Friday, December 31, 2010

Turning Into Sporty Spice

Today has continued to be a great day! Jon had some kind of knock from the Holy Spirit because after five years of yearning, he finally got us a family membership to this fantastic Sport and Health club that is across the street. (We were shocked to discover that because of the bad economy the price of a gym membership is now 1/3 the price from just 2 years ago.)

This place is nuts! The gym has an indoor pool, basketball court, racket ball courts, tons of free aerobic classes and three levels of exercise equipment.

The coolest part is that this gym offers us free babysitting for up to 2 1/2 hours every SINGLE day for all four of my children.

Which means, not only do I have an easy way to lose my remaining 32 pounds of baby weight- 2011 will also bring me Friday night date nights in a Jacuzzi with my HUSBAND!

Who lives like this?

Not two poor Carmelites!

I'm constantly amazed by the generosity of God. Thursday, when I took care of 4 kids alone while suffering from the stomach flu, I was ready to hand in my notice as a stay-at-home mother. Yet today was a fantastic day.

I'm also amazed at "how" God asks you to live. It's really clear that Jon and I are not supposed to own a car or a house right now. At the same time, I've got a new glittery diamond on my finger and a new gym membership key card in my purse.

Jon and I were talking today about "living large" Jesus style.

You give everything up in your life. You follow Him. Then you get a measure back, overflowing.

It's so beautiful. God WANTS my marriages to be strong. He wants me to have time alone with my spouse to reconnect everyday. He wants my body to be in shape so I can haul Baby Tess around without hurting my back and maybe even grow a new Benjamin sometime in the future. God wants my active city kids who live without a backyard in an apartment the size of a postage stamp to have daily physical activity each day.

It's amazing. God loves my family even more than me!

(One more funny note: We cased a massive commotion with all the single people staring at our giant family of 6 at the gym. I don't usually visit environments with large numbers of commit-phobic boys anymore, so it was funny to count how many men were scraping their jaws off the floor in shock and awe. Everyone was freaked out by the size of our family, except for Dustin our member services person. Dustin even asked when we were having one more baby to help even out the brother/sister ratio. In the middle of a business transaction my husband said "Is that a rosary tattooed on your arm?" Dustin said "It is!" My husband gave me a big smile. Our Blessed Mother was on the case yet again.)

Loving Your Family First

Conversion Diary Jen called me today to wish me a Happy Birthday. She asked me about my Christmas. I said going to church on Christmas Eve was reverent and beautiful.

But by 10 AM on Christmas morning I was in tears because the day was so crummy. The kids got too many presents from their grandparents. They became agitated, started fighting with one another, and demanded immediate assistance to assemble all their barrage of gifts. I mediated fights between my father and my brother over differing film criticism of "Lawrence of Arabia". All I wanted to do was take my sweet future nun back to church on Christmas but that became impossible because it didn't fit the agenda of the day.

So I didn't go to church. I didn't feed a hot Christmas dinner to the homeless. I didn't sing Christmas carols to the elderly in my late grandfather's nursing home. I didn't pray my Daily Office.

Jen agreed that when you celebrate Christmas day with family that are not really practicing Christians, you need to make sacrifices. The day is more materialistic than you'd like. It's a day more about penance rather ran "refreshment in the Spirit."

During my Christmas morning whine about missing church and missing serving the poor with Jesus, I felt him laughing at me. "Forget about spending long hours in prayer in front of the manger scene, this is how I want you to spend my day--being extra unselfish." He sort of told me in my heart that I can't go out and spread love to strangers on Christmas Day until my own extended family is fully saturated with the love of Christ. Otherwise helping the homeless is a selfish means of escaping on Christmas Day rather than a true act of charity.

So after the sun went down on Christmas Day, I turned off the replay of the Papal Mass on EWTN that I'd longed to see all day and instead, accompanied my siblings and my children and my husband to see the movie Tron. (Bad sci-fi is real penance!) I think my heart made the right call.

Happy 36th Birthday To Me!

 
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I'm over the stomach flu. Miss Tess and my husband have so far been spared. Yesterday, Miss Tess also decided after 3 MONTHS of me begging to refuse eat formula and prefer to nurse. Of course, this happens that exact day that I'm dying from the stomach flu. My husband kept telling me "I'm so sorry to do this to you, but she won't eat from the bottle." Ironic timing is everything.

For my birthday present my boy bought me a new (real) wedding ring set! It is SO pretty! On Dec 31, 1999, I prayed to our Blessed Mother to let me help her bring more peace into the world. Rather than send me off to join the UN as I intended, she send me a lonely, sweet boy to love. Nine and 1/2 years of marriage and one NICU stay later-- I'm so much more in love with him then when we started.

 
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

It's My Party . . . .

and I'll pick up yucky towels if I want to!

Stomach flu hit the Benjamin house at 1 AM this morning. So far 3 kids are down. I'm waiting for the joy to hit me. (My one prayer right now is "Please don't make Tess have to go to the Emergency Room.)

Tomorrow is my 36th Birthday.

I've already canceled my fun Kings Day Party on Sunday. I don't think my fun pilgrimage plans are going to happen tomorrow.

It will be a birthday party to make Mother Teresa proud (i.e. Forgetting of Self and Service to Others). Won't you leave your prayer intentions in my comment box so I can at least feel socially connected to the wider world on my big day?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Because I'm to lazy to do my own internet research. . . .

I need advice about finding a new wedding ring online. I'm one of those girls whose ring size goes up and down a ridiculous amount while she's breastfeeding. For example, last week I got sized at Kay's at at 6 3/4. Tonight, I was a 8 1/2.

My original wedding ring and engagement ring are a size 5. They are out of the picture, so I don't have a sentimental attachment to any wedding jewelry.

I have a nice diamond wedding band that is a size 6. It will cost about $80 to size it. Because I'm secretly hoping that Tess isn't my last baby, I'd like to hold off on changing my "good" band until menopause.

So that leaves me entering in the world of finding a cheap wedding band, that doesn't look cheap. Any advice?

I'm totally fine with cubic zirconia.

I need a real metal in the ring, however, either sterling silver or white gold.(I did the $8 costume jewelery thing over Christmas and my ring finger turned brown).

My husband wants a big, fake "bling" ring set. I think that having a huge ring--even if it's fake--looks a little ridiculous on a poor Carmelite. A compromise is something in the middle.

If worse comes to worse I can get a 2 mm white gold ring at Kay's for $60.00. It's an okay solution, but worn solo the thin band looks a little ridiculously small on my finger. I'm hoping to find a much more dignified solution at or around $100 online.

I also don't know what size ring to get. Jon also suggested finding 2 cheap silver rings at size 7 and a size 9 that I can trade off during the day. We went to Kohl's tonight but didn't see anything special.

Anyone have any solutions or suggestions?

(Thanks for helping Jon select my birthday present!)


Hmmm. . . thinking now about this option A or option B. What's a normal carat size that doesn't look laughably fake?
 
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Holy Family Homily

This is a beautiful homily from my Carmelite friend, Father Dan, on how we can use St. Joseph as a model to "protect our families from danger".

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I'm about to leave for Christmas Eve Mass! Merry Christmas everyone! You all will be in my prayers!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

When I Count My Blessings . . . .

 
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. . . .during this Holy Advent. . .
 
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I count you twice, Miss Tess!
 
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Proof that life with four is easy!

 
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I did not have happy, live-in babysitters for any of my first 3 babies!

A Dramatic NICU Success Story

We're doing the happy dance at our house tonight. Baby James is the son of a blogger buddy who ended up in the NICU at the same time as Baby Tess. After his birth, little James went 61 minutes without a heartbeat. His Mama recently got back his latest MRI results and at 3 months old, his brain has completely HEALED!

Prayer works! We give thanks to God, the future Saint Fulton Sheen, the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff of the NICU and for Catholic Mamas like Bonnie who somehow keep going in faith when all signs look bleak.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Social Network Christmas



Ht: Father Dan G.

A Special Prayer Request

Sarah, a reader of this blog from the United Kingdom, is scheduled to have an emergency c-section on Christmas Day. Because her baby is only at 35 weeks gestation, Mama is understandably nervous about her baby facing a long stint in the NICU.

Can you all show her some love?

Please leave some prayers and encouraging words in my comments section for Sarah to read. Thank you!

Christmas Card Update

As of tonight, 70 out of our 80 Christmas Cards, have been mailed.

I've still got all the Sisters (nuns) to mail out. It's so ironic because my desire to chat with all the Sisters about the miracle of Baby Tess is what drove the whole Christmas card project in the first place. But it's all good!

I wanted to shout out to my friend, Conversion Diary Jen, (who is so together she sends photos of 4 smiling children AND a newsletter AND a personal note before the end of Christmas) that I took her idea of free 250 business cards from Vista print and ran with it this year.

I made the cutest "spiritual bouquet" cards for my family. There is a flower on the logo and it says "Jon and Abigail will pray for you". In the contact listing we wrote out slots for our different prayers. Now I can simply list off the number of Divine Mercy Chaplets, Rosaries, etc. that I will do for a person and put the a tangible sign of our prayers inside our Christmas card. So great for all of priests and religious friends.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Another Cute Photo

 

She is just so smilely! (And very, very bald! :-)
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Friday, December 17, 2010

Tess

 

Tess at 3 months, wearing her special pin from the Poor Clares
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A Work in Progress

The home school assignment was to draw a picture of an Inuit Igloo so that I can check off my Social Studies obligation to teach the concept that "Native People use different materials from their environment to build shelters."

My oldest daughter, Hannah, obediently starts the assignment at once.

"You can't see my drawing until I'm finished!" Alex pouts.

"Okay," I say.

After 10 minutes of great secrecy, Alex hands me a stunning example of portraiture. "What is this?" I ask.

"It's a picture of Tess!"

"That's a great drawing!," I say telling the complete truth. "We'll save that one for our Art section. Now we've got to do our Social Studies project now, honey, so Mommy has something to show your teacher."

More secrecy, more furious scribbling.

A second drawing is passed my way. There is a teeny tiny igloo in the center of a circle, a dark bridge crossing the circle with wavy lines (which I optimistically assume to be the frozen Arctic waters above). On the top is a pattern of strange circle patterns between vertical hatch marks.

"Interesting depiction, Alex! What are these?" I say, pointing to the weird pattern. "Is it Inuit carvings on walrus tusks!" I say enthusiastically.

"NO!" Alex answers. "That's the NOT sign."



That paper says how much I'm NOT going to do my igloo homework.

I counted up 18 NOT signs from my illiterate first grader and started howling with laughter.

Yeah, If anyone asks me in the future WHY I'm homeschooling, I'm showing them Alex's igloo drawing and saying "its because I still have too much pity for any teacher who'd have to pull work assignments out of my smart son."

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Am Not A Superhero . . .

On this day,

I failed at sugar cookie baking,

and potty training,

and at encouraging a fragile reader to persevere through the entire length of Green Eggs & Ham,

and at getting a newborn to stay asleep.

When the Devil starts biting at my Achilles tendon,
whispering in his deep throated growl that each of my failures will have devastating life-long consequences for my children,
it's time for me to tell that Devil to "TAKE A HIKE!"

No, this is not the life I planned. . .

. . . . In fact, this whole enterprise was NEVER my idea.

In the wise words of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, however, "God never asked me to be successful. God asked me to be faithful."

I am content to go on "faithfully failing" at motherhood for as long as Our Blessed Mother decides to board her own dear children at my house.

Calling all bakers!

I need tutoring in how to make sugar cookies. I usually have trouble rolling the cookies out. Today I took the precaution of using store bought dough, but I still failed. My first attempt to make icing from scratch also ended with hard colored lumps that were impossible to spread. Advice? Fool-proof recipes?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy St. John of the Cross Feast Day

Yahoo! Big Feast Day for the Carmelites today. Our special buddy St. John of the Cross! St. John helped found the reformed branch of the Carmelite Order. He sort of the go to it guy for finding spiritual joy in the midst of great suffering.

For example he wrote this luminous poem while locked up in a putrid jail, living on a starvation diet and getting beaten regularly by his former friends. (Oh, St. John of the Cross, pray for me! I'm not so good at the experiencing "pure joy" while suffering yet.)

The Dark Night of the Soul
St John Of the Cross

On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings--oh, happy chance!--
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.

In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised--oh, happy chance!--
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.

In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
heart.

This light guided me
More surely than the light of noonday
To the place where he (well I knew who!) was awaiting me--
A place where none appeared.

Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!

Upon my flowery breast,
Kept wholly for himself alone,
There he stayed sleeping, and I caressed him,
And the fanning of the cedars made a breeze.

The breeze blew from the turret
As I parted his locks;
With his gentle hand he wounded my neck
And caused all my senses to be suspended.

I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

More posts on St. John of the Cross and his beautiful Statue in the National Gallery.

VIP Catholic Addresses

When you are sending out Christmas Cards this year, don't forget to include priests and religious! They LIVE for Christmas cards from happy families. (Plus, you can send them super late since Catholics celebrate all 12 days of the Feast of Christmas).

Send a card with a note about your gift of prayers to your parish priests, any Sisters or Brothers remotely connected to your life, your Bishop and the Holy Father.

Here's an address for the Pope which will only cost a regular US stamp. (AND you'll get a smiling Pope photo mailed back to you!)

Apostolic Nunciature the Holy See
3339 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20008

Our National Shrine for the entire USA (if you make a small donation you get a lifetime of awesome free gifts in the mail)

Msgr. Rossi
Basilica of National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
400 Michigan Ave
Washington, D.C. 20017

(I sent Msgr. Rossi a note expressing how grateful I was to see reassuring sight of the Basilica from my sick Bunny's NICU room, AND he wrote me a personal note back! I have it saved in Tessy's Baby Book.)

EVERYONE should have a couple of Sisters on their Christmas card list. These Sisters delight in children and they will pray hard for your family in 2011. You can steal some of mine if you need some.

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
Our Lady of Blessed Sacrament Monastery
3900 13 St. NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
(these are the reason that our government is still standing- these nuns pray for our leaders day and night in front of the Blessed Sacrament).

Little Sisters of the Poor
4200 Harewood Rd NE
Washington, D.C. 20017
(these sisters care for poor senior citizens for free)

Missionaries of Charity (Mother Teresa's Order)
3310 Wheeler Rd SE
Washington, D.C. 20032

Carmel of Port Tobacco (the ORIGINAL Carmel convent for the entire United States)
5678 Mount Carmel Rd
La Plata, MD 20646

Monday, December 13, 2010

First Batch of Christmas Cards Mailed Today

.... feeling sort of groovy that at least some of my relatives will get a Christmas greeting BEFORE Advent ends. Not bad for the Mama of a newborn with a bad cold!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Miracle - Matisyahu Hanukkah Song


Please listen to this amazing contemplative song by Hasidic rapper Matisyahu. I love the lyrics: "Bound to stumble and fall,
but my strength comes from not Man at all.
Do you believe in Miracles? Am I hearing you? Am I seeing you?"

When I first introduced this find to Mr. Benjamin, I said "this guy has an intense prayer life!" Now all my kids have memorized this song. The perfect pick-me-up to a rough Advent week.

(If you're up for the symbolic "Miracle on Ice" of pagan Greeks vs hardy Macabees you can watch the real video here.)

Keep Saying Yes to God!

Nursing Baby Tess is suddenly not going well. Somehow we slid into the pattern of mostly formula and very little breast milk going into my kid. I'm trying to stay calm. One of the soothing things I tell myself about this post- NICU hiccup is "maybe this is God's way of getting me pregnant again sooner rather than later." I'm all happy with that thought when it's daylight and I'm smiling at my sweet baby's face.

Then it turns 3 AM and I suddenly start thinking "What if God DOES send me another baby soon!"

I start to freak out.

I'm really shaken up after the whole NICU experience.

I want another baby. I'm so in love with each of these unique gems that Mr. Benjamin and I produce. I'm finally unafraid of having another c-section. Or even another miscarriage. Yet, I'm terrified of finding myself back in the NICU.

Being in the NICU made us realize that our cross with Baby Tess was teeny-tiny. We came face to face with babies with serious conditions that made them stuck in the NICU for months upon months. I seriously had no idea that so many things could go wrong with a little baby's body.

So it is really scary to think of climbing on the roller coaster again and having no idea where you'll end up.

I keep trying to fight this panic though, because I know it's not Holy. It's not "of God." The lessons from the NICU should be an increased trust in God. A renewed appreciation for being "the apple of God's eye." After all, the only thing we are supposed to fear is sin. And sickness isn't sin.

I keep coming back to this surprising discovery that saying YES to life is harder the more kids that you have, instead of being easier. As you go along on life's journey, you know more kids who got sick. You've experienced more close calls. There's this tendency to hold yourself back from future hurt and say "Well, so far so good. Let's just get off this fertility roller coaster with 5 kids at age 35 rather than risk anymore heartache by going further."

Somehow that makes saying yes to baby number six-- even more beautiful.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Feast of the Immaculate Conception!

Mom, I love you!

St. Bernadette, pray for us!

(Father Gary wanted me to remind everyone that today is a Holy Day of Obligation-- which means that all Catholics need to get themselves over to Mass today to say "I Love You" to Our Blessed Mother in person.)

Candlelight - The Maccabeats - Hanukkah



A little Hanukkah education brought to you by your friend, Abigail, the Catholic with the Jewish last name. Isn't this song great? I'm so waiting for the Catholic Mens Acappella Group with a similar style!

ht: Father Dan G.

Monday, December 6, 2010

That Ruddy Bee!

So thanks to my three year old Mimi, who I'm quickly discovering is a tiara wearing--rope touting- outdoor survivorist, we've been watching a lot of BBC's "Man vs Wild" at our house.

Bear Grylls is a former British Special Ops Force guy who runs around the world showing us couch potatoes how to survive in dangerous environments around the globe.

There is this great scene where Bear faces death from "a ruddy bee." In past episodes Bear has killed alligators and diamond backed rattlesnakes. His greatest risk to his life comes from a single bee sting to his forehead in the middle of the Sierra Nevada desert.

The single bee sting causes his face to swell, leaving him almost completely blind. The wretched looking guy is forced to continue to fight down rattlesnakes, dehydration and possible anaphylactic shock.

Bear makes this great comment "It's ironic that after all the dangerous animals I've faced, I'm in the most danger of death from a ruddy bee!"

It's a rough Advent in the Benjamin household. We're facing some minor trials that aren't a PICC line in the heart, but seem to keep coming in waves and are wearing us down.

Today I kept thinking about all the "Ruddy Bees" in my life. This Fall my family got through the big tests of Faith with Baby Tessy's life threatening illness. Yet, here I am losing it over the more minor trials my life.

My trust in Jesus is a moth eaten cloth with so many holes in it. I find it easier to trust Jesus with the big stuff (what else are you going to do but pray and trust in the NICU?) but I continue to fight trusting him with the smaller stuff.

This Advent there is a lot more deadwood that needs to be hauled out from the inside of my heart.

St. Nicholas, pray for me!

St. Nicholas- I love you! (Skylar's Big Adventure)



Thanks for bringing this little sweetheart home to her Mama! Please watch over all of the dear babies at Children's National Hospital this Christmas.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Math & Thiebaud

I love this painter! His work makes me feel so happy!

Maria checked out a new counting book based on Thiebaud paintings from the library that is delicious! Learning how to count to ten was never more fun.

Here's a link to fraction homework for an older kid.

Can you believe the National Gallery of Art has math homework available online?

==

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Teamwork

Our lunch hour today was super rough. My bunny rabbit refused to sleep last night. I woke up so far behind the rushing train that is my family life that by 12:30 PM I still hadn't found the 50 seconds that I needed to put contacts in my eyes.

My husband came home for lunch. He parked a bicycle with a flat tire in the middle of our kitchen hallway.

If you've ever attempted to keep 3 curious children away from a wet, greasy piece of machinery then you can anticipate what type of chaos followed.

My kids managed to jam six pairs of hands into a dirty bicycle chain at once.

I lost my calm.

My husband lost his peace.

Three children started defending the concept of an "attractive nuisance" at the same time.

I hollered for six legs to get into six snow boots at once. My husband said "You guys don't really need to leave the house."

"Yes, we do!" I answered.

At that exact moment a wedding present, which we had nicknamed our "Carmel vase," shattered to pieces on our kitchen floor.

My husband came out and very firmly told me "We are not going to do this anymore! We are all going to stop fighting right now and start praying."

The wimpy Carmelite that I am, I sorted doubted that family prayer at that moment would work.

It did.

We prayed. We flung holy water around. My husband set the table while holding a sleeping baby and made sure that I ate actual food for the first time in 18 hours. Within 15 minutes, the storm clouds had cleared.

Now that everyone is asleep, I'm reflecting on how much of today's lunch hour demonstrates the amazing power of a 10 year marriage.

My husband and I are good teammates. The Lord has made us such. We still fuss and fret. We're normal people subject to the same stress as other people- we have lots of kids and little time and even less money. Yet we somehow had this amazing gift of faith just handed to us on our wedding day.

And because we are both Catholics, because we are two Carmelites, in the middle of a total family meltdown, my husband can just say "We're not doing this anymore! Lets all stop and pray!" and WE ALL LISTEN TO HIM!

This is so NOT how I imagined living out my life when I first got married at 26! But now that I'm an elderly 35, I find it pretty cool.

(Way to divorce-proof my marriage, Mommy Mary! I'm totally pathetic, so all the grace I've got in life is totally from you!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Meet the Saints- St. Edmund Campion

Today is the feast day of one of my most favorite saints, St. Edmund Campion!

Imagine for a second that Catholicism is suddenly outlawed in Mexico. All the priests are arrested. All the nuns sent home and their convents turned into public parks and public schools. Overnight, it become illegal to attend Mass, to go to Confession or to baptize your child. What would you do?

Under King Henry VIII, that same situation happened to England. England use to be as Catholic as it's neighbor Ireland. (Remember St. Patrick was a Brit who actually converted the Irish Celts.) There were many, many famous English martyrs. Many devote Catholics in the land. Even King Henry himself got the title "defender of the Faith" from the Pope.

The serpent bit King Henry through the sin of adultery and world turned upside down for English Catholics. After years of bloody struggle, the Catholic faith was surpressed.

Enter St. Edmund Campion!

Edmund's family converted to Protestantism early, and he was raised as an Angelican Catholic. He had a brilliant career at Oxford. He was the darling student who was chosen to give a special welcome speech to King Henry's daughter, Queen Elizabeth I. She was amazed at his intelligence, charm and good looks. She told Edmund he could name his cabinet post in her church and her government.

But Edmund had a problem.

The more he studied the roots of English Protestantism, the more his soul became troubled. The more he studied the great Catholic doctors of the Church, the more he felt that the Roman Catholic Church of Rome was the true church of Christ.

What to do?

He consulted the best theological minds at Oxford. He asked one of his friends, "How can you be an expert in St. Ambrose and St. Augustine and still be an Anglican priest?" The friend answered "If I believed in these saints as well as I read them, I would indeed be in trouble. But since I don't, I'm fine!"

St. Edmund was not fine. He left Oxford. He left England. He handed his soul over to God and became a Jesuit priest. He was trained in special seminary overseas designed to train priests to help reconvert England to the Catholic faith.

After receiving Holy Orders, St. Edmund at once raced back to his homeland. His heart bleed for the Catholics who were suffering terrible pains of conscious under an oppressive ruler and who had no one to guide them. St. Edmund went from house to house in secrecy. He heard confession for hours. He soothed the fears of the few elderly priests who were still locked in jail. He celebrated Mass, baptized babies and regularized marriages.

He saved souls.

St. Edmund knew that he risked death. He demonstrated heroic courage. He wrote "a brag" to tell the Queen exactly why he was coming to England, not to have a political revolution, but a peaceful, moral revolution of the heart. He even said he hoped to convert his Queen's heart as well.

He truly loved his enemies. He says "If these my offers be refused, and my endeavours can take no place, and I, having run thousands of miles to do you good, shall be rewarded with rigour. I have no more to say but to recommend your case and mine to Almighty God, the Searcher of Hearts, who send us his grace, and see us at accord before the day of payment, to the end we may at last be friends in heaven, when all injuries shall be forgotten."

(Read his entire brag, it will make you cry!)

Queen Elizabeth was not pleased. After 2 years, St. Edmund was found. He was sentenced to death. As St. Edmund was being pulled to his execution spot, he saw one single statue of the Virgin Mary that the Protestants had not smashed to bits. He saluted Our Mother as he passed.

On December 1, 1581, St. Edmund was hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn, London, England and parts of his body were displayed at the city gates as a warning to other Catholics.

St. Edmund Campion, pray for us!

(For more information on this wonderful saint I highly recommend reading Eveyln Waugh's biography entitled Edmund Campion).