“Jesus Is Right There With You”

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“Jesus Is Right There With You”
Scarcely two weeks have passed since I assisted a dying woman. This was not the first time, but each time the experience is new and personal.

I watched her as she lay there, unable to open her eyes or to speak, her breathing labored. I gazed on her face, attentive for signs of what she might be experiencing. My heart ached each time she moaned in pain. Family and friends surrounded her; I was glad that she would not make this journey alone.

She had been lonely much of her 85 years: the first child, an only girl, rejected by her father, raised in the Great Depression, disowned as she entered a relationship her parents did not approve. A child came of that relationship: a girl… also rejected. Four sons followed. A military wife, she had to constantly uproot herself and her family, following her husband from one country to another. Moving was hard for her. Relationships suffered. She vacillated between anger and depression, turning to alcohol for relief – all the while trying to raise a family. Faith never really took root in her life. The one support she did have was a loving husband and her children; they all loved her. Her husband had died 16 years earlier, but her children were all here.

Before going to the hospital, she confided to Pamela, her caregiver, “I’m so afraid.” “Nothing to be afraid of, Miss Leo,” Pamela replied. “Jesus is right there with you. He is mercy and forgiveness; he is going to lead you through the dark valley and take you home. He loves all sinners and he loves you. You just trust him.” I watched her now. Would she hold on to that message of hope? “Jesus, be with her.” I prayed, half aloud. “Don’t let her lose hope.” Quietly I prayed the chaplet to Divine Mercy and the prayers for the dying. Her face was troubled and she was restless; I prayed she would find peace.

It’s so hard for me to imagine what it’s like facing death without faith. Faith in the love and presence of Jesus has seen me through every trial, fear, and period of darkness.

Her son caressed her on one side and her daughter on the other. A moment later a seizure overtook her. Both lovingly calmed her as her daughter repeated, “Mom, we’re all here and we love you. Jesus loves you. He is with you. He will take care of you. You’re not alone.” Her face relaxed and she was calm.

How important it is to know in every circumstance of our lives that God is with us. No one else can actually walk with us through the valley of death – only HE who said to the sinful woman, “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you,” and to the good thief, “This day you shall be with me in paradise.” His judgment is a judgment of mercy. Love for our Redeemer welled up within me and loving compassion for this woman before me.

Later that evening she turned to look at an unseen Presence. She nodded and peace settled over her. She laid her head to the side, smiled and silently passed to eternal life.

This woman was my mother.

“Do not be afraid! He has been raised and goes before you…” (cf. Mt 28: 6.7). His is the promise: “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (Jn 11:25).

When you or a loved one walks through a dark valley, it is the sudden appearance of this unseen Presence that makes it possible to find peace and mercy. Unseen, perhaps, but not unreal. The intervention of God in our lives is the most real thing there is, as real as the manifestation of Jesus’ presence to the apostles after the resurrection, as real as Jesus appearing to St. Paul on the road to Damascus, as real as his mysterious manifestation of mercy to my mother.

I invite you to share the way in which Jesus has shown you his face and brought light in the midst of a situation marked by confusion, sadness, or uncertainty. The way we witness that Jesus is risen is the way we support each other on the road to joy, to the eternal Day of resurrected, eternal life.

Sr. Mary Leonora Wilson, FSP

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  • I am so glad for today again that the lord is steadfast with us in grace and he fil us us with the Holy Spirit and and fire to move on in to know his love better over us and his amazing silent presence in care are so beautiful over us in peace and victory and in our desire he wil provide with best answer,thanks and bless and joy,keijo sweden
    6/8/2014 10:47:56 PM Reply
  • Amazing sharing. I am also going through a struggle of faith with so many trials and tribulations. Even when I read this my hope and faith increased... but again when I shut this Computer I will carry my same story wherever I shall go. It's been nearly 25 years now I haven't really seen happiness lasting with me. It's only shortlived and is taken away with the blink of any eye.... But the journey of my life... my boat is Jesus during my storm. I've become strong... with less success.... waiting for the last word for my destiny
    5/13/2014 12:49:11 AM Reply
  • Amazing sharing. I am also going through a struggle of faith with so many trials and tribulations. Even when I read this my hope and faith increased... but again when I shut this Computer I will carry my same story wherever I shall go. It's been nearly 25 years now I haven't really seen happiness lasting with me. It's only shortlived and is taken away with the blink of any eye.... But the journey of my life... my boat is Jesus during my storm. I've become strong... with less success.... waiting for the last word for my destiny
    5/13/2014 12:44:33 AM Reply
  • Thank you Sr. Lenora for sharing this beautiful, moving story. Very inspirational and a proof that Jesus is with us no matter what and that your vocation was instrumental in bringing peace to your mother in the last moments of her life. May she rest in peace!!!
    5/5/2014 10:07:35 AM Reply
  • Dear Nan, You surely have courage and perseverance to continue to endure and trust. You are who Sr. Faustina says God owes His mercy to, those who trust most.
    5/3/2014 5:10:01 PM Reply
    • Nan
      @susan kent: thank you so very much! God bless!
      5/4/2014 10:16:14 AM Reply
  • Dear Sr Mary , what a wonderful privilege to be there with your dear Mum and your family as she took her last breath. This is something I was not able to do for my mother as I was in a different country at the time, and ever since I've deeply regretted it. As a result I have tried to help and comfort lonely elderly people whenever I can. We live and learn. God bless.
    5/3/2014 3:04:41 PM Reply
  • Thank for sharing your story. we often dont see that God is with us all the times. its just that there is so much noise that interfers with our lives. your story is a reminder that no matter what is happening around is God is there always,all we need to do is simply ask and he shall provide.
    5/3/2014 9:06:14 AM Reply
  • Nan
    I have spent the last five years walking with Jesus, I wish I could say hand in hand, but often when scared I curl up into a tight little ball, as we have seen little children do, and I forget that He is standing there waiting to take my hand and lead me again. Five years ago my husband was arrested. I had two children under the age of two and was a stay at home mom. My world was torn apart in an instant. I stand here five years later, still married to a man who has grown and become the father and husband I always knew him to be. We have stood through cancer scares with our son, and forecloser notices. God always provides enough for us. We have been blessed so much. We have come to say the rosary every day, we pray together every morning and every evening. We attend church together at least once during the week and we are blessed to be able to participate in our churches first Friday evening mass every month. We are currently at another crossroads and looking for Jesus to guide us in the right direction. I am trying to resist the urge to curl up in a ball! We are trying to walk where He leads, but it seems after losing all our money on starting a business, after my husband couldn't find a job, we are almost out of options, we are working on one last idea to try to salvage what is left, we are together, we are trying to enjoy our family, we are trying to stand on Gods path and put one foot in front of the other. I am trusting God far more than I ever imagined possible. I am no where that I ever dreamed I would be when I imagined my life, but 5 years ago if you would have told me I would smile again, let alone laugh with an unbroken family I would have laughed at you unbelievingly. God is great and powerful, it is so hard but so amazing when we just put our trust in Him!
    5/3/2014 6:42:10 AM Reply
    • Nan
      @Michele Dorey Russomanno : thank you! God bless you.
      5/4/2014 10:15:31 AM Reply
    • @Nan: God bless you never lose hope
      5/3/2014 9:51:41 PM Reply
    • Nan
      @Sr. Kathryn: Thank you Sr Kathryn. We too have asked for Saint Joseph to intervene. May God bless you for your kindness. Thank you very much
      5/3/2014 2:52:18 PM Reply
    • Nan
      @Sr. M. Leonora: thank you for your prayers. May God bless you for your thoughtfulness and kindness. Thank you
      5/3/2014 2:50:32 PM Reply
    • @Nan: Dear Nan, Thank you for sharing so much of your own story and the beautiful journey of trust you are making with the Lord. Even when you do curl up in a tight little ball, He is still there helping you to uncurl, stand up and walk with Him again. When you and your husband pray the rosary, know that I am praying my daily rosary for you as well. May the Lord continue to strengthen you. God bless you. Sr. M. Leonora
      5/3/2014 10:35:31 AM Reply
    • @Nan: I will be praying for you especially to St. Joseph. He is a great saint for the miraculous...walking with us as he did Jesus and Mary. Sr. Kathryn
      5/3/2014 10:17:30 AM Reply
  • Thank you for sharing your personal story. God bless you Sister.
    5/3/2014 5:12:50 AM Reply
  • Ann
    Yesterday my younger sister passed away and I was told by my doctor that I have breast cancer. Thank you for sharing something so personal; it is beautiful and filled with hope. It has touched me deeply.
    5/3/2014 5:07:43 AM Reply
    • Ann
      @Taylor: Thank you, Taylor. I am at peace and only want God's will - that is where our true happiness lies.
      5/6/2014 9:30:58 AM Reply
    • Ann
      @Sr. M. Leonora: Thank you so much, God bless you abundantly.
      5/6/2014 9:27:42 AM Reply
    • @Ann: Dear Ann, I am praying for you as walk through this difficult time. I am asking the Lord to let you feel His presence and believe in His love, because He truly does love you! The more He asks of us, the more He loves us. The more He takes from us, the more we belong to Him. Please feel me close in prayer. God bless you! Sr. M. Leonora
      5/3/2014 11:02:43 AM Reply
    • @Ann: Dear Ann - I am so very sorry and am praying for you now. May you find peace in your trust of the Lord that no matter what happens, you will be okay.
      5/3/2014 5:10:53 AM Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this intimate story and your faith and your good example of how to comfort and intercede for a dying loved one. I will remember about praying the chaplet of Divine Mercy.
    5/3/2014 4:22:37 AM Reply
  • Just so beautiful !!! Thanks for sharing this.
    5/3/2014 3:25:01 AM Reply

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