St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

St. Miriam Angelica + how to help

Baby Miriam and MomFriends, it is with geat sorrow that I report sweet baby Miriam Angelica Ho went home to be with the LORD the day after her birth. I first posted about our prayer efforts on behalf of baby Miriam here.

Countless members of the online community didn’t hesitate to pray for the miraculous healing of this beautiful new life, but it wasn’t meant to be.

On May 23, Miriam’s father, Erik, provided this heartbreaking update via Facebook:

With a heavy heart I would like to tell everyone who has been offering their thoughts and prayers that at 12 pm today (5.23) our little Miriam passed away. She was with all of us while the NICU staff removed her breathing tube and we were able to be alone with her as she died. Thank you all so much for your thoughts and prayers. Saint Miriam is with our Lord and our Lady now praying for all of us.”

Later that evening, Miriam’s mother, Cassandra, wrote the following message:

Our dear, sweet baby girl Miriam Angelica has left this world. We now have a Saint in heaven praying for all of us, after all the prayers and masses said for her over the past 30 or so hours.

We are overwhelmed by all the prayers, kind thoughts, and offers of help from friends and family near and far. It is amazing how small and intimate the world becomes in a time of tragedy. Miriam’s short time with us has touched so many hearts, we could not have asked for more. We will go home with empty hands, but very full hearts.

It has been really helpful and comforting to know how quickly and widespread our news and needs for prayers has spread.

In times of great sorrow and loss, it can be difficult to know what to do to help a grieving family. Writer Laura Fanucci, who is walking the path of life after loss, provides excellent suggestions for practical and spiritual help. She has a lot of powerful, well-written entries about grief (and other things, too), as has Writer Tommy Tighe, whose son, Luke, died shortly after birth.

Specifically, there are particular ways that you, in your charity, may assist Cassandra and Erik Ho and their children during this extraordinarily difficult time.

1. Material support via gift cards

While local friends are helping with a meal train, the family has asked for gift cards to cover general expenses (ie groceries, restaurants, Costco, Amazon, etc.).

Any gifts may be mailed to:

The Ho Family
c/o Bronson Family
2126 Peaceful Garden Way
Rescue, CA 95672

2. Spiritual support via prayers and sacrifices

The Blessed is She sisterhood is gathering a spiritual bouquet for the Ho Family. Your offering of prayers, sacrifices, Masses, etc. for their consolation and peace is greatly appreciated. You may contribute to the bouquet by commenting on the original Facebook thread. If you don’t have a Facebook account, please feel free to leave a comment below, and I will gladly add your offering to the bouquet that will be presented to the family in the near future.

And, finally, if you live near the Ho Family in California, please consider joining them in prayer for Miriam Angelica’s funeral Mass. Here are the details from Miriam’s parents:

Next Thursday, June 1, at 10am, we would like to invite all who can come to a Mass of the Angels for our daughter Miriam. There will be a reception afterwards. If you are wanting to offer any assistance of any kind for the reception or anything else, please feel free to contact Sarina Bronson at 530-503-7474 via text or call, or she can be reached at sarina@bronsons.net.

Thank you, dear readers, for your prayers and support. Let’s lift this family up and remind them that the Body of Christ, the Church Militant, is alive and well. Let’s be Jesus’s hands and feet for them in their time of need.

image credit: Lena Flores

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When the Holy Spirit whispers

When the Holy Spirit whispers

 Today began like most other days – I awoke with the resignation that there were, as usual, many more things on my to-do list than hours and energy with which to complete them.

And then I remembered that today is the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary – one of my most favorite feasts of all time.

In the relative stillness of my heart, I boldly asked for extra grace from Mama Mary today because, hey, I obviously need it, and hey also, she doesn’t have anything better to do, amIrite?

Wouldn’t you know it – the most grace – and joy! – came from doing a few pretty minor things that the Holy Spirit whispered onto my ‘to-do’ list … things that weren’t necessarily my idea but His.

Finding joy in listening to what God asks and actually obeying His wishes? I know. What a concept. 

But as I have likely proved via ample evidence a la this blog specifically and random musings on social media in general, I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Things just don’t quite sink into this stubborn head of mine … until they do.

Whisper #1: Be with Me.

Even though I wasn’t dressed in my Sunday best, I’d actually changed out of my pajamas, brushed my hair, and my face was clean-ish … and the littlest offspring had honest-to-goodness shoes on their literal feet … so I decided we would all go to daily Mass. If the only thing we did was go to Mass today, surely that would be something, right?

As is my custom during the proclamation of the Gospel, I closed my eyes and held an impossibly wriggly child, hoping His Word would somehow seep into the marrow of my being, healing and soothing and resurrecting each of my dry bones.

Sure enough, as Father read these words, tears welled up in my eyes:

“And Mary said:
‘My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.'”

In a special way, today I heard these words as if they applied specifically to me:

My soul proclaims and rejoices.

He has looked with favor upon me, His lowly servant.

He has done great things for me.

Holy is His Name – I praise Him.

It was impossible to ignore the personal, practical application of the text, even as I unsuccessfully wrestled the 3-year-old boy who has, of late, been uncharacteristically clingy.

The proclamation continued:

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever.”

Underneath the currents of the literal meaning of these words, I also heard:

He has shown mercy to me.

He shows mercy to my children.

He lifts me up.

He fills me up.

He comes to help me.

He remembers the promises He has made to me.

He remembers the promises He has made to my children.

Tears of joy.

The lesson from Whisper 1? I love you, Heather. I always have. I will never forsake or abandon you. I give you myself. Forever.

This experience, coupled with the graces received by receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, propelled me into …

Whisper #2: Celebrate Life.

I reasoned that I had to go to the store anyway, so why not pick up a few extra things to drop off for a friend’s birthday? After all,  I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate this Feast than by celebrating her life, especially as ridiculous scheduling and sickness and life has kept me from seeing her IRL as often as I’d like.

Whisper #3: ___________.

I’m not gonna go into too many details about this whisper because it’s still in-process. I did what I felt the Spirit was asking, but I don’t think the eagle has landed, so to speak. Suffice to say – maybe someone will feel encouraged and uplifted today because I took a moment to consider her needs as more important than my silly, superficial to-do list.

Lessons from whispers 2 & 3, respectively? Be His hands and feet. However and whenever He calls.

The rest is really just silliness – every single bit of it. The very best to-do list is the one that is crafted by the Holy Spirit. Hands down and chin up.

God bless y’all.

heather

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