Happy Sunday Everyone,
On this Feast Day of Christ the King we all have much to be grateful for. Here at Joseph’s House we are grateful to all who believe and have faith in our mission. We are most grateful to the moms and kids who entrust their troubled lives to us to care for them as they deserve, to care for them as Jesus would. There was another memorable dinner at Joseph’s House this Thanksgiving gifted by a generous donor and prepared lovingly and beautifully by our overnight RA Theresa, a woman of many talents. We also had notes of thanks from moms about their gratefulness to Joseph’s House and staff for all we do for them and for the way we have changed their lives. We have received an abundance of thanks over the years and they all boil down to the sentiments expressed below from one of our past residents.
Giving thanks for me is a prerequisite to all prayer. Not a day goes by where the words “Thank you, thank you, thank you dear Jesus” do not escape my lips, because I am overcome with the miracles and blessings He shares and with the people He sends to our ministry. Many have asked to know more about the miracles and blessings that led to the founding of this mission and produced the courage to step out in faith for Our Lord, and for that reason I am sharing this post slightly edited from 2015.
In September 2005 I had the opportunity to travel to Italy. This was 16 months after my son's accident and after a miraculous 9-month recovery, he was on a rapid downhill trajectory as he attempted to return to school and the social activities of a 25-year-old. Although I knew he was heading for disaster, my family insisted I go on this trip because my life had been 16 months of nonstop care for my child.
We traveled to Assisi and Rome and visited all the highlights of both cities. In Assisi my faith grew in leaps and bounds as I learned for the first time the miraculous power of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed, that is the power of Adoration. We prayed as a group daily, Rosary after Rosary and chaplet after chaplet as we immersed ourselves in daily mass, and in the beauty and history of our church. It was the most profound experience I have ever been gifted in travel and strangers met on that journey are now among my dearest friends. It was a life-changing experience of the highest degree and preparation for the days ahead as I returned home.
There was only one statue I asked about during the visit and when I was told the saint was St. Anthony, I was thrilled because St. Anthony was the only saint I knew of, other than Our Blessed Mother Mary. During this trip I was also told you could learn the name of your Guardian Angel by saying a little prayer of your own words for 3 nights in a row. We returned home on a Sunday, and I began saying a prayer hoping to find out the name of my son's Guardian Angel. I wanted to thank him properly for all the times he had saved this child's life as my second born had a propensity for keeping his Guardian Angel very busy.
I said the prayer for 3 nights and on Wednesday morning I waited to see what name would come to me, or hit me, or appear to me, and nothing really happened. I was a little disappointed as I walked to the mailbox and went through the mail but at the bottom of the stack I found a letter from an unknown seminary. I opened the envelope and I pulled out a prayer card with the picture of the statue I saw of St. Anthony in Italy! My child’s Guardian Angel is named Anthony and I thank him every day for his extremely hard work in protecting my child.
The next day, Thursday, four days after my return from Italy, my son had a relapse that was so brutal, we thought we were going back to the rehab hospital in Boston. Instead we found ourselves in a little cabin on Seneca Lake surrounded by our Evangelical brothers and sisters. By the Grace of God, 12 days of miracles unfolded in this secluded spot through prayer and fasting. I came to understand more deeply each night we spent in this cold, lonely place my trip to Italy had been preparation for this trial and the faith gained through the trip would be the conduit for all unfolding in the future.
After we returned home, we endured a grueling year of recovery once again. The demands of rebuilding my son’s strength rooted me deeply in reliance, faith and trust in Our Lord and Our Lady. My Rosary never left me and the most powerful Rosaries said, were the ones shared with my child through tears and fears and pain. Our wailing’s were heard, received and returned to both of us as garlands of roses and blessings showered on us from Heaven, as we found our way through a year of sleepless nights and therapy-laden days, interspersed with juicing, exercise and organic foods by the ton.
There have been many other trials for my son since the words above were written, however we have learned all we suffer in this lifetime will always provide growth, blessings and bring a richness and maturity to life otherwise not found. When one is faithful in prayer, faithful to God’s will, faithful in taking up their cross daily, perseverance, patience and courage are born.
The words above are the perfect description of the journey of life since my son’s accident, the beginnings of Joseph’s House, and quite honestly of most every day of my life. Those words have produced within me a profound peace, a profound joy as I have come to understand God’s unwavering love, patience and closeness to all of us. Those words are the reason why this year and every year the gift of faith is what I am most grateful to have received as a gift from God and why my daily prayer is this same faith is a gift to be found by all. God Bless you my friends!
Love and prayers,