As one of our neighbors was having tree work done, we were able to have it looked at right away. The verdict was the whole thing needed to come down. We were very grateful of the providence of how it fell and the speed by which we had someone to help.
In prayer before we left for Dublin, I thought of this tree which had looked so tall and strong while all the while it was actually just a shell. Our Lord through His care and Providence had seen to bring some of it down with such care that nothing was harmed.
There were many thoughts coming in the days before we left. There was the portion of myself saying, maybe you should just stay home. Wouldn't it be nice to stay home and quietly pray. It had been 10 years since we had made a large trip across the Atlantic ocean. Ten years ago we had traveled to Kazakhstan to adopt two children from an orphanage. Due to a genetic disability, my health especially my joints had declined and more travel for many years was not possible. This summer with my joints still unstable the thought of traveling to Ireland and to a place with large crowds was daunting. Even a simple bump can sometimes cause a series injury with my joints and here I was considering going to events where hundreds of thousands of people would be present such as the Papal Mass.
In prayer as I was thinking about this tree in our backyard, a thought came...empty yourself....surrender. I would have to abandon "self" the part of me that was afraid and wanted to stay home. I would have to surrender and trust. God would take care of us just as the tree seemed hand placed into one of the only places in our yard where no damage would take place.
Indeed, as the trip began we had very little planned. We knew we had our Children's Rosary booth at the Meeting but much of the visit was left open to allow God and Our Blessed Mother to guide us. Through a recommendation of a friend we felt drawn to visit Silverstream Priory outside of Dublin. We spent a couple of days seeing the countryside but most of our trip we were in Dublin and attending the World Meeting of Families. We met so many lovely people and there was great joy in seeing many people interested in starting Children's Rosary groups. I was so grateful to God and the intercession of Our Lady for bringing us to Ireland. I was so thankful we came despite my trepidation before we left.
God it seems needs our surrender. He needs us to empty ourselves so that He can fill us. The phrase that kept coming to mind: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me" (Galatians 2:20). I am broken and weak and need help with everything. On my own I could not make such a trip. God sustained me and allowed my husband and my children to help me. We were able to share many seeds of the Children's Rosary by giving away Children's Rosary books. But now as it said in the reading today at Mass the growth will be done by God. "Neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who causes the growth." (1 Cor 3:7) Our prayers are needed now and confidence. Please pray with me that all the little seeds that were sown will take root and grow. Let us ask Our Lord with the confidence and love of a child to help bring fruit from the seeds that were planted.
We hope to share in the coming weeks the fruits that come through this trip.
Thank you for your prayers and God bless you.
Happy Feast of St. Teresa of Calcutta.