Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Thanks for all of your prayers!

Tess is about the same. Mom and Dad are doing much better stress wise, however. My older kids are coming home from grandma and grandpa's house tonight. Yeah!

I'm getting ready to do my commute into the city to visit Tess this morning. I told my husband today that the Children's Hospital Metro Stop is actually the same stop as Catholic University. "When I walked by Catholic U yesterday, I thought 'how much I'd rather be studying this stuff in a safe school room rather than living it!"

My husband laughed! I'm sure God is laughing with me too!

A little encouragement from Carmelite martyr Edith Stein. I love this saint so much. She was a bookworm scholar who was in the middle of writing the MOST beautiful explanation of St. John of the Cross' position on suffering. In the midst of her last revisions to the text, the SS tore her out of her Carmelite convent and sent her to Auschwitz for the crime of being born a Jew. I sort of picture St. John of the Cross saying from heaven "Excellent insights! Now go live it out!"

Here's an description of her last week on earth.

"Arrested on August 2, 1942, by the SS, she died one week later not very far from her home city of Breslau in the Auschwitz extermination camp. In that last week of her life she passed through the infernal network of Hilter's "final solution". She saw two intermediate transit camps in Holland, first Amersfoort, and then Westerbork. Others who had passed through Westerbork have described the deep sense of despair that overcame women in the camp. Understandably, the children were neglected, and an eyewitness account shows that Edith Stein did much to look after them. As Julius Marcan, a survivor, testified "It was Edith Stein's complete calm and self-possession that marked her out from the rest of the prisioners. Many of the mothers were on the brink of insanity and had sat moaning for days, without giving any thought to their children. Edith Stein immediately set about taking care of these little ones. She washed them, combed their hair and tired to make sure they were fed and cared for."

From Westerbork, Edith was able to send back a compelling message to the nuns at her monastery in Echt: "We place our trust in your prayers. There are so many persons here in need of a little comfort, and they expected it from the sisters."

She had only herself to give: her attentiveness, the time she took away from her own worries, and her sense of religious hope. She gave all that she had, because she was fully present with and to others, and she was willing to do as much as she could to share their burden of suffering so as to lighten the load. She acted as a compassionate sister to the suffering, to "be of some help to them."
(Carmel Clarion, March 2010, pg 8).

This last passage really helped me focus on my time with my daughter in the NICU. There is so much that I can't do for her. I can't feed her. I can't sleep next to her. I can't take her home. Yet, love is still a powerful force for good and healing in the NICU. I can give my daughter my "attentiveness, time from my own worries, and my sense of religious hope."

Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, please pray for us.


5 comments:

tara said...

Hi, Abigail! I'm new to your blog over the last few weeks. I wanted to say thank you for sharing your insights, especially taking time to put them in words for us when you have so much else on your plate. My prayers are with you and baby Tess! I hope she has a great day today with lots of improvement.

Hope T. said...

Beautiful post. The part about love and healing being a powerful force is
one I will be thinking about for a long time. You are able to write so thoughtfully, even while undergoing this terribly dark time.

Gardenia said...

Dear Abigail, I just found your blog, referred here by Betty Beguiles. I read your posts all the way back to the date of your lovely daughter's birth. Little Tess is being held in God's own hand, and prayed over by St. Teresa of Avila, you can be sure. and now, I'm praying for her (and you and Jon) too! you are blessed to understand your suffering is the gift of the Cross. so many of us aren't faithful enough to see our crosses as gifts. God bless you and your baby.

Heidi said...

Very insightful post. I'll be thinking about it for awhile. Thanks and continued prayers for Tess and your family.

Leila @ Little Catholic Bubble said...

What a stunningly beautiful post. Thank you.

(We love Edith Stein here, as my husband is a Jewish convert.)