mother-and-daughter-walking-featured-w480x300I am exceedingly thankful that God has given me a very interesting life—filled with many struggles, challenges and endless heart-warming joys too. I constantly pray that I can be His hands and feet, to be His humble instrument to impart the faith—first in my family where He has placed me to be a wife and mother of five on earth and three in heaven. After all, Blessed Mother Teresa has always said, “Love begins at home.” 

And, then, because our Lord has given me the task of writing and speaking to inspire faith in others, I expand my reach by His grace and go out to meet countless people at my events who openly share their hearts with me and ask me for prayers for a myriad of needs. My book signing events are not merely a time to sign books, but rather a grace-filled opportunity for much grace in the amazing encounters that God sets up. I’ll share a few encounters with you here.

Recently, after giving a keynote speech to a parish in Kansas, a very long line of people wanting to purchase autographed copies of my books formed at my book table. The first woman in line came to me with many tears, telling me that her mother had just passed away. My heart immediately went out to comfort her in her sorrow. She continued to bury her head into my arms that reached around her in compassion. She laid her head against me a couple of times during our conversation—she needed love and empathy.

Before we parted, she gave me a copy of her mother’s obituary and placed her head against me again while many tears flowed.

A week or so after I returned home to Connecticut, I received an email from her. I will share it with you here (without her name) because I feel it is such an inspiring story of a mother’s love and shining witness.

Hi Donna, 

Do you remember me? I met you last week at Prince of Peace Church in Olathe. I bought your book and asked you to pray for my Mom that passed away on June 2. You told me that my Mom is in heaven now when I told you that my Mom died on her sleeping at age 87 years old. 

You put the Miraculous Medal close to yours. I am so blessed. The next day, on Monday I put the medal to my Mom’s hands in her casket and told her about your story. I was so surprised they open the casket again when I visited her. But I kept your medal now. My mom was cremated last Wednesday. 

Thank you to comfort me and make me strong. 

After meeting you, I am so blessed that God gave me a wonderful Mother that has very strong faith. My mother is not rich, she did not left money, but she left the important things that we have to trust in God and pray all the times. It is more value than everything. You made me so proud about my Mom. 

She was baptized when she was 5th Grade, only her in her family is Catholic, after years, she made all her family (9 siblings), become Catholic and her parents too, also my Dad.

Now all my aunts, cousins, nephews, uncles are Catholic because of my Mom. It is pity that I just realize this after my Mom is gone.  

How wonderful she is. She never complaint if she has a problem. She always prayed. We were so poor when I was a kid in Indonesia, living in a small house, not tile, only dirt. I have 4 siblings, my Dad was jobless, so my Mom worked hard to make dress for our neighbors to get money, but she put all her kids to Catholic school and were baptized since a baby. 

She taught her kids to be a good Catholic. Now, we (3 of her kids) are living in USA. She never believe it either, God has always better plan that we cannot understand it. 

Nice to meeting you and thank you to open my mind that my Mom is not ordinary people. God loves her and I believe that she is happy now in her new place in heaven. She is so blessed. 

This woman was suddenly given the grace after her mother’s death to understand the amazing things her mother had accomplished as a simple faithful woman who worked hard to get her family to heaven. “Small things with great love” as Mother Teresa, a spiritual mother to our world and someone I was blessed to know personally has always preached. She often spoke about the fact that God calls us to simply be faithful to our duties in life. That is really our ticket to heaven, and just as importantly, it opens wide the gate for others because of our Christian witness.

God gives us strength to endure

That night I was also blessed to meet a woman waiting in the same line of people. She approached and knelt down near my table and presented me with a photo of her handsome son. On the other side though, was a printed eulogy. He was only thirteen years old when he passed away in an accident just twelve weeks prior. I gazed at the photo of that smiling child and the woman was beaming with a mother’s love as she tenderly told me all about her beautiful son who surely went straight to heaven. This woman proceeded to tell me that God had granted her much grace to after some time accept the tragedy of her son’s death. I witnessed strength personified in that woman. Such love, such grace. Mothers are strong.

Another woman came forward to tell me all about a little baby with brain cancer. That’s right—a baby—with brain cancer! Her thoughts were not on her own needs. She pleaded for prayers from me for little Adele, her friend’s baby girl who was undergoing chemotherapy at a tender age. She told me all about Adele’s mother’s dire need for prayers that Adele might be healed. Many people are now storming heaven with prayers for this sweet baby girl.

We can be a channel of grace

Mothers everywhere are involved in innumerable ways in the care of others. Their faithful witness shines among us. God calls every single one of us to open our hearts to His grace and strive to be Christ’s hands and feet in our darkened world. A simple smile, a listening ear, a warm hug of comfort can soothe someone’s deep pain and open up a channel of grace!

Saint Teresa of Avila encouraged us to go forth and bring Christ’s love to others. She said:

“Christ has no body now, but yours. No hands, no feet on earth, but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ looks with compassion into the world. Yours are the feet with which Christ walks to do good. Yours are the hands with which Christ blesses the world.”

Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, host of EWTN’s “Everyday Blessings for Catholic Moms” and “Catholic Mom’s Café”, is a speaker and the author of numerous Catholic books including, “Mother Teresa and Me”, “Embracing Motherhood”, “Rooted in Love: Our Calling as Catholic Women” and “Catholic Mom’s Café: 5-Minute Retreats for Every Day of the Year”. 

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