When our hearts are hurting

Have you ever noticed that the news always begins with “Good afternoon” and then proceeds to tell you why it isn’t? We used to laugh at how ironic it was, but it has been more true than ever these past couple weeks, especially with the attacks in Orlando on those at the night club along with singer Christina Grimmie.

What would possess someone to take their anger and hatred to such extremes? Why kill an innocent 22-year-old girl for no known reason? Why let someone’s skin color or life choices influence your perception of their worth when we are all just trying to figure out this crazy thing called life?

Even though these questions will remain a mystery to us for the remainder of our time on earth, it’s exactly in the midst of these kinds of crises when we’re reminded that there’s still good in the world. Just like after 9/11, Sandy Hook, and so many other horrible tragedies, there have been incredible acts of heroism and countless people donating blood and even risking their own lives to help the victims. It’s amazing to see, but it’s also so sad that a tragedy has to happen for us to wake up and love each other, or even to notice the good that still exists in the world.

A priest once told us after a mass shooting that even the smallest of our actions matter — we can either be part of a culture that hates and murders, or we can be part of the culture that loves and forgives even in the little things. Just like how one smile can change someone’s day, even the most insignificant things we do can impact people much more than we could imagine.

So what can we do, especially as young adults, when something so horrible happens? Blessed (almost Saint!) Mother Teresa so famously said that even if we can’t do great things, we can do small things with great love. In the face of so much pain and hatred it’s easy to concentrate only on the things we can’t control instead of focusing on what we can do — we can love. We can choose to love our annoying co-worker, or the person who cut us off in rush hour, or that grumpy cashier who grunts instead of using words. It might seem trite or too small, but it’s everything.

If just one more person had shown one of these shooters what love is, could it have changed the outcome?

Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Tricia uses her biochemistry degree to provide exceptional jokes which never fail to baffle Nikki, whose master's degree in theology doesn't seem to help her in this regard. When Tricia is not working at Medtronic she can be found at St. Peter's and St. Paul's volunteering with the youth, trying to regain her youthfulness by shooting hoops or taking full advantage of "Boneless Thursday" at Buffalo Wild Wings. Nikki, the younger of the two who uses that fact to remind Tricia that she will never be as old as her, recently embarked on a new adventure as the Faith Formation Director at St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Augustine's. Nikki can often be spotted in the adoration chapel, trying to imitate Taylor Swift on the guitar or keeping Cherry Berry in business with her love of chocolate. As cradle Catholics who discovered the treasures of the Church in their teenage years, they are extremely excited to share their experiences as they walk this crazy journey called life together!
Tricia and Nikki Walz are proud Minnesotans who were born and raised in the heart of St. Cloud with their younger sister Briana. Tricia uses her biochemistry degree to provide exceptional jokes which never fail to baffle Nikki, whose master’s degree in theology doesn’t seem to help her in this regard. When Tricia is not working at Medtronic she can be found at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s volunteering with the youth, trying to regain her youthfulness by shooting hoops or taking full advantage of “Boneless Thursday” at Buffalo Wild Wings. Nikki, the younger of the two who uses that fact to remind Tricia that she will never be as old as her, recently embarked on a new adventure as the Faith Formation Director at St. Mary’s Cathedral and St. Augustine’s. Nikki can often be spotted in the adoration chapel, trying to imitate Taylor Swift on the guitar or keeping Cherry Berry in business with her love of chocolate. As cradle Catholics who discovered the treasures of the Church in their teenage years, they are extremely excited to share their experiences as they walk this crazy journey called life together!

Mantle of Motherhood

I always knew I would be a mom. And then one day, thirteen years ago, I became one. Over time I also became a person with whom I was unfamiliar. I wasn’t that patient, generous, instinctively amazing mom I thought I’d be. As I grew more tired, household tasks multiplied and the needs of other, smaller human beings became more immediate, I realized I was the weary, stressed and anxious mom. I was human. I have to admit that it was only a daily dose of God’s grace, a gifted husband as my helpmate and a strong cup of coffee that helped me make it through those days.

I still recall a priest who gently reminded me of the gift that motherhood truly is. Tears filled my eyes when I confided in him that I was struggling. His words still echo in my heart “How beautiful it is, the mantle of motherhood. ” He continued on, reminding me that I was blessed to be given this vocation as educator and role model for my children and how important this job really is. I cannot tell you how many countless times I have stopped what I’m doing and reflected on his words, “mantle of motherhood,” as I took a step back, silently prayed and readjusted my mantle. I have contemplated the mantle of the Blessed Mother Mary and while I view it full of beauty and grace, she too endured hardship and sadness in the life God designed for her.

This is a blessed life. This is my vocation. This place is where God has called me and brought me the spouse and the children He wants me to love and nurture here on earth. Sometimes this journey is thankless, exhausting and difficult. Being called to so many roles within my vocation is not always easy, but yet so rewarding. The seasons do change and my role is always constantly changing with those precious seasons.

From the outside you will see that most days I rarely have it all together: my mantle sits askew atop my head. It’s tattered and worn and lacking in radiance. You will also find that it doesn’t at all look like the one you may wear. There’s no need to compare because we all wear our own mantle and our own vocation differently, but each of us should be honored to wear these garments that were chosen just for us. We may not all be mothers or fathers, but we are all models of faith, of love and hopefully of Christ.

Embrace what is set before you today and keep in mind the words of St. Joan of Arc: “I am not afraid, for God is with me. I was born for this.”

 

Sarah Heidelberger I’m a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps our days steady with my planning and organizing skills. Striving for simplicity alongside grace in the every day as we raise our children and chickens in the country. We stay bound together through our faith and lots of love.
Sarah Heidelberger
I’m a wife and homeschooling mom of five who keeps our days steady with my planning and organizing skills. Striving for simplicity alongside grace in the every day as we raise our children and chickens in the country. We stay bound together through our faith and lots of love.

 

Life through a Catholic lens

Why start a new Catholic blog? There are already many faith-themed blogs competing with the cascade of news and secular views flowing through the web, social media, television and other media. So, why launch a new one for Catholics living in the St. Cloud Diocese?

Well, two reasons.

First, our faith is the most valuable treasure we have. It grounds us in the Good News of Christ. It challenges us to share God’s love, mercy and forgiveness with others. It should inspire us to change our communities, our nation and our world for the better.

One purpose of this blog is to help you to better see the world around you through a Catholic lens, one that will inspire you, and sometimes challenge you, to live your faith more deeply and help guide your day-to-day life. The bloggers posting to this site will focus on a variety of topics, including current events, parenthood, prayer and spirituality, young adults, rural life, the arts, technology, sports, senior wisdom, food and travel, and the liturgical life of the church. The posts here are in addition to the news, feature stories and columns that you can already find in our diocesan newspaper, The Visitor.

Second, all of our bloggers live within the 16 counties that make up our central Minnesota diocese. They’ll provide a local, Catholic perspective on all of these topics. That’s something you won’t find done anywhere else as frequently and effectively as you will find here.

So, I invite you to be a regular reader of our From the Heart blog, an initiative of our diocesan newspaper, The Visitor. You can sign up at FromTheHeartMN.org to receive an email notice every time a new post is made. Also, if you have an idea for a guest blog post or have a question or comment about the blog itself, feel free to contact multimedia reporter (and our blog coordinator) Kristi Anderson at kbanders@gw.stcdio.org.

I hope you enjoy this new offering!

Joe Towalski is communications director for the Diocese of St. Cloud and editor of The Visitor newspaper.
Joe Towalski is communications director for the Diocese of St. Cloud and editor of The Visitor newspaper.