Giving up TV gives me more time for meditation and I find that I can use all of it. The beautiful picture above I got from Connie's Secret Garden. It reminded me that preparing for passing, especially at my age, is a good idea. I have just been reading a book called Elizabeth Bayley Seton, America's only American cannonized by the Catholic Church. This poor woman, living back in the early 1800's was constantly having to administer to a family member dying of any one of the prevelent diseases back then like consumption and yellow fever. She buried her husband and two daughters and three of her husband's younger sisters before she died. One son followed her three years later. She was only 47 years old when she died, young to have accomplished all she did to be canonized. But I was struck by how important it is to Catholics to be with people who are ailing to help them prepare for death, so that their passing, even when young, will not be so traumatic.
Although I know I cannot become a Catholic at this late date, I think every religion offers us valuable insights and wisdom gathered through the ages to deal with crisis. I really enjoyed this book. This woman went through trials that would have bowed and broken most, but instead she handled every crisis with such wisdom that she inspired all those around her, tough to do.
I am sure she became an angel quite fast, and I thought I bet she is helping on the other side still, to bring people across the divide with their faith still glowing as hers did, acting as a beacon to all those who knew her and read about her.
I have got more time now to read inspirational books like this. Of a greater depth than you can find on TV. I felt I had gained another friend. Not many try to be a friend to all as she did.
I think her most heart breaking trials were the deaths of her two daughters. Her oldest daughter was a beauty who had an unhappy romance when quite young. The young man, handsome as a prince and wealthy, raised high expectations in her heart and then went back to his Island home and married another. The very next winter she came down with a galloping form of consumption and died. You could almost say this sensitive beautiful girl died of a broken heart. While she was dying, the younger sister fell on the ice but did not tell anyone how badly she was hurt. A couple or so years later a tumor developed on her hip and she, too, died. Most of us just don't know what it is to live in such times. Now both girls might have been saved to live many more years. Then Mother Seton fell prey to consumption. Her husband had died of it in his thirties. Consumption was a terrible killer in those days. I think of the many tranquil days I have enjoyed with my family in good health, and how many crises she had to face in those tough times. There is no comparison, so thanks to research and the advance of learning, many of us have had many carefare days, which I am thankful for. You just have to read one of these well kept accounts of the 'old days' to know how lucky we really are!
- ► 2010 (422)
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- ▼ September (30)