Saturday, July 12, 2014

VOLES AND TICKS



I spend a lot of time sitting in a lawn chair and gazing out to sea here at Eastern Point. And though we retreatants are in silence, I have managed to make a friend. The best I can figure, he's a vole, and below is the opening to his burrow. Small, with dark brown glossy fur and beady eyes the size of a large pinhead, the creature is preternaturally fast. Apparently voles have many predators but I don't know what would be quick enough to catch this little varmint as the slightest movement sends him scuttling at the speed of light back to his den. He seems nervous, easily startled. Needless to say, we get along well and I'm convinced he views me as a trusted and loyal friend.

Meanwhile I fear a rude and ill-mannered tick has given me a good nip and with it--Lyme Disease! I have the bull's eye rash and flu symptoms and am headed to the ER tomorrow.  I am one of those obnoxious people who considers myself impervious to germs, viruses, and rapacious predators of all kinds so I don't want to say it serves me right, as that would be mean. But I don't think I've been to the ER since I lived in Boston 30 years ago.

Everyone has to take their turn.

21 comments:

  1. Yikes! Oh, Heather, prayers and prayers! It is gladdening to see that you're keeping your sense of humor/resiliency, but still ... All best wishes ... hope you get good care ...

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  2. Sending prayers! If there is a bright side to this, Heather, at least you saw the bull's-eye and are getting timely medical assistance. God is faithful ... trust in His goodness and mercy!

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  3. Preternaturally fast...don't hear that one in connection to critters very often! Awesome God sent him/her to you as a friend. I'll offer my sufferings for you and the lime junk if you offer some for me...I was just served divorce papers (against my wishes and hopes) about a half hour ago. Pleas pray for me, my wife and our many kids...

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  4. Sorry Heather, I run to your blog like a little child when I'm sad/scared/bored/looking for intellectual stimulation. I guess you could say I am attached to you like a virtual tick :) !
    God is very good and I have taken Abraham as my spiritual guide...I can't believe the peace that is deep down right now -

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  5. We are currently trying to catch a vole that is eating our butternut squash! We have set mouse traps all over the garden, I just hope I don't trap my own finger. Hope you get all the medicine you need to feel better soon!

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  6. Paul, I will pray for you as well. May our loving God give you the strength you need to carry this cross.

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    1. Thank you very much....You are in very good company as you pray for there are 7 Poor Clare contemplative nuns in Pueblo Colorado who are praying with you, plus most of my own family, which, since I have 12 brothers and sisters, now numbers well over 100. 6 of the nuns hail from Mexico and one from Ethiopia. They have been spiritual mothers to us ever since we got to know them. And i'll be offering prayers for you Mr Jasper, in thanksgiving!

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    2. Thanks, Paul. With the Poor Clares on your side, I have no doubt that our prayers for your situation will be heard, and God will truly do what is best for you, his beloved son. Please keep me posted. (And feel free to call me Rich; "Mr. Jasper" is due to the fact that I am an eighth grade teacher and seminarian that uses blogs in the classroom!)

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    3. You've got it Rich, I will keep you posted. So far the divorce goes forward against my wishes and the wishes of my little kids (who I try to hide from the ugliness of all this!). But they know I love their mom and that I will never love any other woman or, much less, marry another just because Colorado may make a mistake and say we are no longer married! God knows the truth. I emphasized many times that I have never loved any other woman than mommy and never will in the future. The older girls I told this to are only 6 and 7 years old. They took great comfort in what I said and even thanked me for telling it to them in no uncertain terms.
      I would much rather serve God and my kids and even my wife, regardless of what she may do, as a person living alone (although still married in God's eyes) than trying to seek cheap comfort in another woman God never intended for me. That idea disgusts my entire being!

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  7. Heather, how is it going with the lyme disease? And are you still able to participate in the retreat? Or has our Lord decided that simple suffering is your lot for now? i'm praying

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  8. I too run to your Blog for intellectual stimulation, keeping things light and just total enjoyment of whatever subject matter you pick.---love it. I am not big on Critters- a big baby actually- I mise well face a lion.
    Glad you caught your tick bite early. God Bless.

    Christine

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  9. I hope your visit to the ER went well and that necessary treatment is well underway. I prayed for you.

    Peace and good, brenda

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  10. Praying for you. I know several people who've had Lyme disease, but they are fine now, it's treatable when you catch it early.

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  11. Paul~you are in my prayers! As well as Heather and her bite!!! Any affliction is the evil one trying to sway us from Trusting in His Providence. Surrender all. Currently a deer loved one is also unexpectedly being served with divorce, another dear young one was diagnosed as diabetic, another admitted with serious bi-polar, and way more...this all in the month of July so far!!! I hold all my prayers and take all those in need to Mass with me!!! God turns all things to Good for His Kingdom and our purification.

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  12. Goodness Diane, it sound like we all have a full plate! Mother Theresa famously said that God gives suffering to those he loves which I think she was repeating from some other saint. A classic response to this truism is: "well than tell God to stop loving me sooooo much!" -Love that!
    Oddly, about 4 weeks ago I had a born again experience: faithful catholic since my college day's agnosticism 23 years ago, married over 8 years and fresh off some intensive core trauma therapy that my wife went through, I thought things might get better in the marriage. But it's not so. She has treated me worse than ever, unfortunately, even to the point of the tiny kids (our 2 year old specifically) telling mommy in a determined voice to stop yelling and be nice to daddy! Such events led to my eventual being locked out of the house and served divorce papers. My wife fears abandonment and not being lovable over all else. And my saying I love her has turned pointless, at times. Even though deep down I think she does like hearing it.
    So when I told our Lord that for two years I have asked him for a loaf of bread and fish, and he has given snakes and scorpions, He took it well...and after 30 minutes of yelling at Him and crying before Him, he said softly, in my soul: "What if I want you all for myself?" Brushing His b.s. aside I protested that that is impossible if I don't have my wife to love and loving me and what about the kids hearing her verbal abuse and so on etc. He listened, of course, to my tirade. Then it happened. "what if I want you all for myself?" I calmed, warm blood flowing through my body as I lay beside my sleeping wife who had her back, as had become common, to me.
    And I finally shut my mouth and listened...to...the silence...to the peace, to that Love.
    And for the first time in my life the knowledge that I was God's son travelled from my brain and into my heart. From there it diffused into my soul, places in my soul that I never knew existed.
    And I will never be the same

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    2. What a beautiful conversion story!!! Blessed be your earthly pilgrimage. Pray to Mary, Mother of God for all your needs, The Medatrix of all Graces bestowed. St. Rita is the patron of impossible cases and difficult marriages...read up on her. A great intercessor!! God Bless your little ones. Consecrate them every morning to The hearts of Jesus and Mary. (I did not learn this practice until my 3 children were grown!!!)

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    3. Oh the saints! How much I am learning to love them; both those in heaven and, poignantly, those I meet here on earth. Thank you for the advice - I will now consecrate their little hearts and souls (along with their mother's) to Jesus and Mary every day. I have taken to writing them letters every day...missing them so much! The pain is beyond explanation as I think of their faces and smiles...and that their mother's heart, with regard to me, has become an impenetrable stone. I love her so deeply but God has, at least for now, taken her from me -most likely to mold her in ways He can't if I'm around, I guess.
      Jesus bids me, when the sadness becomes unbearable, to converse with Him during the passion, and really all I can do is walk and watch, because I am not yet as strong as Simone the Cyrene. But oh the peace as I close my ears from the world, during work, or when returning to my empty apartment away from home and the kids -He is there, terribly hurting and suffering with me and for my wife, whom he loves more than I ever can. For now, outside the times when I am with the kids, there is no joy outside the passion. It is my favorite place to hide as it is the place that I am now learning a peace and joy I have never before known through a frightful darkness that I have no choice but to submit to if I truly want to live through it. I choose Him on the cross because only that love can bear such suffering toward true worth

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  13. I cannot mention here all the trials The Lord has brought me through. If I could write, I'd write a book. From my 32 year marriage to a very Christian non-Catholic, non-religious man, to my 3 beautiful children, who all have suffered brutal "depression/anxiety" since very young!!!! To my complicated large family of 13 siblings, 36 nieces and nephews, to my health scares and major surgeries...and now elderly aging beautiful saintly parents! "Peace I give you, my Peace I give". One of Jesus final moments with His disciples..... Only HE provides Peace. I now truly Know His Peace. It has taken awhile. I was trying to control everything, everything. Thought I could fix all those hurting around me. It was all I did for decades!! HE got through. I surrendered. By the way Simon, was not willing...Jesus told St
    Mary of the Holy Trinity......But Veronica out of pure love, wiped His face on her own, that is why He gave the Grace of the imprint of His face on the cloth!!! God is with you, it is obvious. Ifvwe knew the whole of our life, we couldn't handle it....that's why Jesus asks us to live in the present only.

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    1. Thanks, your life of suffering helps me tons!
      ...my brothers and sisters always did say I was spoiled and got too many benefits from other people. And guess what, I come from a family of 13 kids!

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    2. By reading and meditating on the lives of the saints and the suffering Jesus endured, also Mary Mother of God, as she surely suffered more than any parent.. ..helped me to understand redemptive suffering.
      Being the benefits
      "Blessed are those who are merciful, they will be shown mercy". Suffering makes us compassionate to others pain.

      The benefits others bestow upon us don't mean we are necessarily spoiled......only if we are ungrateful and never satisfied..

      Whatever good (or bad) comes our way; all is for our earthly pilgrimage to use for the Good of His Kingdom and to keep us near Him in poverty and Thanksgiving.

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