend, Eugene, forwarded some photos to me on March 1st that he had received from another friend.  When I opened them, I was amazed and delighted to see that our Pope Emeritus is a true "cat person"!

As you can see from the photo below, the cat sleeping in his lap trusts this man absolutely -- a very telling sign usually that a person is truly fond of cats.  This image immediately became my absolute favourite photo of our, now, Pope Emeritus.

Speaking of which, I was able to watch all the details of Benedict's exit from the Vatican, his flight to Castel Gandolfo and his final comments to the 1,000 or so well-wishers gathered outside the residence as well as to the world.  He has now entered into the seclusion that should mark the rest of his life.  By his actions he has made a statement to the Church and to the world that in his view, prayer is a powerful thing.  His actions say:  "I can do more good spending the rest of my years in prayer for the Church than in remaining the Pope".  What a huge encouragement for all those in contemplative communities and for all of us who intercede for one another and for the Church -- especially all those who can do little else due to age or disability. 
  
My absolute favourite photo of Pontiff Emeritus Benedict XVI
 I had no idea how to locate the owner of this photo so if anyone knows how I might find out, please let me know as I would like to seek permission to post it to my blog. 

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MY NEWEST LITTLE GIRL!


Let me introduce you to Esterline.  She is 8 years old and is from Haiti.  I am sponsoring her through CHALICE, the Catholic sponsorship organization through which I have made contact with all the children I assist.  Their website is:  http://www.chalice.ca/


The newest addition to my family!

I have wanted to sponsor a child from Haiti for such a long time now and finally Chalice has been able to work out arrangements with a religious community in Haiti to oversee the sponsorship program there.  Chalice is such a good organization and they never take on a new location until they have been able to establish really good people on the ground in that country to oversee the program first-hand.  That direct contact of those people (almost always a religious community of women) who oversee with those who benefit is so important if the poor are really going to be helped to the full extent of your donation.  Otherwise, it is too easy for money to be wasted or used inappropriately.
I will give you an update on Esterline when I receive my first letter from her.


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SUKI AND SALLIE


Interrupting Suki praying the Divine Office on her iPad!!
(Actually, I was the one praying the Divine Office on MY iPad
when I had to get up for a moment -- you can see who
immediately took over my chair!)

Suki, as you can see from the photos, is up to her usual tricks -- always on the lookout for a good warm chair seat to try to lay claim to whenever the owner of that chair has to get up for any reason!

I was in the midst of praying Midday Prayer when the phone rang in that way that indicates that someone is buzzing me from the entryway in the lobby.  Unfortunately, the only phone that allows me to open the lobby door is the wall phone in the kitchen.  So, up I got and quickly answered the phone.  It was Canada Post with a package.  I waited by the front door until the package was delivered, checked the address to see what the contents might be, placed it on the counter in the kitchen and then headed back to my big chair to finish praying Midday Prayer.

What should I see as I entered the bedroom but Suki comfortably curled up in my chair, pretending to be asleep!

"OK, out of the chair, Suki." said I.  She replied:
"Pl-u-u-ease, can't you see that I am saying my prayers here?"
"OUT!", said I.  Then she finally moved.
I spoke to her quietly to see what her response would be and she looked up with that expression which she has when she is trying to get away with something. 

Actually, I thought it was so cute that I couldn't help reaching my my camera and taking a couple of photos.  But then I was ready to sit back down again and I told this to Suki. 

She looked at me as though she did not understand what I was saying -- another trick of hers.  After asking her nicely to remove herself and getting no action, I said "OUT" in that voice which tells Suki that I am nearing the end of my patience and will soon be bodily removing her.

At this point, she slowly got up and slowly removed herself from the chair.  As she exited the room, she gave a low "meow" which, if it could have been translated into English, would probably be a word that I couldn't use in a Catholic blog!

Now to continue with my comments from the beginning section of today's posting regarding FIAT. 

My face is continuing to heal but is still a long way from looking "normal".  It will take another month at least for me to begin to see what all this will actually leave me looking like. For now, my expectations are very low.  Tomorrow I go to have the sutures removed and to get the verdict on how things are going from the surgeon, himself.

Then, there is the ongoing saga from the sleep disorders clinic...
I have been put on a medication to help keep me awake during the day.  It seems to be working reasonably well and the only side effect thus far is a bit of stomach distress.  It is really quite wonderful to not be falling asleep all the time and to not have to worry about falling asleep while standing.  If a bit of stomach distress is the price I have to pay, I am willing.

One interesting result of all the sleep clinic studies is that they were able to tell me that my asthma appears to have gotten worse again.  So I am waiting to have another complete pulmonary function test sometime soon.  My last one was 10 years ago at least. 

But the greatest struggle at the moment has to do with the Restless Leg Syndrome.  As you may recall, I was taken off the medication that was actually causing me to have those awful sleep attacks and the occasional bad falls that often accompanied them.  The doctors then decided that they would like to see if one of the more natural remedies would solve the problem for me before they prescribed another drug to put into the mix! 

People who suffer from RLS almost always have low iron as I do.  So, I have now been  put on supplemental iron tablets in order to see if my problems with RLS improve once the iron level in my blood is raised.  Of course, during this time, without any medication, the RLS is attempting to drive me crazy!  In desperation, I am researching all kinds of home remedies in hopes of getting some relief.  Thus far I haven't found anything that really works but I am desperate enough to keep looking and trying.  One of the basics regarding RLS is no caffeine -- none.  This is very difficult for me as I love my coffee and pop.  But I am willing to try.  So for the moment, no caffeine.  Of course, this leads to caffeine withdrawal headaches which can, for me, turn into Migraines! 

So the saga continues.  Do you see why "fiat" is such an important word for me?  Please continue to pray with me and for me as I do for all those who read my blog. 

May the peace of God descend upon us, surround us and fill us today and every day.  Amen.

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