December 10, 2016

Helena came to the door this morning, more than a reflection, this is a request to please pray for her.

I had decided to skip today's writing, but praised be Jesus he allows me to communicate through this ministry, and so today I don't intend anything else but your prayers for Helena, and hope my words serve as an explanation.

When the bell rang and no one attended I had no option but to respond. In the midst of our Christmas preparations and our daily lives things can get a little overwhelming around St. Anthony Shelter at any random minute, hence my lack of disposition to be the first one responding to the door on this busy day. But Jesus comes at all times, and this is a fact I often forget, and  not only that, but in a more general observation, we often forget that it doesn't matter how we feel, but how we can respond outside of ourselves when Christ is calling for Christ did not make a priority of his how he felt hanging on a cross, he made about us. 

Helena was there, with his mother. A woman in her late 20's, very alive. "Hi, I came to meet the friars" she says right after I say "Hello". My first thought is very judgmental. A "meet and greet" would be a total mission on this particular day when everybody is busy and focused on something.

Helena is from Mexico, she came for a few days, speaks a little English and my options to continue doing what I was doing before the bell rang become impossible, now it becomes my task to show Helena and her mother around and serve as a bridge for her communication if a friar comes across.

She gets introduced to everybody who comes across. But there is something missing. She seems to be looking for more. I noticed she did not take any selfies like most people who come across the CFR's for the first time, she is was not a fan nor her visit is not about the strangeness of a man wearing a robe. She seems a little down, like a pilgrim who's journey comes to an end without grace.

"I was diagnosed with cancer three years ago... and recently it came back, between my lungs" Helena told me as she was ready to head out.

There was silence in her mothers eyes, God bless her mother, like our Lady at the foot of the cross with her child, suffering inside, wanting to trade places with her daughter, trying hard not to cry so that her daughter wont break down. 

Helena was serene and confident of her words, she was expecting something. She lives expecting, from life, from her illness and recently from her visit to the friars. 

Helena expects because she knows expecting pays off. So I quickly grabbed Father Innocent, and the world stopped for an hour in which Helena gave us life and the most beautiful silence. She receive the sacrament of reconciliation,  and the Anointing of the sick, our beautiful sacrament of healing. 

"I stopped asking myself 'WHY?' and instead ask 'WHAT FOR?'. What do I have to endure? What do I have to surrender? What is the reason of my illness, what for? And I have to fight because there is no other option, so I expect good things"

And thus we go ill, walking, breathing, living ill by sin, can we expect also to be healed? 

At the end of the day everything comes down to life, we expect life, a pregnant woman expects life, a sick person expects life, those in prison expect life, those rejected expect life, ordinary people who struggle like you and I expect life, and even those who seem to have it all together expect life... because that was promised to us, life in abundance. 

Brothers and Sisters, do we expect good things? Have we stopped expecting? What does expecting really mean to us? 

God bless Helena, she expects from God what God expects from her, just a simple: "Hello, I come to meet you" and in this very expectation she was given life in abundance through the sacraments.  I witnessed her peace and I praise Jesus for his sacraments which provide abundant grace and the everyday expectation that he will come soon. 

And there is nothing more beautiful than this, to expect those simple things which make God great and glorious. 

Please pray for Helena and her mom.

In our our Lady of Guadalupe, Queen and Mother, 

who expected, who gave, who received, 

and once she received, she gave back again

so that we can be one with her son,

in his most precious heart. 

Frassati NY