Nothing is as satisfying at seeing your adult children growing in love for Jesus, their Catholic faith, and wisdom. Today I want to share what my daughter, Hannah, just shared on Facebook. She is well spoken, bright, and articulate, but it's the wisdom that makes me smile.
Rachael and Kyle had their baby last night. Meet Pius-Vasyl Assumptio Wirachowsky. I don’t think he could have a more Catholic Ukrainian name had they tried. Pius is after Popes Pius the 10th and 12th, godly popes they admire. Vasyl is after a Ukrainian priest martyred for his faith. Assumptio is for Mother Mary as August contains the feast day of her assumption. Welcome to our world Lil’ Pius. I think we’ll celebrate tonight by having perogies and sausages for supper.
I'm so thankful for Atlas and the things God has done in our lives, and especially in Deborah's life, through his life. God is so amazing, way beyond what we can think or imagine.
When Holly and Hannah wear an apron, Ambrose wants a bib on. I think it's his apron equivalent.
She was the sweetest child who gave us nothing but delight. Then adolescent years hit and she went off the rails so bad we didn’t know if she’d survive - and I’m speaking very literally. God be praised, He sent her little Atlas. We were so scared, afraid of how the drama would play out. God used Atlas so powerfully. She got clean and sober and began the work of putting her life together. Now we once again have the incredible Deborah back. She is strong, stronger than we ever knew she could be, funny, a devoted mother, a student of the Bible, a leader, generous, empathetic beyond compare, and just generally a most delightful soul.
I’m so thankful she survived. My world would be radically less bright without her in it. Thank you, Jesus. Happy birthday to my darling Deborah.
As I meditate on the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary, I’m often struck by how each mystery has a strong current of humility. Everyone represented in the mysteries is humble. Mary, of course, is the humblest of souls. In her Magnificat she proclaims her low estate, her low degree, and her neediness. Elizabeth proclaims, “who am I that the mother of the Lord would visit me?”. Joseph accepts Mary even though he may have known he’d forever be in her shadow. Aged Simeon and Anna desire to see Israel’s Messiah even though they’re near death and probably won’t experience their nation’s improved status. The shepherds were among the lowest ranking in society, yet the heavenly host appeared to them, not to the religious or well-taught
One would be hard-pressed to find a saint who wasn’t humble. Pride and sainthood are mutually exclusive. They don’t reside together.
Mother Teresa said, “Humility is the mother of all virtue . . . It’s in being humble that our love becomes real, devoted and ardent. If you are humble, nothing will touch you, neither praise nor disgrace, because you know who you are. If you are blamed, you will not be discouraged. If they call you a saint, you will not put yourself on a pedestal.” She even had a “humility list” for her order, the Sisters of Charity:
- Speak as little as possible about yourself.
- Keep busy with your own affairs and not those of others.
- Avoid curiosity.
- Do not interfere in the affairs of others.
- Accept small irritations with good humor.
- Do not dwell on the faults of others.
- Accept censures even if unmerited.
- Give in to the will of others.
- Accept insults and injuries.
- Accept contempt, being forgotten and disregarded.
- Be courteous and delicate even when provoked by someone.
- Do not seek to be admired and loved.
- Do not protect yourself behind your own dignity.
- Give in, in discussions, even when you are right.
- Choose always the more difficult task.
That list drives home just how badly I need to grow in humility.
Consider Jesus: He chose to be born poor. He could have chosen to make Mary and Joseph wealthy prior to the annunciation, but he didn’t. He chose a humble earthly life. Jesus, “being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” Jesus “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
How do we humble ourselves?
Both Old and New Testaments are replete with encouragement to choose humility. Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord. …. “He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" “Humbles himself,”- it begs the question, how does one humble himself.
Sainthood can only grow in a humble person. Holiness and pride are diametrically opposed. To be holy as Jesus wants us to be, we need to choose acts of humility and graciously accept humiliations. Like a muscle, the more we practice humility by choosing acts of humility and accepting humiliations, the stronger our humility will become. But the paradox of humility is we will never know when we have it.
When I was a kid, my grandmother gave me a card that said, “Humility is the strange possession that you lose the moment you find out you’ve got it.” Like Jesus – who emptied himself – we can practice emptying ourselves. We can empty ourselves by embracing any item on Mother Teresa’s humility list. Practically, that could be saying, “Today I will speak as little about myself as possible.” Or, “Today when a slight is directed toward me, I won’t respond.” Or, “I’m not going to argue, even if I know I’m right.”
Ironically, sometimes it’s pride that drives the desire to get rid of pride. Really, when you think about it, aren’t the proudest people the hardest to be around? Isn’t it pride that says, “Who wants to be like him?” Pride is a tricky thing and it inserts itself into everything. We always need to be on our guard against it. While on this earth, we will have to battle pride. But to become who we were created to become, we must not abandon the fight.
**My dear son-in-law, Darian, was the first person I sponsored into the Catholic Church. He was the first in my family to see the Truth I saw. I wanted to help him along the way and started a book called, "Dear Darian." In it I wrote about things I was learning, especially things I was learning through praying the rosary, hoping it would help him on his journey too. Well, Darian's spiritual life was on steroids and my little essays didn't seem needed as he was reading much greater minds than mine. So, my "Dear Darian," has instead become blog posts.
 Philippians 2:6
 Matthew 23: 11-12
He is risen indeed. He is the great and glorious redeemer. He is the greatest joy and love in my life. He is not an imaginary friend. There are numerous historical proofs of his existence, that he was indeed crucified and rose from the dead. If I am wrong, what have I lost? If I am right and you view him as unimportant, you have lost the greatest blessing in this life and will gain an horrible afterlife. Please look into the historical proofs of his existence. He is a great source of love, joy and peace. Jesus, I trust in You.
Thirty-five years ago today a little bundle just over 8 ½ pounds gushed into my world. My life was changed forever. I was only 19 and had spent nine long months hating my life. Pregnancy was the last thing I wanted, and I was convinced I’d ruined my life. In early pregnancy the thought of an abortion comforted; I imagined it a solution. I received a poem from someone – who knew nothing of my situation – and one of the lines of the poem was “I want this day to bring good, not evil.” Somehow, even though I had a hard heart and a thorough hatred for my situation, that line spoke to me and I knew I couldn’t abort her. I still loathed my circumstances and spent the remainder of the pregnancy hoping for a miscarriage. When a miscarriage didn’t come, I hoped for a stillbirth. The darkness in my soul was profound and had I had the courage, I would have committed suicide. There was not a fiber in my being that wanted to be a mom.
Imagine my shock when they laid that squirming warm body on me and I was immediately head-over-hills in love. I still had more emotional issues than I could shake a stick at, but one thing was certain: I was madly in love. I had no words to articulate my thoughts, but I knew I wanted something better for Stephanie than I presently had to offer. I know now that those thoughts were a prayer. God took those thoughts – which I couldn’t even unravel into words – and drew me to Him. I didn’t have a clue how to start, but that’s when my journey to God began. Since that day 35 years ago, my journey with God has sustained me through everything. I’ve committed horrible, grievous sins, but God has never shaken me off. Journeying with Him is what gives my life meaning.
So today, when normally I’d want to wish my sweet baby Stephanie a simple Happy Birthday, I wanted to share something a little deeper. My crisis 35 years ago turned into the greatest watershed moment of my life. It turned into one of the greatest blessings and sources of joy in my life.
For those who have had an abortion, I do not judge you. I say everything I’m saying not to condemn those who’ve had abortions, but rather to extend hope to those who find themselves in that situation now or in the future. Because of Stephanie, the topic of abortion is personal. Where would I be without her? She changed the trajectory of my life. I cannot imagine this world without her; the good she’s done, the life she’s chosen, the lives she’s touched . . . My crisis passed and nobody had to die. If you find yourself in a crisis, please know, it will pass. It may be excruciatingly difficult, but no one needs to die. Choose life.
Happy birthday, my darling Stephanie. Thank you for letting me share a bit of our story. I love you.