Friday, December 30, 2016

In our Fathers house there are many many…nothings?

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.  

From Kate:

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. 

If it is for his Glory that I live and raise my four children to love and follow God, then may it be for His Glory.  And if it is for his glory that this I meet him at His Heavenly Banquet (Lord willing), then may it be for His Glory.  


  1. Reading this and praying, and sitting in awe of God's beautiful work and love through Katie. And how beautiful IS Katie in her love and glory of God.

  2. Katie

    You are a beautiful soul.
    Your testimony here has already impacted me so much.
    It is heroic virtue in my eyes. You are living it.

    I only recently heard about your illness, but have been praying so much for your courage and strength.

    Anne Rocha Perkerwicz

  3. Katie, This is so very powerful and really touched me. Thank you for your witness. Praying for you and yours!!

  4. What a beautiful witness you are, dear sister. I am praying for you and your family! You are a shining star, and you are bringing glory to God through your trust in Him. Much love, Lauren

  5. Katie, this was so moving and powerful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We are praying for a miracle.

  6. Katie,

    I prayed for you with Marija (visionary of Medugorje)-two weeks ago I was invited to a private apparition in Italy. I layed your intentions and your family at the feet of our Lady. I also prayed for the miracle you are requested at the Tomb of St. Anthony in Padua Italy. God has you in the palm of His hand. Your reflection above made me think about St. Ignatius of Loyola. I had the opportunity to attend a silent Ignatian Retreat a couple of times. One of the prayers that stuck out to me is the Suscipe Prayer. It reminds me of the sentence you reflect about "I am nothing". Suscipe Prayer:

    Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
    my memory, my understanding,
    and my entire will,
    All I have and call my own.

    You have given all to me.
    To you, Lord, I return it.

    Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
    Give me only your love and your grace,
    that is enough for me.

    Thank you for this powerful reminder for us all. You are in my daily prayers and thoughts.

  7. Thank you for your prayers! And for the Suscipe prayer - it's beautiful.
    - Kate


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.