Keep Moving Forward
Have you ever had the experience of God whispering to you in your heart? That has happened to me but this past February He seemed to be talking quite loudly. My family and I watched a sweet and inspiring movie, called ” Meet the Robinsons.” At one point, Lewis is concerned that he will not be able to fix the time machine and Wilbur keeps saying, “Keep Moving Forward” a motto he learned from his dad. It is part of a quote from Walt Disney. Anyway, a few days later my husband is in a serious meeting with several big wigs and I hear him saying, “We just have to keep moving forward,” not once but three times! We all laughed about it at the dinner table that evening that he used a line from an animated cartoon at this dignified meeting and it was very effective.
A couple of weeks later I was reading the book, “On the Other Side of Fear, How I Found Peace,” by Hallie Lord. She quotes a part of Pope Francis’ homily at the Canonization of St. Junipero Serra. “Father Serra had a motto which inspired his life and work, not just a saying, but above all a reality which shaped the way he lived: Siempre Adelante! Keep Moving Forward! For him, this was the way to continue experiencing the joy of the Gospel, to keep his heart from growing numb. He kept moving forward because the Lord was waiting. He kept going because his brothers and sisters were waiting. Today, like him, may we be able to say: Siempre Adelante!” (St. Junipero Serra did this literally and figuratively as he walked through the vast state of California establishing 10 new missions.)
I fell off my chair. The Lord had my attention. It just so happened that at that time I was experiencing a severe anxiety episode. The first time in 17 years and this was prior to COVID-19. Anxiety had knocked me down and I was barely functioning or moving. I ordered Hallie Lord’s book because I was hoping it would help me. It did. The Holy Spirit spoke through those words, “Keep Moving Forward.” What is also amazing is that my family had the blessing of being at St. Junipero Serra’s Canonization Mass in 2015 and a couple of years later we visited the Monastery where he lived and saw the room where he passed away. I already had a strong connection to this incredible Saint but somehow I had forgotten his motto until the good Lord reminded me of it.
As I continue to cycle through the stages of grief, I hear the Lord gently remind me of this phrase that helped me several months ago. He knew I would need it then and He knew I would need it now. I still have days that are very hard and the sadness immobilizes me. So many people have reached out to me and many are complete strangers but we are all united in the understanding and suffering of losing our beloved mothers. We are part of a club that no one wishes to belong but there is a great consolation that we have each other. I also hear the verse from John 14:18 running through my head, “I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.” The Lord is so very faithful.
This club is not exclusive, it is for anyone who has lost a loved one or something dear to them. Recently, many folks have lost loved ones due to COVID-19 or other illnesses. Many people have lost jobs, social connections, a normal school experience, their homes, and the list goes on. We are all experiencing loss right now. Some are more profound but at this unique moment in time, we all share this cross. My friend Sherri has a little statue of our Lord bent over and struggling with the weight of the Cross to step forward. She looks at this when she needs strength to carry her own crosses. Let us keep that image in our minds. Jesus is the perfect example of Siempre Adelante. Think of what His Moving Forward meant for all of us.
How awesome that our Heavenly Father gave us each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is our responsibility to help one another to Keep Moving Forward. What that entails will be very different for me and for you and it will also fluctuate each day, but the important thing is that we move forward with the Lord. Join me in asking the Holy Spirit each day to guide, strengthen, and enlighten us. Be on the lookout for ways to help others keep moving forward, and do not be afraid to reach out to folks if you need assistance. He will show you how to use your gifts to glorify Him. Even if it is one tiny step, it is Moving Forward and He is so pleased. Siempre Adelante!
Some of the things that have helped me Keep Moving Forward after trying to attend daily Mass (in person or virtually)-the best Spiritual Daily Vitamin and saying the Rosary every day-Trust in Mother Mary’s intercession:
- Begin each day in prayer to the Holy Spirit. Ask Him to help you and show you how to Move Forward with the Lord as well as how you can assist others Siempre Adelante!
- Exercise outdoors every day and marvel in God’s creation
- Read holy and inspired works
- Talk to holy people and ask them to pray for you
- Try to do at least one thing to bring God’s joy to someone and if you are able, do more!
- Pray the Litany of Trust- https://sistersoflife.org/litany-of-trust/
- Write a thank-you note to someone who does not expect it. Celebrate those little moments of kindness.
- End your day in gratitude for the many blessings the Lord has sent your way. We often miss them if we don’t have a moment of reflection. It is very helpful to write these items down and when anxiety, depression, or loneliness engulfs you, read the list and give thanks for God’s faithfulness and provision.
- Offer your suffering and tears up and unite it with the Crucified Jesus as a prayer for those in need.
- Be kind to yourself as our Lord is kind to you.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, be assured of my daily prayers for you. I cannot thank you enough for your faithful support, kindness, and prayers! May the Lord bless you abundantly!
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