For the past 18 months, ever since the day my dad took a fall that almost cost him his life, my life’s journey has been filled with an incredible grace and awareness of the Divine Light that can even be found in the darkest of days and situations. Since that day, deep within my soul, I have felt the challenge to keep my eyes wide open to the Sacred found not only in the worst of times, but also in ordinary moments and in the messy and chaotic moments, which so many of us experience on a daily basis. I’ve been led to discover some wisdom which I did not understand before this time, wisdom which Pope Francis articulated more than once in his visit to the United States. This wisdom of which he spoke is essentially that we must live our life as it presents itself to us. We cannot control many aspects of what comes our way, however, we can control our response. To find God present in the ordinary, messy and chaotic moments of my life and to try and respond to this Presence with love is what I can attempt to do in my imperfectly imperfect way. I’ve found the best way for me to seek and find God is through contemplating life and writing down my thoughts. It is in the expression of these words that my eyes are opened and Divine Light is revealed to me.
Recently, through an assignment at work, I had the opportunity to connect with an incredibly talented and delightful person, Carlos Briceno, who serves as the Editor of Christ is Our Hope Magazine in the Diocese of Joliet (an area of Catholic parishes outside of the Chicago area). Our conversations led to talk of faith and the spiritual life. One thing led to another and he asked me if I would consider writing an article for the magazine about my experience of growing up with an Anxiety Disorder and how it is I cope with it, especially during experiences such as my dad’s Traumatic Brain Injury and subsequent months of recovery. Never before had I been given a specific topic on which to write, however, it was a fantastic challenge and so I said yes.
True to my writing style, the article turned out to be a bit long, however Carlos decided he would wait for the space to print it as it was written, instead of cutting it down. After original plans to be featured in the August edition were thwarted by a bigger story that took precedence, I am pleased that today, on October 1st, the Feast of my favorite saint, Térèse of Liseux, the article, as they say, hit the stands (at least in the racks of local Catholic churches ; )
Since much of the story is about my dad, he is delighted to finally have his 15 minutes of fame at the ripe old age of nearly 79! You may even be able to find him with a brand new box of Sharpies in hand, poised and ready to sign autographs!
Finally, in the words of St. Térèse, a woman whose life was hidden and brief, but whose “Little Way” has impacted countless souls,
Let us line up humbly among the imperfect, let us esteem ourselves as little souls whom God must sustain at each moment.”