My Miracle Baby is 12!

Please indulge me a bit as I get a little emotional: Tomorrow is Andrew’s 12th birthday! My heart is full as I think about life with him all these years. I keep telling him to stop growing up but he just won’t listen. :/

Andrew Certificate

This is Andrew when he was 5 years old.

Did I ever tell you the story about his birth? I was looking through some old posts but didn’t see anything, which is strange because I could have sworn I’ve written about it here.

You see, the doctors said Andrew wasn’t going to make it so “technically” Andrew shouldn’t be alive. Sometime (probably within 24 hours) before his birth, Andrew swallowed meconium (“baby waste”). Then, after laboring for 24 hours, I gave in and decided to get an epidural (I wanted to go natural). When I got it, Andrew’s heart plummeted and I had to have an emergency c-section.

As soon as he was out, he was whisked away to be worked on. I didn’t have my glasses on so I couldn’t see him; all I saw as a big blob. He was on 100% oxygen and the doctors said it didn’t look good. BUT, God had a plan. Michael got everyone he could think to pray. His best friend from college, who was also the best man at our wedding, had the prayer request added to the prayers of the faithful during Mass at Franciscan University.

So, obviously, he made it! In fact, he was able to come home from the hospital with me! Also, there were no residual effects from his trauma at all. He is smart, sometimes a smart alec!, funny, caring, and growing into a lovely young pre-teen. 🙂 I look at him now and I am amazed at God’s goodness.

Andrew when he started 6th grade this year.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t in God’s plan that we have another child and that sometimes makes me sad. I wish Andrew had a brother or sister to play with and grow up with; however, I am so grateful for Andrew. I can not image him not in my life – even on those days when I want to pull my hair out because he is having one of his tantrums! He is such a blessing and I can’t wait continue on his journey with him as he grows up to be a man. 🙂

Guest Post: Sitting with Jesus by Sr. Christina M. Neumann

(Editor’s Note: Please enjoy this lovely reflection by Franciscan Sister Christina.)

Sitting with Jesus

Image by geralt (2015) via Pixabay, CCO Public Domain

Last week, I was privileged to be able to attend a Eucharistic Holy Hour at the Catholic Newman Center on the local university campus.  It was a beautiful time, complimented by guitar and vocal music, which was very conducive to prayer.

After a crazy day (including working an unexpected night shift at our assisted living home), it was so nice for me to have this chance just to sit there with Jesus, led into prayer by the beautiful praise music.

Another great avenue (probably the best) for leading one into prayer is scripture.  I deeply treasure Christ’s Eucharistic presence, and finding Him present in His Word also is an important part of my prayer.

I most often use the scripture readings for Mass for the day, found in a missalette (and often in church bulletins).

Although ‘just sitting with Jesus’ is a beautiful thing, as weak humans, we usually need some help to get started in our prayer.  Putting oneself into a scripture (I often prefer the gospels) passage is a great place to start.  I’ve been using a simple format for scriptural mediation since my college years, and I’d like to share it with you here.

I prefer to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, but even if that’s not possible for you, I’d suggest the following steps for meeting Him personally in His Word.

 Praying with the Scriptures

Preparation

Pick out a Scripture passage (the gospel of the day is a good choice)

Pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance, to open your heart.  It is difficult to launch into prayer from the midst of a flurry of distracting occupations so take a minute – call to mind that Jesus is with you (in the Blessed Sacrament/in your heart).

Reading

Read a small section of scripture that you’ve chosen slowly and prayerfully.

 Consider

Who is pictured here? What are they doing? What does it mean to me? How do they feel/what would it be like?

Imagine what it would be like to be there.  What would you do?  How would you feel?

Conversation:  Begin to talk slowly to Christ, telling Him of your love for Him, your desire to serve Him, your willingness to do anything for Him. Adore Christ in the scene of the day’s meditation; express your love for Him; thank Him for past gifts; ask Him for new favors in the future;

When the conversation begins to falter, return briefly to the reading to get new thoughts for additional conversation with Christ.

Conclusion

This is entirely optional; but it may be of great value in making progress in prayer.  Thank God for the graces received during the time of prayer now coming to a conclusion.  Then, very briefly, one might examine failings during the period, and resolve to get rid of these in the future.  This determination to hold better conversation with Christ gives a strong determination to make further strides along the road of prayer.

Bio

Sr. Christina works at St. Anne’s Guest Home, a care facility for elderly and disabled persons in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Along with her regular duties there, she also runs a blog for her religious community of Franciscan Sisters of Dillingen and one for St. Anne’s as well. You are welcome to check out the St. Anne’s Scoop and Our Franciscan Fiat.

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