A Happy and Thankful Life

St. Jude

Last night, I decided to get up early and attend mass. The Baltimore Basilica is up the street from our hotel and I was feeling called to go. I had looked up the walking instructions but as I left the hotel, I missed the one street sign I needed. I kept walking west on Fayette and was thinking that I had gone way too far. Thank goodness for google maps as I was able to see how far off course I was (a lot) and new directions to get to the Basilica. As I was walking,  I realized that I was going to be late for mass but up ahead was a small church, St. Jude Shrine. St. Jude is the patron Saint of desperate cases. And in regards to my Catholic faith, I’ve felt a bit desperate and like a lost cause.

I haven’t attended mass regularly since J relapsed in December 2009. It’s been almost two years.   With his treatment and then transplant, I didn’t want to risk attending mass and then bringing germs home to him. It is different when you are running errands as your contact with people is so little. However, during mass, you are surrounded by people for an hour or so. Many of whom are coughing, sniffling and sneezing. I love my church. We got married there and the name is the patron saint I selected for confirmation. I feel a strong connection there. However, every mass is full. There is not a seating area that doesn’t have people around you. I didn’t want to risk it.

J voiced numerous times that he didn’t want what was happening to him to impact my belief in God. He knew how important my Catholic faith is to me. He never lost his faith and never questioned. And I still believe and I try not to question the ‘why’ of all of this. But not questioning is hard to do at times. It’s just different. And I don’t quite have the words to explain how. Since J passed, I wasn’t quite ready to return. I felt the same way after my mom passed. Everything has a slightly different meaning to me than before.

When I saw the church today, I realized that there was a reason I missed my street. I wasn’t meant to go to the Basilica today. I needed to be here today. I went in and sat in the back pew of this smaller beautiful church. It was intimate and comforting. As the music began and she started to sing, I started to cry. The songs sang today were ones that I was familiar with and had meaning to me. There is that connection that goes straight to your heart. The memorized prayers and responses had a different meaning. It’s not just going through the motions but experiencing the meaning and intent behind the words.

During mass, I felt a sense of peace. I haven’t felt that feeling often in the last 18 months. It is a feeling that is hard to describe but it is like a calm that washes through you and lets you know that it will be okay. It reminds me that I need to let go of the things that burden my heart and mind. I really struggle with this. I’ve spent so long worrying about what is next and what I can do to prevent something bad from happening. I can’t do that anymore. I need to trust and let go.  

Side of building in Baltimore, MD - personal photo

As I left the church and started my walk back to the hotel, I saw a building that had the word “Love” spelled using hands. It was quite fitting. This morning was what my heart and soul needed.

Today is a fresh day.


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  1. What a lovely post, and how perfect that you ended up just where you belong. I hope it’s true that everything happens for a reason.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago
    • * nmlynn says:

      Thank you Katie. It was what I needed. I’m still battle with the idea that everything happens for a reason. Because frankly, there are certain things that I can’t even begin to understand the reasoning. However, I do believe that we are led to where we need to be. I think we just have to be okay with not knowing the reasoning. Which is far easier said than done for me!

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 8 months ago


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