by Elizabeth Sutton, Member of the St Maximilian Kolbe Fraternity
On December 30th and 31st my husband, children and I attended the annual retreat for the Fraternity of Saint Maximillian Kolbe at the Heart’s Home in Brooklyn. The theme was the Eucharist, and it was so moving to contemplate together the meaning of John Paul II’s call to have, like Mary, a "Eucharistic Attitude" and to "make our life like Mary’s, completely a Magnificat." We concluded with a mass right at Midnight on the 31st, with Fr. Gonzague raising the Eucharist just as the ball dropped in Times Square.
It was beautiful, but I didn’t begin to realize the meaning of the retreat until a few days later when I received a call from family in Minnesota saying my mom had Influenza and needed to be hospitalized. I had no idea that I would find my mom struggling to breathe and that after one night with her the doctors would tell me to call in all the family to see her because she might not make it. I had no idea that my mother would ask me between coughs and gasps for air, "Is this worth it?"
Through all of this I carried with me the idea of making our life a Magnificat, and this helped me to give thanks instead of turning to despair or blame. I could give thanks for my mom’s life, for my siblings, for the priests who anointed her, for all those caring for her. I thought of offering the Presence of what I had received in Christ instead of my own weakness.
We are so thankful that after many days in Intensive Care my mom is on her way to a full recovery. I am so thankful to Heart’s Home for the beautiful beginning to 2013.