Adoption Update: Home-study Nearly Complete

We have completed all of our paperwork and background checks for our home-study. Our home inspection is in two weeks and then our study will be complete, so that we are free to adopt. We are still waiting to see if a mother will need us to adopt her child or not, and then we will look at waiting lists. If the former occurs, then it will be rather soon. Our fundraiser is still up to help us cover legal costs. We have paid for the home-study. Nothing about the adoption process is cheap and a lot of it is unjust. Please consider donating or sharing our story with others.  Thank you!  God bless you always.

 

Here’s our YouCaring page:

https://www.youcaring.com/constanceandphilhulladoptionfund-680004

Catholic Exchange: It’s Time to Stop Fleeing from the Cross

One of the most striking aspects of the Passion accounts is how largely alone Our Lord is in His final hours. Most of His beloved disciples, followers, and friends flee from Him and abandon Him in His hour of need. St. Peter goes so far as to deny Jesus three times in order to avoid any connection to this man whom he had referred to as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16). It is the few dedicated followers, including Our Heavenly Mother and St. John, who stay with Him to the foot of the Cross and watch Jesus be crucified and placed in a tomb.

As we make our way through this Lenten season, it is necessary to ponder those times when we too flee from the Cross and from Our Savior. We all do it at one point or another. A period of suffering for ourselves, a loved one, our neighbor, or even the people we encounter in our daily lives occurs and more-often-than-not we flee. We may not be able to flee physically, as in the case of illness, death of a loved one, unemployment, trauma, or any other manner of suffering, which is dished up so generously in this life. When that suffering occurs, we often block it out with distractions such as television, Internet, food, alcohol, drugs, pornography, and the list goes on and on. We do anything to avoid confronting the reality of the Cross. We flee.

Fleeing from the suffering of others.

This is especially true when it comes to encountering suffering in others. Americans are largely individualistic, as are many Western European cultures. This is a trait that is diametrically opposed to the Catholic understanding of the Mystical Body. We are a communion. We are connected to one another through the Holy Spirit at the deepest levels of our being. We are the arms, legs, hands, feet, etc. of Christ here on earth. He is our head. When one part of the Mystical Body suffers, we all suffer. We may not acknowledge this reality and we may ignore it all together, but it is true nonetheless.

In loving one another as disciples of Christ, we are called to enter into the suffering of our neighbor. It isn’t easy, but there is nothing about the Cross that tells us the spiritual life and the path to holiness will be easy. Our Lord and Savior died on the Cross and He tells us we must follow Him. There is a final Cross for each and every one of us that we will face before we can enter into eternal life. Death awaits us all. The Cross comes before the Resurrection. This life is largely a series of Crosses leading us to the same fate as Our Lord. Even in this knowledge we live in hope thanks to what occurs after the Cross.

When Our Lord instituted His Church here on earth, He meant to unite all of mankind through a visible sign to the world of the ontological reality of the interconnectedness of humanity and the gift of salvation. Christ took on human flesh, which united Him to us in solidarity and united us to one another. It is because of this deep unity that He commands us to love our neighbor. Love requires a desire within us for the good of our neighbor. That means asking the Holy Spirit to help us gain fortitude because love requires the Cross. We need courage to enter into the Cross of our neighbor, but love compels us to do just that. We lighten the load of one another and we expand our own capacity for love when we choose to walk with those around us who suffer. Entering into the suffering of others is not just for the likes of St. Teresa of Calcutta; it is for you and me.

Read the rest over at Catholic Exchange.

Catholic Exchange: Holiness and Loving Until It Hurts

St. Teresa of Calcutta is known for telling others to “love until it hurts.” Many of us find ourselves in situations in which loving until it hurts becomes obligatory such as when a loved one becomes ill or is dying. It is much more difficult to seek out pain in order to love, and yet, that is what Christ calls each one of us to do. It isn’t easy. It requires grace and fortitude. Love always comes with the possibility of pain because it is freely given to our fellow Fallen men and women who are capable of hurting us. We also live in a world where death and loss are daily realities. In the past six months, God gave me the task of loving until it hurts. I am not going to lie. It has been deeply painful, at times, agonizing, but it has opened my heart to greater love and selflessness.

A few short weeks after my fourth miscarriage last August, I was asked to help a woman who was considering an abortion at 20 weeks. A woman in the local 40 Days for Life campaign approached me when she saw my sign: “I’ve had four miscarriages. I know the agony of lost motherhood. I’m here to help.” She wanted to know if I would meet with this woman and even consider adoption if necessary. I said yes. I was stunned that out of all of the people in our campaign, I was asked. I was still in the throes of grief.

Before I met with this woman to listen to her and be a resource for her, I discovered that her due date was extremely close to what mine was supposed to be. I told God I did not understand why He chose me out of everyone in our pro-life community. I cried a lot. There were exasperated, confused, and at times, angry prayers and discussions with God. Regardless, I went and met with her. I listened to her story. She told me about her life, her friends, family, and those pushing an abortion. I realized that she had very little healthy support in her life and I felt great compassion for her. I am a mother to one beautiful daughter and I cannot imagine being in the situation this woman was, and still is in, with little support.

Read the rest over at Catholic Exchange.