Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What I've been busy with and how Mother Teresa's involved...

Two posts in a row! Looks like I might be making a come back to the blogging world! I may not have been blogging this past month and a half but life certainly didn't stop being busy.

Aside from birthing babies with my first doula experience I've been busy with some charity work of sorts. So grab a cup of hot tea, sit back and settle in while I tell you story about Adam McArthur and Mother Teresa . . .

I'd like to introduce you to Adam McArthur.

This is Adam and his beautiful family: Vanessa, his wife, and his three boys. A few friends from church and I began a little informal "prayer group" where we meet, or try to at least, once a week in each other's homes and pray--and chit chat. Maybe a bit more chit chatting than praying, but it's all good, right, if it's all in the name of fellowship. Vanessa is a part of this group. Her husband was diagnosed with stage three brain cancer last year. She's a fellow blogger, as well, and has documented her families experience with this diagnosis on her blog Healer in Your Heart. It's been a heart breaking story--which is no story to them, it's their life--with ups and downs, steps forward and steps backwards. But mostly it's a story of inspiration--perseverance, faith, love, hope. Listen to Adam recount this past year in this interview, and then I'll tell you how Mother Teresa entered this story:

Healer in Your Heart: The McArthur Family and Brain Cancer 10/13 by The Warrior Catholic | Blog Talk Radio

Amazing, isn't he. What character! What faith! (What an accent too? Did I mention he was English?!)

Of course our little group of prayer friends has kept Adam in our constant prayers over this time, but after Adam's first cancer treatment failed, we went from prayer to action. Team McArthur was formed. We have a Facebook page here, that I ask you take a look at--perhaps "like" it if you feel so inclined--to show support, keep abreast of our fundraising endeavours and receive updates on Adam. To date we've held a "Donut Sunday", selling donuts after mass at church one Sunday, run a SweetFrog's Frozen Yogurt fundraising event, and are currently putting together a flea market and yard sale event coming up this Saturday October 20th.

Above are a couple photos of a few of us Team McArthur members and Vanessa. Notice the pink sign in top photo? That was one of my contributions to the event :)  Team McArthur was even interviewed by our local news station!! Watch here. Read here.

So where's Mother Teresa in all this you say?! Well while attending my Lay Missionary of Charity meeting last month I asked my groups' prayers for Adam and his family. It was the end of the meeting, another member had asked for prayer for an acquaintance of hers, and now everyone was beginning to pack up their things. I almost hesitated to add my prayer request at this time thinking maybe I should just let it go until next time, not wanting to bother anyone with my interruption. But then I thought, "Well, I owe it to Adam and Vanessa to ask for a few more prayers for them." Adam had just received the news that the first treatment had failed and the tumors had grown back. They needed all the prayer they could get. So, I blurted out one last request before closing. Perhaps, it was meant to be?! That one prayer request turned into a mission. Fr. McAfee looked at me in all seriousness and instructed me that I needed to get a first or second class relic of Mother Teresa out to Adam and I was to seek her intercession for him. Mother Teresa is beautified and needs one more miracle to receive canonization to become a saint. We were to pray to Mother Teresa for Adam's healing.  My request went from seeking prayer to seeking a miracle! I was way out of my league (gulp). How was I--a no one of importance, totally unworthy, have-you-seen-my-list-of-past-sins-?, homemaking, mama of six--supposed to get my hands on a relic of Mother Teresa???? 'Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut' crossed my mind for an instant. But no. I was going to try my hardest to fulfill this mission I was given.

To merely get my hands on a relic was going to take a small miracle. Where do I even start to look for one? How do you go about a task like this? One of my beautiful, fellow LMC members, Mary Ann, gave me a call with some helpful information. I was to start by calling the Missionaries of Charity in D.C. to see if they would be willing to bring out their first class relic to Adam, if they wouldn't be willing to relinquish it to the custody of one of us Lay Missionary of Charity. So I tried calling. I failed at reaching the sisters but was successful in getting Adam's name put on their prayer list--so at least the sisters would be praying for him in the meanwhile as I was tracking down this relic. *By the way, ANYONE can call one of the Missionary of Charity Houses and have a prayer request made. If any of you ever have a prayer request please call them!*

The mixed up timing of this was ironically perfect. I received my relic commission from Fr. McAfee on September 1st. I did my 3-4am adoration on Sunday, September 2nd, I was planning on beginning a continuous novena to Mother Teresa at my session on my own accord. Later that morning I received an email from my LMC Link stating ALL LMC's were to begin a Novena to Mother Teresa in preparation for her feast. Perfect, I thought! Only I didn't realize until later that that email was from a few days prior, somewhere in the chain of emailing it got delayed. My novena wasn't going to end on Mother's feast day on September 5th, mine would end on September 10th--Mother's Inspiration Day! This was the day she received her vision of Christ thirsting on the cross and got her inspiration for the Missionaries of Charity. Hmmm... interesting...

Mother Teresa used to say, "Let's storm the heavens with prayers". In this spirit I sought out prayers from a fellow LMC in India. When Adam mentions in his interview receiving prayers from India, this is who he speaks of. Here is the prayer this LMC sent in reply:
   ummmm...well I can't seem to locate the prayer at the moment *sigh*
 It was so beautiful. So perfect. Where did I put it??
      Let me track that down for you, it has to be shared....

Maybe this is a good place to stop. I'll leave you hanging on as to how I came about getting the relic. Stay tuned tomorrow for the conclusion of this story ;)