Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Got a Girl in the War, Part 2

Well, the girl is still in the war...the war within herself.  She is still trying to figure life out and where she fits in.  As her mother, it kills me to see such a beautiful, talented, and book-smart teen go though this and being completely unable to help.  It's also very hard to not fall into the comparison trap.

As I watch my other friends' children grow, see my Facebook friends' children progress, smiling faces, my brother's families going places and doing things....I feel like we are wallowing in the pit of despair.  Of course, no one can be perfect, even the smiling faces of my Facebook families.  Of course, not all is perfect in these households.  Of course, I know good and well that we all have our best faces and pics posted.  I know that we should not compare ourselves with others, especially from the pics online.  They are the ones we are proud of and have bragging rights to.  Of course I know that....but still.

My girl in the war, she is a good girl and she loves her family, deep down.  She has been the last and the left one.  Last in the "food change" and left by her siblings who went on to live their lives at school or to begin families of there own.  She was left in the smoke (as she puts it) lonely and forgotten in all their excitement, so her only recourse was to start up some excitement of her own....with the help of the wrong crowd.

She turned 18 and immediately colored her hair purple and announced that she no longer believed in God and was not a Catholic anymore.  She was top in her confirmation class, all her classmates wanted her to help them memorize, understand, and grasp some teachings that she understood completely.   Her letter to our pastor was beautifully written and full of heart, she picked a good Catholic friend to be her sponsor and picked out a new dress.  It was what she said she wanted, she was sure.  I gave all my children the out if they really didn't want to be confirmed, telling them that it was their decision to be confirmed, not mine. She reassured me that she wanted to be confirmed.  Well, now she tells me that she started to doubt things about that time and was confirmed to keep me happy.

That was over a year ago, now we have a completely different 18 year old girl in our home.  She sleeps in on Sunday mornings, doesn't pray grace with the family, she's on the pill (says it's for her acne), bought a bikini this year and has dates with men that we are not privy to who they are without a fight.

She will be entering college in a few weeks, living in the dorms and studying music.  Part 3 will be forthcoming.

Pray for our girl in the war. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Poor Sisters!!!!

The Little Sisters of the Poor, who have refused to violate the Church's teaching by complying with the Obama administration's contraceptive mandate, lost their case today in a federal appeals court. But this is not the end of the line: The case will likely end up at the U.S. Supreme Court, where it will become a test case in religious freedom.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How strong is your faith?

You've heard of the woman, desperate for a cure, who knew that just touching the cloak of Jesus would heal her from years of medical abuse, ignorance, and pain.  In that one instance she was cured, was it her actually touching Jesus' cloak, was it Jesus, or was it her faith? "Your faith has made you well..."

Another example of this is when Jesus said to the blind man in Mark 10:52 "Go your way, your faith has made you well." This man heard of Jesus' and began crying out to Him, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"   His faith was strong enough to believe that Jesus could heal him and give him his sight.

"Go your way, your faith has made you well."

Where is that kind of faith today?  Do you have it?  There is so much sickness, sadness, and evil around us everyday.  I know that it has been hard on us lately in the Pillar household with our youngest stretching her newly-turned 18 year old wings in ways that has both her parents, brother and sister in shock and awe.  I have never prayed as much and as desperately as I have during these past 4 months.  These things can really shake one's faith for sure!  From the pulpit, from the Bible, from Jesus Himself, we are told that we are not alone, that He will never leave us......but why do we feel so helpless and abandoned sometimes?

Pope Francis, on April 19, 2015 during the Regina Coeli: On Being Witnesses to the Risen Christ, said this:

"Today begins in Turin that solemn exposition of the Holy Shroud. I too, God-willing, will go to venerate it on June 21st. I hope that this act of veneration helps us all to find in Jesus Christ the Merciful Face of God, and to recognize it in the face of our brothers and sisters, particularly those suffering most."  
Not only Christ, but others around us can lend support and encouragement when we are at our deepest low trying times.  Like the two examples above, there's always someone with a stronger faith that can help strengthen the faith of those around them.  They found the proof in their lives  they needed to have such faith. but it doesn't just happen, one has to want it and search for it. It is up to us to seek and recognize the face of God...the Merciful Face of God, and we can find Him in our brothers and sisters, in our crazy upturned lives, God is there and everywhere for us!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

That Easter Feelin.....

Overwhelmed and completely touched by Jesus' passion and God's amazing way of showing us His love and care for us, I think about wanting to feel this feeling all year long.   I remember when I was just a kid of 12 riding my bike around the neighborhood and thinking to myself that I was thinking about God and that I wanted to remember to think about Him tomorrow and everyday.  Well, now I want to think about Jesus' incomprehensible love by dying a horrendous, human death, but then rising from the dead to protect us from death's sting.

Good Friday always has me gripped in awe of this fact that Jesus gave himself up for us as an innocent sacrifice for the world far into the future....knowing that I would be here some time in the future and being saved by the same single act of self sacrifice at the hands of those who, represent me.  I hate that fact and usually don't participate in the passion part of the crowd, can't even think that I would be yelling to kill an innocent man in exchange for a known criminal named Barabas.

Holy Saturday is a bright and cheery day for the most part, Easter Sunday preparations begin and the windows are open and usually the sun is shining through the house.  The Easter Vigil is amazingly holy, especially when there are new Catholics to celebrate with new and found faith in Jesus' bride.

Easter Sunday is a wonderfully splendid celebration day for my family.  Calls from everyone far away come in and go out, food, candy, chocolate and smiles all around.  My heart is lighter than air with the knowledge and faith in God and Jesus' love and resurrection.  We have hope!  We have joy!!  We are loved!

From my family to yours and all the world, Happy Blessed Easter to you!   Alleluia, alleluia, He has risen!!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Women At Prayer

One day several years ago, after listening to my husband complain yet again about his job, I began an innocent and unobtrusive prayer campaign for his fulfillment as the breadwinner of the family.  The Irish Catholic that I am, I wrote on a note card, "Dear Jesus, please help Doug find fulfillment in his career." and stuck it in my bible. Forgetting I ever did that, recently as I was reading my Bible, the note dropped out on my lap.  A few years ago, he found his present position in a completely different state miles away from home, but being satisfied in his job and having the faculty status as an associate professor and director of a core facility, he has found fulfillment.   Proof of answered prayer, even one left to its own for a time.  He didn't know I did this for him, I had even forgotten that I did this for him, but at the time and so many times during those unsatisfied years, I had silently prayed to Jesus for his fulfillment. 

Thinking about a woman's prayer in the different phases and walks of life, I want to appreciate these ladies and their faith.

A Mother's prayer
Mother Mary is the greatest intercessor for her children.  At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave Mary to the apostle as his mother and gave him to her as her child.  At that very moment, Mary became our mother too, and like any earthly mother, she is concerned for us and loves us abundantly.  I turn to her daily!
A grandmother's prayer adds an extra special fervor for the child that brings them delight and continues her lineage; the layers of love from her own child to the thrill of her child's children, makes her prayers all the more special. 

A mom's prayer is rooted in her deep and biological connection with her child, even mothers of adopted children form equally deep connections for the children in their care.  My prayer life as a mom has always been a challenge, until recently when I learned a huge lesson that while I prayed for my children, I also had to let go and allow God to do HIS work.  Letting go and having faith that He loves us and our children has been the lesson I didn't even know I needed to learn until I learned it.    As my rebellious child drove away to another unknown place with unknown people, I had to just give her to Jesus and let her go.....THAT was hard, but when I realized that there was NOTHING I could do for her, and that God alone had the controls, it was as if a heavy weight had been lifted from my shoulders.

A popular story about my grandmother during her mothering years, was when my twin uncles tried to stop a car racing down a hill, instead of watching the ordeal, she calmly went into the powder room in the hall and prayed the rosary until it was over and the twins were triumphant.

The women in the church, much like Anna of the bible, root their prayers deeply from altruistic love, the desire for good things for others.  Their prayers are wholeheartedly given in faith.

The many religious communities' pray constantly, giving their lives to Christ and His Church, for the people of God.  Oh, I wouldn't want to even think of our world without these beautiful communities and their prayers for us.

A wife's prayer
Mother Mary must have prayed a great deal for her husband, Joseph, thanksgiving prayers for his obedience and patience to God's will and for the gift of fatherhood that he gave to Jesus. She surely had prayers for his health and for healing during times of trials that he and the family endured and prayers for his strength.  She must have prayed a great deal at the end of his life, since we don't know what that was like, surely one can imagine the prayers of a wife for her dying husband. 

A wife prays for her husband on so many levels; first for his fulfillment in his relationship with her, then his fulfillment in his career, and also for his relationship with the children.  We want them strong, wise, and fulfilled, don't we?  My husband has had many trials through the years, including the loss of his father, caring for his aging mother, health issues, as well as family and career.  It seems that there are always reasons for prayer, even when things are going well.  When times are good, my prayers are more thanksgiving for the many blessings that surround him and us.

Praying during the good and quiet times are easy, if we do it at all, but finding the strength to pray at times of real trial and suffering can be a trial in itself, yet with the inner strength of a woman, she prays on through the ordeal.  Mother Mary is the perfect example of that as she watched her only son during his passion and death....Oh; it hurts to think of her during the crucifixion of Jesus!  As a mother and a wife, there is always time and need for prayer, always someone who needs extra guidance, strength, and wisdom.  But on the outside of the immediate family, we women reach out and pray for those around us and in the news suffering trials of their own.

All I know really about women's prayer is what I know of myself and the women around me.  We pray, and pray, and pray mostly without ceasing for those around us that we care about and even those we don't particularly care about, but know they need prayers.  All the while growing closer to our Heavenly Father and finding His letting go and letting Him.

Can we pray for you?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Eight Years Old!!!!

It's hard to believe that the Pillars is 8 years OLD!!!!!    Thank you for all the years of reading my ramblings and crazy life events.  I appreciate those of you that left me encouragement and the many prayers that were offered on mine or my family's needs!

Been rather slacking the past year or so, but I am going to get back up and running, so the next 8 years will be filled with more of my ramblings and family life events.

blessings to all!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

We got a "Girl in the War"...part 1

"Girl In The War"

Peter said to Paul you know all those words we wrote
Are just the rules of the game and the rules are the first to go
But now talking to God is Laurel begging Hardy for a gun
I got a girl in the war man I wonder what it is we done

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
But I got a girl in the war Paul the only thing I know to do
Is turn up the music and pray that she makes it through

Because the keys to the kingdom got locked inside the kingdom
And the angels fly around in there but we can't see them
I got a girl in the war Paul I know that they can hear me yell
If they can't find a way to help her they can go to hell
If they can't find a way to help her they can go to hell

Paul said to Peter you got to rock yourself a little harder
Pretend the dove from above is a dragon and your feet are on fire
But I got a girl in the war Paul her eyes are like champagne
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain
They sparkle bubble over and in the morning all you got is rain  
-Josh Ritter
The war I speak of is not on the other side of the world, it's not in the middle east, it's not over there, it's not somewhere's here in our own world.  The war? The struggle to be independent, her own person, who she is and will be for the rest of her life.  It's the breaking out of the cocoon of which she has been living in her whole life.  Its the war of morals versus free-will.  It's the war of wills versus rules, it's the fight against what was taught and what everybody else is doing, it's a war of what has been proven true and what needs to be yet proven again....the hard way.

Age of Enlightenment

There is this thing that seems to be happening to young girls as they turn a certain age, 16...17, or worse 18.  At age 18, the world changes for the parents...forever.  Doctors, teachers, guidance counselors, therapists stop talking to them....unless the parents had the smarts to have the child sign a waiver which states that they approve open communication with the parents after she turns legal.  Even with this permission, the communication can be guarded to protect the new "adult".

Rules change

All of a sudden the relationship changes within the family and that young, sweet girl disappears, I hear, for a time and then returns in a different form, calmer and more mature.  But until that time, the household goes into turmoil...for a time. New rules need to be drawn up and enforced to help alleviate some of the stress on the parents and instill some control within the home.  But theses rules may be the "first to go."

Mourning ensues

The parents, at a complete loss, looks at their transforming off-spring and wonders what they did, didn't do, or just "what happened to my little girl?"  Since there is no way to penetrate the stubborn hard shell that covers this precious young lady, all the parents can do is.....

.." turn up the music and pray that she makes it through".....