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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

nov 18th feast day

the day of jedi's death is the feast day of st. rose phillipine duchesne. the reason i know this is because a sweet young lady has asked me to be her confirmation sponsor- the name she picked was st. rose duchesne since her feast day was jedi's death. so my mom, in her classic fashion, has crossed the world using phone lines and stamps to find more information about this saint. i really think the internet would blow her mind but she insists on doing things the old fashioned way.
so i got a letter from mom today- a loose leaf wide ruled piece of paper with a quote from st. rose phillipine duchesne written in my mom's beautiful nun-taught cursive.

"the world was saved by the Cross. those who spread teh gospel preached only the cross. and solid virtues flourish only in its shadow. the necessity of carrying the cross and of living as a follower of Jesus Christ in toil and tears prevents the return of so many brothers who have wandered from the truth. we do not want a religion that is sad, they say, or one that requires suffering; we want pleasures. they want paradise without paying the price of suffering, but can they give lie to the gospel?"

or deny humanity? the mere fact is- life is hard. i will never understand the christian's who believe in "prosperity gospel"- the message that if you are a true follower, then God will bless you abundantly with good things and riches and nothing but ease. and should you, for example, fall ill with cancer that would show the world that you were not a true follower- that God had turned his back on you.
the whole things seems SO UTTERLY illogical. suffering is humanity. God's only son wasn't spared suffering. as a matter of fact He was given a huge piece of suffering pie- a bigger piece than most everyone i know- AND, He didn't even deserve it!
so skating through life- expecting no suffering- expecting God to come swooping down to smooth the way isn't a very christian belief. it's definitely not the message Christ preached.
i still sit in awe at the paradoxical lessons God is always teaching. it's odd that i find comfort when the cross is preached. such a prickly, uncomfortable, burdensome, unattractive message. but it's so comforting- we are ALL in this together. together with Christ.


  1. Liz - beautiful post! Such truth in that quote from St. Rose - something I hope Ellie takes to heart!

  2. I needed to read this, Elizabeth. Thank you. I need prayers and grace to accept this belief of human suffering for what I perceive is suffering in my life.

  3. Elizabeth,
    As I read this, I am crying. Because for so long I couldn't put into words the little suffering we go through in life that bring us closer to God. Such a beautiful post. Your baby Jedi has illuminated you and your spirit so that you can make the world around you and others who read of your sufferings much more definition in their own lives. May God bless you and your family. You are in my prayers for a beautiful and safe trip in Italy. Can't wait to see more posts online. A sister in Christ from South Florida.

  4. Oh, you can't know what a good thing this is for me to read tonight. And the words about God blessing abundantly with good things and riches (and health) are the things that were spoken to me when my little girl became ill and we were waiting on God to heal her, and then lost her. They are the words that I should know better to believe, because there is suffering all around me, but they caught hold of me and plague me still today. It is not true that "faithful" believers will only be blessed and be spared suffering, but whenever someone else has said it, it has sounded like they are just saying whatever they think it is I needed to hear, as if they are saying, "No, of course she didn't die because of your lack of faith." I don't even know exactly what part of this post spoke to me most, but your willingness to write your thoughts down here meant I got what I most needed tonight. Bless you.


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