Gratitude and Remembering Grandmother

Today I was much enlightened by Paul's letter to the Romans.
Brothers and sisters: If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. The Scripture says, No one who believes in him will be put to shame. There is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, enriching all who call upon him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
The moments I call on God's name are few.  The conscious effort to remember that these words are alive and are a testament from believers of ancient days are not enough.  But this morning's Eucharist helped me realize that I am grateful for so very little.  Gratitude isn't something I practice regularly.  At most I often think that I should be receiving gratitude for all the difficult things I put up with.  This morning I realize that I am not fully grateful that there are words of faith that can be relied upon, pondered upon and reflected upon in times of great distress.  Words such as those of St. Paul's that strike me at my innermost core.  

For one who believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.  Yesterday was one of those days I chose to believe that things will be okay.  It was one of those days when the calm just takes me by grace and I'm able to respond willingly and say, "Okay God.  It's all up to you today.  I'll just walk with you on this one."  Ironically, it was also yesterday when a lot of things didn't turn out so well at work.  So much set-back.  So many perspectives clashing.  But I realized how the words of Paul are true.  I believed in my heart that I walked with the Maker and it gave me this sense of peace.  I was not alone.  I didn't have to deal with things alone.  And I was saved from the turmoil of frustration and anxiety.

Anxiety robs us so much of a lot of things.  It robs us of the sight to see the good things.  I have to admit that anxiety has taken first place in my thoughts for most of this month.  The amount of work that has piled up has been unbelievable.  The problems surfacing and re-surfacing all seem to be insurmountable.  Just yesterday my father had a laparoscopy procedure and I couldn't really fly back to the hometown because of work.  So it was a great  relief  being able to call him after his operation was done and hear him and my Mom laughing about their old age.  

Today is a holiday and a much needed mid-week break.  The mass this morning was offered for my grandmother's death anniversary.  Her name was Magdalena and we called her Lily.  She was a tough woman and a disciplinarian.  Her love was fierce and strong.  She was often misunderstood but she stuck to her principles and lived the Carmelite way all her life.  

remembering grandmother

her kitchen

her chair

the work of her hands

her stamp collection

another from her stamp collection

remembering you lola.


  1. What a wonderful tribute to your grandmother. The photos are each worth a thousand words. Her handwriting is lovely, which reminds me that I'm so glad I saved several of *my* grandmother's letters to me; she had a distinct, old-fashioned cursive that they don't teach in schools anymore. :)

  2. I've been thinking of what I can do with all these actually. I have some of my grandaunt's journals as well. In the past I wanted to write a memoir for them. Hopefully I get around to it someday.


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