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Sunday 19 September |
Our Lady of La Salette

Leticia of Mary: The unbearable, harrowing, unutterable and raw truth of one woman’s life


Elizabeth Scalia - published on 04/12/17

Nobody writes with more honesty than Leticia Adams. Whether she is writing about her early childhood, her own lost years, the thrust and mystery of mercy or the death of her beloved son, she is unstinting in telling it all. She writes what she sees squarely, head-on, and forces the reader to face it, too, and sometimes it is almost unbearable to read, as is this passage from her latest blogpost:

Dan and I walked into the house with our food. The first thing that I noticed was Anthony’s phone and the spiral he had been writing in were sitting on the coffee table. I thought that was weird because I didn’t know why he would leave his phone. I called for him, but there was no answer. Our house is pretty big so I assumed he was in someone’s room or in the bathroom upstairs. Dan and I sat down to eat our lunch when I heard something and yelled up the stairs for Anthony. He didn’t answer so I thought maybe I was just hearing things. I am now convinced that the noise I heard was Anthony kicking the stool out from underneath him. Dan and I ate our lunch. Anthony still didn’t show up so we looked for him. He wasn’t in the bathroom, not in the office downstairs. Had I just walked through one more door in the office to the garage, I would have found him, but I didn’t. I closed the office door and walked upstairs. I looked in Gabe’s room, nothing. Then I walked into Gabe’s closet thinking that maybe Anthony had done something to himself in one of the closets. I don’t even know what gave me that idea, but I just had a feeling like Anthony was in the house and I just couldn’t find him.

Read the whole thing — not because you need the details, not because you are curious, not because you are a voyeur into the life of another, but because sometimes the cross becomes a mere abstract. Sometimes suffering, even Christ’s suffering, even in this season of his Passion, becomes pale and vague under all of the words we say in the life of faith — words about sacrifice, suffering and torture, the steadfastness of Mary and her friends, and about victory and consolation and grace.

Here is suffering and torture. Here is the steadfast mother, and those who watch with her, as she stands amid what no mother should have to bear, with a few friends in company. Victory and consolation and grace? They are less evident just now, and no words, no matter how well meant, can make them visible — only hopeful prayers that they will come, in time.

For a woman as forthright and brave as Leti Adams, only honesty will do, even if it is cowardly honesty, so…

Leti, I have no words. My heart is broken for you. That’s all I got. I will be a witness to your suffering and give testimony to your courage. My heart is broken, for you.

The Sacred Heart of Jesus is full of love — aflame with love — but the flame does not consume it, because love is stronger than death. But it is a heart nevertheless crossed with thorns. Because the great paradox of love is that for all the joy it brings, it also brings pain.

Life is better with love than without it, but the pain…

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