Katie has just gone in for surgery to repair her bowel block. This should be a relatively minor surgery and will enable her to eat food and start getting her nutrition back. Please pray for the wisdom and skill of her surgeons and surgical team.
She wrote this last night and wanted me to share it with you while she is in surgery.
There is a lot that has gone “wrong” on this road. I won't go into details, but the fact of the matter is, I have a very aggressive cancer and at this point in the juncture we don’t know what treatment options look like (for a lot of reasons that I won’t bore you with on here, but some really cool science stuff).
As David and I were talking tonight, I was telling him about something that came to mind in prayer - that I am nothing.
Katie, whachoo talkin? Those IV drugs doing strange things to your brain. Lemmee asplain.
In the past I have read works from the saints where they mention that they are “nothing,” “dirt,” as Fr. Margil said “la misma nada.” If I weren’t in the hospital tonight, I would be searching through all of my saint books at home to come up with accurate quotes, but believe me, it’s a thing. I never understood where they were coming from. I always though 'Wow - that’s humility taken too far.' God made you. You aren’t “nothing.” You are His greatest creation. Get off of the ground, you great creation, you.
I am now beginning to understand it. In this life, all that matters is what brings God glory. Read that again. That’s it sisters and brothers.
For members of a religious order, your rule is very clearly spelled out, and living by that rule is for the purpose of glorifying God. As a member of the religious, you tend to have less attachments. They include: what you eat for lunch, what your daily tasks look like, when to wake up in the morning. This lack of attachment ultimately gives you the freedom to go where God sends you. Another town from your family, another state, across the world, in a war-torn country, or to your martyrdom.
As a member of a religious order how much more can you live that motto out - that everything is for the greater glory of God - Ad Majorem dei Gloriam - the motto of St. Ignatius of Loyola and his Jesuits. We would naturally conclude that it is easier to live that when you do not have the attachments of a spouse, family, home, etc. Consequently, how much easier is it to know you are nothing, but God’s instrument.
But what about me? Wife. Mother of 4 under the age of 6. How do I live this motto of everything being for the Glory of God?
Do I do it like all of those grandiose Saints of the Church - that was pretty grand stuff for your glory, God. Like Saint Catherine of Siena who, at the age of 29, told the Pope to bring the papacy back to Rome. All you have to do is read about one quarter of John Paul the Great’s life to see all the grand things he accomplished in his life for the Glory of God. Saint Helen, Saint Maria Gorretti, Saint Paul, Saint Kateri (read her story if you don’t know it already), and the man we are asking you all to ask the intercession of - Fr. Antonio Margil de Jesus. I am still learning more about him and am floored by this man’s testimony. Truly heroic lives of virtue.
So, then there’s us, little people walking on our paths. Ok let’s see here, we made 4 PB&J’s which at least one of our kids will take one bite of and throw it on the ground. In my house, at this point, his only choice is nap or a dirty pb&j (because I have 4 kids - my floor ain’t clean). Back to our days, we made them make their beds, some of us are doing homework with our kids, making a dinner that we know at least one will never like and not eat. On a good day 50% are happy. I could type more but you can see how this is sounding less and less like our beloved saints.
How do we do this all for the glory of God. I’ve had over 9 years of learning to be a wife and 6 learning how to mother. Not a lot of years in the grand scheme of things, but lots of lessons learned. We can make it for the glory of God just because we said so and we did it with an attitude of understanding that growing a family is not in the big moments, but in these small moments and how we respond to each of the situations by offering them to God. That is how we will grow our own little saints. Also, in her wisdom, the Church gives moms a lot of really cool saints to admire.
But how does this lead to being “nothing”? I am at a point in my life where I am flirting a little closer with death (which is why we are praying for a miracle), and finally it hits me. I am nothing. I am a pawn put on this earth to bring Glory to God. How do I come to terms with being nothing? Doesn’t that sound like a terrible thing to say in my line of work? But here’s the deal, if my only goal is to glorify God, then I am truly nothing, but His. Wholly His.