"Joy Battista" stands for the Joy of John the Baptist at the presence of Christ.
"And how have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, the moment that the sound of thy greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leapt for joy." Luke 1:43-44
This blog is dedicated to all who seek the Joy of Christ's presence in their own lives.
This blog is also dedicated to the unborn, for John the Baptist was an unborn when he leapt for joy at the presence of Jesus who was also unborn at the time.
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Strong Faithful Women
I was taking pictures of my mom yesterday. The above is a shot that I took of her in a 3' by 4' black and white portrait that hangs in my family room. I don't have the original, which was taken by my aunt Jean (God Bless You Jean!), but it is my favorite photo of my mother and to post it I took pictures of the portrait on my wall. Because of my poor skills at using a camera the quality is lacking here on my blog but it really does look like a piece of art which graces my home. It is an accurate portrayal of her warm loving spirit.
Mom passed away suddenly on January 12, 1998. I can’t believe I have been without her for 13 years now. Though I am without her in flesh her spirit lives on and she feels very near!
Mom was 51 years old when she died of complications from the Epstein-Barr Virus which was found in her autopsy. EPV is common and often causes mono. She had been ill with what we believed was the common flu for about a week and a half before she passed. On the weekend she died she started having breathing problems due to a weakened heart. My dad took her to the emergency room on a Saturday morning and by Monday morning at 3:00am she was gone. We were told that the virus attacked her heart causing a condition called myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) which became fatal for her.
Mom was such a strong woman. People were shocked at her death because she was so strong. But her strength came from her spirit. Her strong faith was her gift to her family. I am convinced she is a beloved of God because she loved God first and foremost all the way to the end of her life. In fact her final words were a song of prayer. She had tubes down her throat and could not speak but the last time I saw her conscious she was surrounded by family and friends who sang to her. She didn’t have a voice but she could move her lips and she followed along as the Doxology was sung, it goes:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
Praise God all creatures here below.
Praise God from whom all heavenly hosts.
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen
Mom was known to sing this song often, especially towards the end of her life. I remember vividly singing it with her one day when I was over at her house and trying to rock Michaela to sleep. Mom belonged to a group of women she called her Cursillo sisters. They were on fire for Christ and would live their faith very outwardly. She had always wanted to go into a restaurant with her Cursillo sisters and stand up and sing this song for all the patrons. She indeed did it before she died!
I could go on and on about my mother but I don't have time for that and you don't either but here are the qualities I admired most about her that I hope I can carry forward in my own life: Faithful to God the Father, fool for Christ, full of the Holy Spirit, undying love for family, strong work ethic, champion of the Church, loyal friend, fun loving personality, giving, joyful, generous, curious, prayer warrior to the end.
I know I have a long way to go…. God Bless You Mom!
Today is also the feast of St. Marguerite Bourgeoys and it struck me that what Pope John Paul II said about her in the final sentence of the following paragraph is what I think can also be applied to my mom!
In his homily at her canonization, Pope John Paul II said, “...in particular, she [Marguerite] contributed to building up that new country [Canada], realizing the determining role of women, and she diligently strove toward their formation in a deeply Christian spirit.” He noted that she watched over her students with affection and confidence “in order to prepare them to become wives and worthy mothers, Christians, cultured, hardworking, radiant mothers.”
Though my mother wasn't a school teacher she was a teacher to my sister and I and she was a good wife, worthy mother, hardworking and radiant and a great example to all women whom she came into contact. I know she is not a canonized Saint like St. Marguerite. But we all know people who have died like her, people who lead lives worthy of Heaven. Mom in my mind is one of those!
It is so wonderful to have such great examples of strong faithful women to emulate!
Mom and St. Marguerite, Pray for Us.