what is a hero?

Someone called my family "heroic" today. It is an extremely humbling to think that anyone would look at us and think such lofty thoughts. As we enter the holiest week of the year, I pause to think about what is a hero?

The Webster's definition of a HERO is as follows:

1 a: a mythological or legendary figure often of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability b: an illustrious warrior c: a man admired for his achievements and noble qualities d: one that shows great courage

I am struck immediately by "of divine descent endowed with great strength or ability". This is my Courtney. She is "divinely" made in the image and likeness of Our Lord, and holds a unique mission in this world, as each of us do. She is His child given as a gift to Jerry and I for a short time and we are called to walk with her through this battlefield of life. Always seeking the path He has prepared for us, always praising Him no matter what He calls us to endure. One of the translations for her name means "God's Strength". It was given to her before we ever knew she would suffer so. But God knew and inspired us accordingly.

She lives each day as "an illustrious warrior" for God, spreading a message of love and perseverance. This child is love personified. She is a peaceful soul who can do nothing BUT LOVE. That's her whole mission, to love and be loved. I think of Our Lord hanging on that cross for me and for Courtney so He could open the gates of heaven for us, so that we could be together with Him for eternity. It was the most heroic act that has ever been or will be performed. His love for us is so great, He would endure suffering beyond compare for me, a sinner, an unworthy soul. His LOVE for us was and IS that strong and all encompassing. He is my HERO. I love Him first and foremost. He provides me the strength and grace to love those He has asked me to care for, my husband, my children, my family and friends, no matter where they are on their path to Him.

There is a lyric in a MercyMe song that says:

"My life has never been this clear
Now I know the reason why I'm here
You never know why You're alive
Until you know what you would die for
I would die for You"

I would die for my Lord if asked. I would die for my daughter if asked. I know that that sounds EXTREMELY melodramatic, but truthfully my love for my God and my daughter is that strong and all encompassing.I pray each day for the courage to make the rights choices and follow the right path. My daughter would die for Jesus as well. She IS dying for Him, one seizure at a time, one breath at a time. He has called her to a life of redemptive suffering and she has accepted this call "with great courage". She smiles and laughs, she loves freely and when you pray with her a sense of serenity and peace fill that space and you know God is present. She puts her hand in yours completely trusting you to care for her and not hurt her. God trusts us the same way. He places His trust in us to love Him with the same commitment that He loves us.We fall short many, many times, yet we get up again with HEROic strength and keep walking. She does the same each and every day.

So yes, she is a HERO. Jerry is a hero in working so hard to provide a safe and loving home for us. Jonathan is a HERO in loving his sister so unconditionally and for sacrificing so much, so willingly to help care for her. I am surrounded by HEROs. God is so generous and good.

As for me, I am trying to be the HERO God has called me to be. I am a mother who has been directed to love as Our Blessed Mother did for her son. To walk "humbly with Our God", sometimes with tears and suffering, but ALWAYS WITH JOY in my heart for the incredible miracle of my daughter who teaches me each and every day with each and every breath that there is a GOD. One who loves His children and whose only desire is for us to love and rest in HIM.

So take a moment and say a prayer of thanks for the HEROs in your life. For our soldiers and sailors so far from home, who may die for you today, so that you may remain free. For our rescue workers who work so hard to help in times of great need without any thought to their own safety. For the doctors and nurses who are present when life begins and when life ends. That they have the grace and humility to seek Him always in what they say and do. For our Pope, Bishops, Priests and Church, as we all enter into this celebration of the LIFE, DEATH and RESURRECTION of the GREATEST HERO to ever walk this earth, Our Lord Jesus Christ!

May the Peace of Christ be with you this week and every other. Know that we will be praying for each and every one of you who read this and pray for our family. May you be blessed!
"I Would Die For You"
by Mercy Me

And I know that I can find You here
'Cause You promised me You'll always be there
Times like these, it's hard to see
But somehow I have a peace, You're near
And I pray that You will use my life
In whatever way Your name is glorified
Even if surrendering
Means leaving everything behind

My life has never been this clear
Now I know the reason why I'm here
You never know why You're alive
Until you know what you would die for
I would die for You

And I know I don't have much to give
But I promise You I will give You all there is
Can I possibly do less
When through Your own death I live?

No greater love is found
Than of those who lay their own lives down
As sure as I live and breathe
Now I know what it means to be free