Greetings to all! As I sat down at noon mass today I did not immediately kneel down and pray like everyone else does. I just sat down and began praying then I distracted myself because I began thinking I know people are thinking, “uhm well look at him not praying.” You see in the movie that is going on in my head I am the lead actor and everyone talks about me all the time. And then I thought to myself, you know what St. Ignatius of Loyola like to pray laying on his back. You know there is more than one way to pray and I don’t particularly like kneeling down to pray because it is hard for me to concentrate. Well, wouldn’t you know that today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. He has always been one of my favorite Saints and I really appreciate and enjoy his style of prayer and his spiritual writing.
When I was attending Franciscan University I was in a Household, which is similar to a Fraternity, just take the keg parties and replace them with praise and worship and you get the picture. The name of the Household I was in was Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam or AMDG for short. This latin phrase translates to All for the Greater Glory of God and is the motto of the Jesuit Religious Order order founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola. What I am getting at here is that St. Ignatius has for a long time held a very special place in my heart and in my spirituality. If you have never heard the story of his conversion it is an amazing one, I will give you the Cliff’s notes version and then you can go read the rest later. Basically, he was this big military hotshot who got shot in the legs with a CANNONBALL, did you hear that? Not shot by a bullet, but a real CANNONBALL! Needless to say he was laid up for months recovering from this awful experience. The only books they had were the bible and the lives of the saints and so he read them just to do it. Well, needless to say God moved in his heart in a very powerful way and St. Ignatius became one of the most holy, brilliant, and dedicated followers of Christ.
That got me to thinking in Mass today about the words ALL for the greater glory of God. Not just some of life, but all of life. The good and the bad. The pretty and the ugly. The neatly packaged and the falling out of the box. Ali and I were talking the other night about how so many people, both that we have never met and those very close to us, that God has impacted them through Cate’s short life and our family’s difficult journey and what is also amazing is that you all are STILL here with us. I truly thought that after Cate’s passing the story would “end” for a lot of people, but it hasn’t. Many of you have sent beautiful emails sharing very intimate parts of your own journey with Ali and I. You have shared how God has moved in your hearts in some VERY powerful ways. Some of you have made life changing decisions and some of you God has really renewed your faith, your prayer life, and your family life. We miss Cate, do not get me wrong, there are not many minutes that go by in a day where my thoughts do not turn to her and her absence, but what I told Ali the other night was that a quote from St. Therese of Lisieux has been stuck in my head when my thoughts turn to Cate. St. Therese said, “I will spend my Heaven doing good upon earth” and I truly believe that this is what Cate is doing and will continue to do. God is using ALL for His greater Glory, even Cate's death and the mourning that our family is having to endure. Just as He used the aweful situation that St. Ignatius found himself in after being shot with a Cannonball for His greater Glory, so too is He using this aweful situation that our little family finds itself in for His greater glory.
There is a song that many of you have left the lyrics to as a comment on the blog by the group Mercy Me. The name of the song is “Bring the Rain” and in the chorus of the song they say, “Bring me anything that brings You glory, And I know there'll be days When this life brings me pain But if that's what it takes to praise You Jesus, bring the rain.” Our family will continue to strive to give God ALL the Glory in ALL situations, and so Lord if that is what it takes to praise you, then Bring the Rain! We love you all and ask that you remain with us, and we thank you for continuing to standing by us through rain. May we all strive to live for the greater Glory of God. St. Ignatius…Pray for us!
Much Love, The Cantrells
If any of you out there still want prayer cards we still have some left. We have sent out a lot but we still have some left and if you want one we want you to have one! Just send me your mailing address to firstname.lastname@example.org and don’t worry I will not start sending you junk mail:)