In this life there are many things to prepare for, but the most important is for our entrance into the kingdom of heaven. I will take you with me, should you want to come along, on my personal journey to the door which will lead to eternity, through which every soul must pass. Where the angel of death waits to ask the all important question, "Are you prepared for the Kingdom?"

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Location: Anacortes, Washington, United States

Two years ago I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I was one of the fortunate ones who survived surgery along with chemo/radiation treatments. Recently, it was discovered that the cancer had returned and although I am again on chemotherapy, in all probability I have perhaps one more year to live. During these last months I would like to share what I have learned about the most important thing we'll ever do in this life and that is, prepare for the kingdom of God.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Mother of God

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me a sinner, now and at the hour of my death.

These words resound over and over again in my mind and in my heart as I pray my daily rosary. Sometimes I pray for specific people, sometimes for the souls in purgatory and sometimes for myself as I approach the hour of my death.

I can only hope I will be so honored as to have the Mother of God praying for me at the hour of my death. This is something that all of us need to request from her. For who better knows the heart of her Son. What greater advocate do we have than she who gave birth to Our Savior.

I read a very beautiful reflection on Mary this week. It isn't for those who are not willing to lay down their short lives to serve the Lord. It is however, for those (and I am speaking to women here) who are willing to become lowly and humble so as to represent the true meaning of a virtuous woman. May the Lord grant us the grace we need to hear this message.

Homily on the Most-holy Virgin, the Theotokos
by St. Nikolai Velimirovic, The Prologue of Ochrid

And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord (Luke 1:38)

Here indeed, is a true handmaid of the Lord! If a handmaid is she who exchanges her will completely for the will of her Lord, then the Most-holy Virgin is the first among all of the Lord's handmaids. If a handmaid is she who, with intent and with complete attention, beholds her Lord, then again the Most-holy Virgin is the first among the handmaids of the Lord. If a handmaid is one who meekly and quitely endures all insults and trials, awaiting only the reward of her Lord, then again and again the Most-holy Virgin is the first and most excellent of all the handmaids of the Lord. She did not care to please the world, but only God; nor did she care to justify herself before the world, but only before God. She herself is obedience; she herself is service; she herself is meekness. The Most-holy Virgin could in truth say to the angel of God: Behold the handmaid of the Lord. The greatest perfection, and the greatest honor that a woman can attain on earth, is to be a handmaid of the Lord.

Through the prayers of the Most-holy Virgin Theotokos, O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us.

This should be our desire and greatest goal in this life, to be a handmaid of the Lord. To be willing to serve Him in the most undesirable of circumstances. If I may be so bold to say that women are not called to be priests. We are not called to shepherd the flock. We are called to serve just as Mary served. She did not help Jesus lead the people. She did not present herself as a woman of great pride, but of one of great virtue. And now she is held in the highest of all places with her Son. Higher in honor than the Cherubim and beyond compare more glorious than the Seraphim.

How can any woman consider herself called to anything but a handmaid of the Lord. As St. Nikolai so beautifully says, "The greatest perfection and greatest honor that a woman can attain on this earth, is to be a handmaid of the Lord." What more is there to want than this. All else is vainglory.

At the hour of death, I pray that by the mercy and grace of God, I will have somehow become as a lowly handmaid, an unworthy servant who hopefully, has done only what has been required of her by the Lord. May He find me worthy and say the words I will long to hear, "Well done good and faithful servant." And may the Mother of God welcome me with her Son into the heavenly Kingdom. This is my desire. This is my hope.

Through the prayers of the Mother of God, O Savior save us!


Blogger forget me not said...

Stupendous, Laura. I've been thinking along these lines today. This is a blessing.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that she is praying for you now, and will be doing so in the hour of your death. She has made herself seen by some (all?) in that hard and baffling hour, and just as a mom stands near in a child's suffering, so does she. She is Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Most High.. but she is also ever "Mother." There isn't any easing or soothing she won't ask for us.

It's beautiful that the Holy Spirit, her spouse, has arranged for us to hail her so many times in our lives. Every rose we have given her she has planted in the new-ed Garden, from us. Every slice of the 5 loaves we offer her, she turns over to her Son to feed the multitudes with. Perhaps our personal multitude. Surely she is a very personal mother, just as her Son is a very Personal Saviour. I think we'll be astounded to find out just how much so.

9:59 PM  
Blogger W. said...

I just found your site. Will be sure to visit in prayer and often.

You are in my prayers,

3:11 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

God bless all of you. May we remain faithful in His love and may we grow in virtue. I hope to post more often in 2007. Lot's to say and maybe not too much time, then again maybe lots of time.

I love you all. My sincere thank you for your constant prayers.


8:53 PM  
Blogger Gabrielle said...

Peace be with you in 2007, Laura, and may we all enter further into our servanthood.

9:51 PM  

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