Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Language of Love

Today we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes! We also celebrate World Day of the Sick ... and in a couple of days Valentine's Day. It has been awhile since I last wrote and today is a good day to write for several reasons. As we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes, I recall my own wonderful pilgrimage to the Shrine in Lourdes, France in the 80's with my Mom and my younger sister - it was a very special trip with many beautiful memories! Since today is also World Day of the Sick, I also want to remember and continue to pray for all the people in Haiti who are still suffering so from the earthquake. Many people in Haiti and other parts of our world need our loving God's healing care right now in their lives! May Our Lady of Lourdes intercede on their behalf. This morning I was looking though a booklet that I bought when I was at Lourdes. A line that I read as I glanced though the pages stuck out to me the context of the place, the faith, the welcome to all people, the respect in silence and the kindness that is so present there I read,"This language of love is used habitually between pilgrims from all over the world. It is a language spoken without words."

Last night on CNN, Anderson Cooper was reporting from Port-Au-Prince and was telling of all the individuals who are still working so tirelessly to help the people, care for the orphans and some who are working none stop to help recover bodies under the rubble so that they may be buried with dignity - the "language of love"! (see stories @ this is where I stayed during my two trips to Haiti, and ) Today in the Gospel reading at Mass I heard the story of the Wedding Feast of Cana (John 2:1-11) ~ Mary asking Jesus to change the water into wine - the "language of love" with her concern for the wedding party. So whether it is in Haiti, or at a wedding feast, in your neighborhood to a lost stranger, listening to an upset loved one, or a kindness to a homeless person, it is the language of love that will make the greatest difference in our world!

I want and need to pay tribute as well to the one who taught me the language of love in my life ~ my wonderful mother, Ruth, whom my family and I buried this past week. Mom died on January 26th and even at the grand age of 96 my Mom was still a person who reached out to others - always wanting to offer a visitor coffee, candy, or a cookie even when she really couldn't get up to serve it any more, who paid attention to the stories and activities of others, who loved unconditionally and had a deep faith in God. With eight children, my Mom always seemed to make things work for us kids and made many sacrifices to give us a good home and education. Mom was a nurse by training and was always watching out for the health needs of those around her, offering a compassionate hand of healing whenever it was needed! We celebrated her life on Friday, Feb.5th. There is so much I could say ... but mostly I am grateful for the gift of her in my life, and for the example of the good and loving person/mother that she was to me and so many others! Mom, you were my first Valentine and you always will be in my heart! Deo Gratias!