Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Quiet Hopefulness

Greetings to all. The formal celebration of Baby Cate's earthly life have all ended. The outpouring of love for our little girl and our family was just amazing. The Mass was beautiful and I mean beautiful! Our little girl packed the church in Rayne, which is a fairly large church. Ali and I were very intentional about the readings and the music for the Mass. We truly wanted it to be a celebration of Cate's life, not a quiet and somber ceremony, but a ceremony that was filled with joy and hope, just as Baby Cate's life here on earth was. The first reading was Isaiah 49: 1-6 and the Psalm was Psalm 33. The Songs were "Never Let Go" by Matt Redman, "Who is to Come" by Kelly Pease, "Mother's Song" by Kelly Pease, "Set Me As a Seal" by Matt Maher, "Amazing Grace" by Chris Tomlin, and "We Stand and Lift Up our Hands" by Chris Tomlin. Fr. Michael Delcambre, who baptized Cate delivered the homily and knock it out of the Park! John Ray Perkins, Cate's God Father and I were pallbearers and at the last minute, "Dude" Cate's big brother ran up and helped walk is sister down the isle. The whole thing was absolutely perfect in Ali and I's opinion. It has been quiet around our house the last couple of days. Strangely quiet. I can't put my finger on it and am obviously still trying to process it, but life seems much slower. I enjoy our kids more, I enjoy my wife more, I enjoy the little day to day activities that once irritated me, just a little more. But there is an emptiness that is left in our hearts, there is an emptiness left in our home, there is an emptiness left in the swing that Cate once sat in, there is emptiness in her baby bed that I look in every time I pass it. In my head I know that she is in a "better place" but in my heart I just long for her smile, her smell, even her dirty diapers. I know that in time God will console this emptiness, I don't know if it will ever, "go away." I didn't really see very many people at the Funeral Mass itself. I was focused on Cate, my family, and giving all praise and thanksgiving to my God for allowing us to be the parents of such a wonderful little girl. But, I did notice the faces of two people, parishioners of the Church that I worked at in Houston for a few years. They are just wonderful, and I mean wonderful people, and about a year and a half ago they lost their teenage daughter very suddenly. She was a teen in the youth group that I had the privilege to run, while we were in Houston. I talked to them both at the reception that my in-laws had at the after Mass and I said, you all know what this feels like and told them of one person's comment to Ali and I that, "she wishes she could tell us that it gets better, but it only gets worse” they said that was not true, the pain doesn't go away that God just helps you to deal with better. Those were words that I could hold onto, they were words that strengthened my hope. I won't ever forget Cate, stop loving Cate, or even missing her. We will always be, Minus One, in the Cantrell house, but our God is faithful and his word tells us, Blessed are those who Morn, for they shall be Comforted! Yes, we shall be comforted, we already are comforted and I know with confidence that our comfort will only increase as we allow God to heal our broken hearts. It is a process, it is a journey, one that we must and will take, because of our Faith, Hope, and Trust in our God. My heart just aches right now, as it should, if it didn't then that means we wouldn't have loved and been loved by our precious Cate. Many of you asked at the Funeral home and after the mass that we continue this blog, that we continue sharing the Cantrell's journey into the heart of our God and so Ali and I will, as long as you all want to come along. Thank you to all of your generous prayerful, physical, and financial support to our family during the difficult time. We love you all and remain in Hope, remain with us in prayer.

I want to leave you all with something that God put on my heart this past Thursday as we were preparing for Cate's Funeral. The day after Baby Cate's surgery when she was on the ecmo machine Ali and I were talking about God and about Him "showing up" to heal Cate's heart. I told Ali about something that I had read in a book years back about God kinda having a hero-complex. Look throughout scriptures, He always like to show up big and sometimes He would kinda drag out the story to make an even bigger finish." I was reflecting on these words I had spoken to Ali when I realized, God SHOWED UP! He showed up in a HUGE way! He brought together and is still bringing together people from every nation under His banner. That He, through the suffering of Baby Cate and our little family, He is drawing thousands and thousands back to Him. He did a MIGHTY MIGHTY work in only twelve days, we keep saying seven months, including myself, but in all actuality, He did this mighty work in twelve days! He drew people from the corners of the earth to His feet in prayer for Baby Cate, in TWELVE DAYS! Our family is humbled and honored that we got to play a small role in God showing the world how He can make Good out of even the worst situation. So, please don't feel like God didn't show up, because we, our family, feel like He showed up BIG TIME! Isaiah 49:6, "It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth." He used a little baby girl, our Sweet Baby Cate to be a light to the Nations that His salvation might reach to the ends to the earth! Thank you God for Showing up! We love you!

68 comments:

Karen Underwood said...

Charlie & Ali, you don't know me, I am a youth minister in Florida and we had the privilege of hearing you speak @ the Steubenville conference last year. Just wanted to let you know that Paul George asked everyone at this Steubenville conference to pray a Rosary for your family on the way home. We did and I would bet that so did everyone else. You both are a beautiful example of how we as Catholics should trust in our God knowing what's best. Thank you for that gift. Love & Christ's peace & joy, Karen Underwood and the Youth of Espiritu Santo

John Ray Perkins said...

AMEN! Brother...AMEN!

Maureen Gallagher said...

Love you dearly.... Thank you so very much for sharing your heart and doing so with such transparency. I hope the Lord allows you to see your own heart and the ways that you, as parents have blessed the world through this journey in addition to the continuing ways He magnifies His love through Cate's legacy.

Love and prayer, maureen

Anonymous said...

We are still standing strong behind you and your family and we will never leave.

Tiffany Boullion

laura said...

just wanted to let you know that we're still here and willing to stay with you on this journey.

You are so right that God showed up in a BIG way... and continues to make big impressions on my heart and I'm sure many others.

you truly are a great example and reminder to us -- but remember you are still human and allowed to mourn. I know I still cry for you and Baby Cate. I am sure though that you will slowly be given the graces from God to grow stronger to deal with the earthly departure of your sweet little girl.

Mother of our Lord, pray for us

Nicole said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to keep us on the journey with you. You, your family and Cate remain in my thoughts and prayers.

the perrys said...

Charlie and Ali,
We wanted so badly to be at Cate's service but were unable to attend due to a prior obligation that could not be rescheduled. Your family and blog has touched our lives more than you can ever know, even though you don't really know us. We continue to pray for you daily. We pray that you are able to make it through the little and bigs things that life continues to offer with God by your side. Thank you for continuing to share your life with others. We love you!
Blessings,
Chris and Denise Perry

lilfella said...

You offer such amazing hope, thank you.

Crystal said...

Thank you Charlie for the wonderful message. Your family has given so many people much hope. Baby Cate is a saint in my heart and I'm sure many more. God Bless you and your family. Keep in touch!!



Much Love,
Crystal Judice

Anonymous said...

As I was speaking to my spiritual director the other day about my involvement for a short time in the lives of your family I was moved to speak to her about how God has humbled me through the story of Baby Cate. I am grateful for that chance to be humbled in the sight of God and I thank Him and little Baby Cate for showing me that I can bend to His will and allow him to control my life. I just wanted to share with you guys I believe that God did much good through your little girl.

The Allemans said...

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced.

1 Chronicles 16:11-12

Look to the Lord every day and your burden will be lightened. Your faith, strength and love for each other is a beautiful example of what a true christian marriage is. Thank you for your love and friendship. We love you guys and will continue praying.

Love,
Poppa Jim, Linda, Blair and Hannah

Marsha said...

Charlie, You are such an inspiration to me. You have taught me so much and continue to do so. I love you. Marsha

Anonymous said...

WOW. that is all i can say. i am speachless. you guys are such an inspiration, your whole family is!!! i know that Baby Cate is where we all long to be one day. I love you guys!

-a secret person that has prayed for baby cate her entire journey

Anonymous said...

CHarlie and Ali,

We are still here as well praying for you nightly. Know that you are so strong right now, stronger than I would be and I look at you as an inspiration. You truly have the Holy Spirit on your side you are amazing to so many people. I am proud to have known you and still know you!! Keep up the faith!

Nicky, Mark and Brett

Claire said...

i'm still reading and still praying...love yall!!

claire

Anonymous said...

Tears streaming down my face. Thank you Cate for saying "yes" through your Mom and Dad. Thank you for living out your Baptism unto the proclamation of the Gospel so purely and perfectly. You are a light to the nations. And what a light! Shine on Faith Camp, Cate, interceed for our youth who long to know Jesus. Your Daddy gave the best talk on Jesus I ever heard at Faith Camp one year. I'm sure they replay it in heaven now and then. Ask Jesus that our Faith Campers (next week) would get that same message. We love you still. Genie S.

Gina Borbas said...

Dearest Charlie and Ali,
It is so good to read your voice today for my thoughts and prayers are with you in a most sincere way.
You are so right, Charlie! God is so mighty and You ARE being comforted by Him and He WILL CONTINUE to comfort you. He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. The hole you have in your heart is painful and real and it has Cate's name written on it. You see, I have learned that amidst the pain in the loss, we are being told something very special. I feel it reflects the degree to which we have loved. It tells us that we have loved with all that we had, all we have and will continue to have. It tells us we have loved well, with all of our hearts. Over time it does change and God is so good to be gentle in it all. I pray you find some comfort in knowing the ache you feel and perhaps in some way may always feel to some degree over the years will become a sweet reminder of her precious time with you here and until you are with her again will find a peaceful comfort in knowing you loved her with your whole being. For it was and is for Cate, as it was meant to be, it is a love like no other.

My prayers continue to be yours in the name of Jesus+
Gina Borbas+

Anonymous said...

I really feel like you and your beautiful family have been such an inspiration to me. I have been dealing with my own son's birth defect and having trouble dealing with everything. Cate's story has inspired me in such an uplifting way. I'm sure it's hard for you and your family to hear that you are helping people feel grateful. But the strength your family has taught me has comforted me. And I want to let you know that your daughters story has inspired me and brought faith I hadn't really had in a long time. I haven't attended a sunday service in probably eight years and I took my family last Sunday to a new church. Not only is the faith what I needed but the wonderful people who really comforted me in this situation. So thank you. I will pray for you and always remember baby Cate. And as long as you write I will be reading it.

stacey said...

Thank you again for sharing your family!
As I was leaving the funeral home on Friday night I came across not one but 2 BEAUTIFUL rainbows!
I knew in my heart and my mind that it was your little girl.
We will continue to keep your family in our hearts.
Stacey Maturin

Anonymous said...

We will continue to read your amazing journey, and can't wait to see what good things God has in store for your family.

4in4 said...

Still here and would appreciate continued entries. You aren't just bringing people TO God, you are also bringing people (me) who were already close to Him even closer. Thank you to Cate and to your whole family for showing me how to Hope and Trust more deeply.

Dixie from Nevada said...

All I can say is AMAZING!!! Your story has touched and continues to touch countless souls. Your words are truly inspired words sent from God. Your holy family's faith shines through. Thank-you for sharing your faith and family with the world. Go out to all the world and tell the good news.That is what you are doing for us....giving us hope in God. May God comfort and console your family. Thank you. God Bless

Tammy Zgabay said...

Dear Cantrells,
Keep 'em coming - your blog will act as a conduit for so many miracles that you'll never know about!
Peace and blessings,
The Zgabays
New Braunfels, TX

Anonymous said...

Your family is an inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing your lives with us. We are, as always, keeping you all in our prayers.

Love,
McCarley's

Anonymous said...

Ali,
I am posting here in hopes that you check this more frequently than your emails. I sent you one and I am waiting for your reply. I also wanted to say what an inspiration you two are.
Casey

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali,
Cate's mass may have the most moving mass I have been to. The music, the homily, the readings, all penetrated my soul and have changed me and my family. God really showed up and Cate has made a difference and will continue to inspire me as a wife, mother and friend. I am blessed to call you guys friends and look forward to spending time with you now that I am home. I love you, Alyssa

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali - I have never met you, but I work with the mother of Baby Cate's godfather. I just want to let you know how much your family's journey has inspired me. In the last few months I stopped going to church, but after reading about your situation, I went back for the last two weeks and prayed for Baby Cate. I admire both of you and thank you for helping me find my way back.

Laurie Reed said...

I have been following your journey from the beginning and have been so humbled by your strength and faith. I am a photographer in Pine Prairie, La. and would love to create something special for you of baby Cate. My email is scrapjunkymom@yahoo.com. If you feel led, please contact me. It would be a blessing for me to continue this journey with your family. I have a little girl that is 7 yrs old and we thought that we couldn't have children. Since I started following baby Cate's journey, I hold her a little bit tighter every night. You both are truly amazing people and are blessed to have each other. Baby Cate has been a blessing to many of us. Thanks for sharing your precious angel.

Laurie Reed

Happy moments, praise God.
Difficult moments, seek God.
Quiet moments, worship G od
Painful moments, trust God.
Every moment, thank God .

Anonymous said...

Thanks for continuing with the blog! You don't know how your suffering with faith and hope has encourgaed me! I am amazed that I find so much comfort from a family that should be recieving all the comfort! I just can't thank you enough for opening your heart! I think we get caught up in this world and forget to use our hearts sometimes! Anyway I was quite happy to see a blog today and hear how the funeral went since I would have loved to have been there! I will continue to check the blog and pray for you and the empty feeling! I can't imagine how hard it must be to look into an empty bed or swing! My heart just aches for you when I read that! I will remain faithful in prayer! Thanks again! And feel free to call on me for anything!! Seriously!!
Teresa Clark

Anonymous said...

By the way, I wanted to tell you... I have given people this website address more lately. It seems suddendly I know quite a few people who have had miscarriages and so forth and I passed along this blog hoping they would find the comfort and support here that I have!
Teresa Clark

Shelley Pizzitola said...

Ali & Charlie,
We are still mourning your loss but are encouraged by your hopeful example. We love you, we miss you, and we will continue to pray for you and your family. Baby Cate will be in our hearts forever.
Love,
Shelley & Jason Pizzitola

em vanderlick said...

y'all remain in my thoughts & prayers. please don't hesitate to call if there's anything we can do.

when y'all feel up to it, we'd love to have the kiddos come splash aroung the pool with henry :)

Ragin-Cajun said...

The funeral was beautiful. You all remain in our prayers.

The Dunbar's said...

Charlie,

Thank you for writing an entry. My heart still feels an emptiness as well, and I only met Baby Cate once...yet I am still so sad. I was just thinking about her and looking at her prayer card on our fridge...and wondered if there was another blog. So I came to the computer and found "Quiet Hopefulness." Thank you. As you seek comfort, please know your thoughts give comfort to others as well.

God Bless,
Kristen Dunbar

Jamie said...

Thanks Charlie - you and your family's story brings us hope and you are continuing to allow God to work through your family. It is amazing. In a recent bible study I was participating in we talked about faith and I used your real life story at how even in the toughest of times you see God and remain faithful to his Word and his hope. I appreciate you pouring your heart out to us all. It is truly a gift and very touching. Take care and God Bless - Jamie Breaux Fonseca

Anonymous said...

My husband and I lost our baby girl a year and a half ago. I just want you to know that what your friends told you is absolutely true. Although, you will always be missing a piece of your heart now that Baby Cate is gone, it will get easier to live with. If i can give you any advice at all, it is to try your best to get back to a "normal" life as soon as possible. God will give you the strength to deal with the rest. We will continue to pray for your family.

Bryan & Christi Ticknor

Anonymous said...

charlie & ali, i just wanted to say that i've been praying and i'll continue praying for you and your family. i love you guys so much.

- ann chan

Anonymous said...

Rest assured on many prayers for your family! God is so GOOD! Looking forward to the continued journey and prayers for the Cantrell family.....you are all deep in my heart and prayers! Praise God!

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,

I hope all is well in the Cantrell household. I pray that God continues to give both of you all that you need; you are still in my thoughts and prayers. I also wanted to let you know that you succeeded in making Cate's Mass a celebration, it was unlike any other that I have attended, it was beautiful.

Sheilah

Anonymous said...

my peace fill the emptiness & draw you closer to God and each other. minute at a time, hour at a time, day at a time---we're standing in the gap for you. baby cate pray for your family.

Anonymous said...

Love it. Love your words. Love our God. Love the power of community. Love the power of life. Thank you for living it! Thank you for sharing it! Thanks for continuing your inspirations. Love, the Bosters
(A little goodie is on its way for you guys.)

Anonymous said...

I am once again humbled by your words Charlie and like someone said in a previous post, we have never met and may never meet until united in Heaven, but I feel so connected to your family. I am still praying and Cate is still working for our Lord in changing lives. I've heard from several friends who I sent your blog to who have told me how much of a difference this blog has made in their prayer life. Your family continues in my prayers and in my heart, may our Lord continue to shower His Mercy upon you and may Mary hold you close always. JESUS I TRUST IN YOU!! YSIC, Melanie (New Braunfels)

Lila Lambert said...

It has been such an honor and a blessing to pray for your beautiful Baby Cate..it has enriched my life and the lives of so many...I continue to pray for your family. The celebration of Cate's life was beautiful and they say that the "fruits of the Mass" are truly poured out when everyone prays in unity during the consecration with rectitude of intention and faithfilled disposition....I truly felt this grace flow through me and then I looked at the faces of your family and could see the spirit of God shining through each and every one of you...WOW what an inspiration to everyone whose lives you have touched...God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow or sun without rain..But He did promise strength for each day, comfort for our tears and a light for our way...Love, Lila Lambert

Marin said...

Baby Cate's mass was beautiful---thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. Thanks for being such an inspiration to our family. We will continue praying for you and we promise to come by to visit next time I am home in Rayne if you are up to it.
Love, marin

Jenny said...

Charlie and Ali,

Thank you so much for keeping your journey alive. We can't wait to keep going with yall. You have help me with a special journey when I needed the most (lifeteen) and now you are helping me see a whole new light of things now that I am a parent. You and Ali have helped so many people and us see what love, parenting , and hope is all about. I read your blogs over and over again and I just feel God in a way that I never felt before. The mass was so beautiful. We love yall so much and we will keep praying for yall family.
Jenny, Jake, Peyton and Parker Menard

Anonymous said...

You are truly an inspiration to all, your hope and faith are amazing. May God continue his work thru you and your family.

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali...after reading your words I thought I would share with you an excerpt from today's message from God Calling:

THE CHILD-SPIRIT - Does the way seem a stony wone? Have courage. Face the future, but "face" it only wiht a brave and happy heart. Do not seek to "see" it. You are robbing Faith of her sublime sweetness if you do this. Just know that all is well and that Faith, not seeing, but believing, is the vessel that will bear you to safety...over the stormy waters. According to your faith be it unto you...was My injunction to those who sought My Healing. If for wonder-working...if for healing...if for salvation, faith was so necessary then the reason is clear why I urged that all who sought entrance to My Kingdome must become as little children. Faith is the "child-attitude". Seek in every way to become child-like. Except ye become as little children ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven"

Both you and Ali have beautifully modeled this child-like faith. Thank you for setting a perfect example for the rest of us.

Tommy was recently discussing "loss" with his spiritual director. His director said that as humans, we connect the love we feel for the one we lost as being directed specifically towards the loss of that physical presence. He said that all love given and all love received totally comes from God, our Father...because God IS love. He said that when we lose someone we love in the physical sense, the best thing we can do is refocus on God, our Father...who was the author of that special love "through" that person. My heart aches because I know that you all long for Cate's physical presence but my prayer for you all is that you will refocus on her Father, our Father, who will gently guide you to where you need to be: not forgetting about Cate, but continuing to love her, through Him!
Jane W

Anonymous said...

all of that is ture. but just remeber that Cate will always have a place in yours and mines heart. When i read this my eyes started tearing up. also thanks for kepping the blog going.

Anonymous said...

I am honored to walk with you family in your continued journey! I'm pray for all of you! And thank you for being a true inspiration to me! Sending love from Deep South Texas (Rio Grande Valley)

Anonymous said...

Ali and Charlie,
We are along for the journey and with you in prayer...always!! Baby Cate's celebration was beautiful and her presence is everlasting in our lives...thanks again for continuing to share with us! Will be praying hard and thinking of you during those "quiet moments"!
Remaining in hope....
Love,
Breyan and family

they call me the boss said...

God certainly did show up in a BIG way! Thanks to Baby Cate I enjoy my kids and my family even more.
Continuing to pray for us all and read about the journey!

Anonymous said...

Charlie and Ali
Thank you so much for sharing Baby Cate’s journey. As I read you blog for today Charlie, I reflected back on Sunday mass. During the homily the priest spoke of 12 being one of God’s "magic numbers". (He was speaking of the 12 apostles.) When I read the part of you blog that said how Baby Cate’s journey united so many people in prayer and brought us all closer to God in “12 days”. There is that “magic number” working again. Your faith and inspiration has brought me back to church, now to the number 12 and more prayers. Baby Cate’s is no doubt a saint. I will continue to pray for your family. Thank you!!

sumi said...

Thank you for the update. I am praying for you.

I understand the feeling of emptiness in the house. You have a Cate-sized hole in your lives and hearts now, and I know how difficult that is to deal with.

Cling to your God and your friends like you have been doing, he will give you all the grace you need to walk through this wilderness.

Much love from a mommy who has been there,

Sumi

Lorena said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,

It's Lorena Valencia from Nevada. I don't know if you remember me; I was one of the Covecrest Staffers in 2005. God truly touched my life through the two of you and the faith you shared with us back then, and He has touched me again today. I just found out about your daughter from another one of the staffers. I've been out of town for the last month and just checked the email. It's crazy how God works because you said that one of the songs at the funeral was "I stand and lift up my hands," and the last few weeks of June that song has been on my heart and I have sang it at random times of the day. You can ask the guys I was traveling with. It's a beautiful song, but I didn't even know I knew all the words. I feel like that song was a prayer for your daughter and you and your family, even though I didn't know it at the time. God is crazy how he connects us. I don't usually read blogs, but after the first sentence I couldn't stop. You and your family made a deep impact on me three years ago, and I've always been sad that I haven't kept in touch. So to know that God continues to keep us connected truly amazes me. Thank you for sharing your story, and for continuing to let God use you. You are in my heart and prayers forever. Peace, prayers, and love.

Lorena

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali,
I only learned of your challenges last week, First allow me to offer my sympathies & prayers.,Your faith is truly an inspiration,I have shared your story with several of my freinds, they are now following & praying for your family,it is so moving to read that this experince has deepened,challeged,and reaffirmed your faith, and that God's far reaching hand has been extended through Cate's life.Remember Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,and are called according to HIS purpose" Give my love to all of your family,
You are all in my prayers & thoughts,
Your Texas Cousin,
Melanie Arnett & Family

Jaimie Lavergne said...

Ali,

I worked with you at Martin Petitjean Elementary and just in the few months that you were with us, you touched my heart. You're such a WONDERFUL person. I just found out from Paula D. all that had happened. She babysits my little girl. (A special gift from God that was given to us after 9 years of trying) Paula had told me that you were pregnant when school had first began last year, but that is all I had known. My heart truly goes out to you and your family. After reading your blog, words cannot express my feelings. How AWESOME that you and Charlie have taken your child's life of suffering and turned it into a way of blessing this world. You have got to have FAITH to do that! I was looking at your pictures of Ella...it is hard to believe that she's the same little girl that you brought to school while we were planning that one time. They just grow so fast. I just wanted you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family...You all are AWESOME in the eyes of our Father! All I could do after reading the blog from the day of Cate's death was sit there and cry. My little girl came up to me and I just held her and thanked God for every second he has given her to me. How true that we realize what we take for granted when something like this happens. I have and will continue to, even more now, treasure each second of her life. Thank God that you both have Ella and Dude to hold onto that love of Baby Cate. May God continue to be with all of you and give you that AWESOME blessing of the faith that the 2 of you share! God bless, Jaimie Lavergne

Laura said...

Oh, Charlie, I am sooo glad that you updated the blog. I know that I "needed" to hear from you...to know that you and Ali are ok in the midst of all this. Those thousands of people who prayed before Cate was called back to heaven STILL stand with you and your lambs today.

On our Facebook page, I saw that we now have 1,026 members. New members keep coming. Charlie, I really believe that Baby Cate came to teach us to pray as Jesus prayed. Your 7 month old baby captured an audience that many preachers would only wish they could command. She did it all in the name of Jesus. And, she did it without speaking...without saying a word...she was just living her life as God laid it out before her. I guess St. Francis was right when he said something like, "When evangelizing, use words only when absolutely necessary."

I thank God for Baby Cate and I thank God for you and Ali. You have tasted what Mother Mary endured. You are in good company...all of you. I love you both!

natalie q (wendys little sister) said...

I'm sorry I missed the funeral...i heard it was beautiful. You guys are still in my prayers. Thank you for sharing Cate and your family's beautiful and corageous story with us all. I'll keep reading as long as you keep writing!

The Alcantara Family said...

Jesus is the only genuine heroe in this world...Don't forget HE Rose!!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Cantrell Family,

First of all, our deepest condolences to you and all your families! Your witness has been so life changing! God is truly touching so many lives through all your actions and words! The Holy Spirit is alive and well with you!

I usually don't leave comments, but have been compelled to mention my thoughts with your last entry. Numbers are very strong in the bible! The number 7 is for completeness or fullness. Of course there is the creation story in Genesis, the Jericho story in Joshua, and in Revelation is the 7 letters, seals, trumpets, and bowls. Other examples of 7 (obtained by A Catholic Dictionary) are the 7 deacons appointed and ordained by the 12 Apostles, the 7 churches of Asia Minor that St. John was directed to write in a vision, the 7 basilicas of Rome, the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and the 7 words (the recorded utterances of our Lord from the cross). There were the 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 Apostles (the continuity of the 12 tribes from Old Testament), and the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Isn't it amazing in the fullness of Cate's life (7 months), the continuance (12 days) of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, modesty, self control, chastity, and FAITHFULNESS was so complete, and yet, ongoing!

May God's peace and love embrace and comfort you! Thank you for sharing your incredible family with us!

Yours in prayer from Rochester, MN

april said...

The mass was really beautiful and moving. I feel like my outlook at many different things has changed. The music was very powerful and had a huge impact on me as I listened to the words. Still praying daily for you guys
love you
april

Megan Perkins said...

Ali and Charlie,

The funeral was simply beautiful and could not have been more perfect. You remain in our prayers and at the forefront of our minds as you being to move through your mourning and grief.

We love you guys!

The Perkins

Anonymous said...

that is just so beautiful and awesome and i am glad that you have reminded everyone that God did in fact show up. it;s easy to think sometimes when prayers aren't answered in the way we want them to, that he failed us or didn't show up or whatever..but this little girl was able to be the biggest witness at such a young age and has done much more in 7 months..or 12 days...what so many of us just hope to do over the course of a lifetime...so while we won't want this as humans b/c we want to hold our baby girls, we know and can be proud of the fact that our children have done what we always hope that our children will do, and that is to be a witness and to lead others to HIM!

love you guys
ben, maria, hannah, michaela, helena and gemma

Anonymous said...

Dear Charlie and Ali,
Do you see how so many of us want to be right next to you....and at the same time, are so relieved that we have not been asked to endure what our God has asked of you? It reminds me of the two disciples,asking to be one on His right and one on His left...and Jesus knew that they had NO IDEA of the weight of their request.
Getting closer to God can sometimes mean so close to the fire that you feel your own skin burning. I would imagine that you both have felt the heat, as Cate's parents--the searing pain that only a parent can feel at the loss of their beautiful child. It is unimaginable to most of us--to me, especially--too painful a place to go to. Yet, you showed us the wounds, exposed the pain--and let us share in that...in a way that has united us in prayer, that has brought us all together, in hope. It was a gift of grace for all of us, following your daughter's life.
Little Cate spoke not one word. She did not have to. Her life spoke volumes.
Most times when I pray for your family, I only "picture" the five of you--it's a visual prayer. No words...they are so not necessary.
God's love can be so quiet--a roar of quiet.
Prayers of Peace, Charlie and Ali.
All Our love to your precious family!

Anonymous said...

Charlie & Ali, thank you for the update. I was amazed when I read that you stated that it took 12 days for God to bring us all back all nations. First thing I thought about were the 12 apostles. He used the apostles to bring us all closer to him and then Baby Cate was given the 12 days to bring us closer to God as well. I know that you do not want to here these words, but that was awesome. Thank you again for the update and please keep us in touch. We love you'll Janet, Randy Bertrand

Jade Richard said...

Charlie, Ali, Ella, & Dude,

I cannot begin to tell ya'll the impact Cate's celebration had on my heart. I have never been to a mass and felt such a power of emotions surrounding me. The celebration of Cate's life was unbelievably beautiful. Everything was just perfect, and the music made me want to jump up and sing. It was AMAZING! The carrying up of the gifts touched me deeply. Ya'll are such beautiful people, and I pray that one day I can be a parent like you and Ali. Ya'll are a fine example of faith, love, hope, and what life is all about. You give a great meaning to life. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers. And once again, job well done for the celebration of Cate;)I thank ya'll for sharing this experience. I pray for ya'll!

Love,
Jade

p.s... I love the blog. I read it every morning. It is an awesome daily booster to get me going and put a smile on my face.

Anonymous said...

Your blogs have made me cry,but, have given me so much strenght.GOD is always with us,especially at the most difficult times of our life.HE has given you so much strenght!! Always remember that you have your own SPECIAL ANGEL watching ove you. I have one too. He has been watching over me for 36 years.
GOD BLESS YOU !
Yvette

Anonymous said...

I know that it may seem so hard to let go, but you have to. God called her home and she is in a good place now with God.