Oklahoma Tragedy

When I started writing this entry this morning, I was reflecting on how in today’s Gospel (Mark 9:14-29), Jesus, by casting out the evil spirit from a child, reminded us of the importance of having faith accompanied by prayer and fasting in order to perform and receive miracles. I reflected on the words Jesus told the child’s father “Everything is possible to one who has faith” to which the father replied, “I do believe, help my unbelief!”

This evening after learning that more than 51 people [UPDATE: this # has been revised down to at least 24], many of them children, died in today’s tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, I now reflect on how harsh today’s Gospel may appear to people who lost a loved one today.  I reflect on the questions that may be lingering in their hearts: was their faith not strong enough for God? Didn’t they, like the father in today’s Gospel, deserve miracles in their lives? What went wrong with their prayers?

My heart aches tonight for everyone who lost their lives and their families and all the families whose lives were tragically transformed by today’s tornado. I pray that you don’t abandon your prayers but instead seek God to provide you comfort. That He may grant you mercy to help you heal. Finally, I pray that you continue to believe and that God helps your unbelief.

My condolences and thoughts are with you and your family tonight.

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

My Mom

Picture with Mami

Dear God,

Thanks for the gift of my mother. My mother raised 10 children; yet she seldom complained.

My Mom achieved a 9th grade education, yet she inspired me to attend and complete graduate school.

On this day, when many Christians also celebrated the Ascension of the Lord, it was my mother who taught me how to love and honor the most beloved of all mothers, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

God, as this day come to an end, I ask you through our Lord Jesus Christ to bless my mother and all the mothers we celebrated on this day.


© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

A Mother’s Advice

A co-worker of mine wrote this letter to an expecting mom today; her first child. I thought it was an awesome letter and very appropriate to share (she gave me permission!) this Mother’s Day weekend. Tried placing the image of the letter but it did not work out well: here is the text of the letter:

“Hmmm, advice on parenting –

I was going to write a very cheery note telling you that parenting is all love, and giggles and you should cherish every moment but then I came back to real life. 🙂

Parenting is the most difficult job you’ll ever have in your life, ever. There’s no calling in, no making excuses, no one else to point the finger at when you[‘re] kid is doing something extremely outrageous that you really want to laugh at but you have to scold him/ her for.

There’s no process to follow, there’s no right way to do it, and you’ll spend 80 percent of the time doubting yourself and questioning your sanity. There are moments when you’re a going to feel like you’re literally going insane, and you probably are. It’s going to be exhausting, you’re going to internally freak out, you’ll have moments of frustration and you’re going to wish that you could drop your kid somewhere off for a week and come back when you’ve cleared your head more often than you think.

Life is hectic and full of uncertainty; a kid will remind you of that every single day. You’ll mess up as a parent more than you want; again, a kid will be sure to remind you. All you can do is take these reminders as a way to better yourself- as a parent and human being in general. Forgive yourself for everything you feel you’re doing wrong and remember we are all doing it wrong every day. The only thing we’ll ever get right is to love our kids and, in the end, that is going to be the most valuable thing they’ll be able to use in life. Because with love comes fun, the giggles, the kindness, good morals, self confidence, and general sense of individual being.

So maybe it is all love, fun, and giggles (20 percent of the time) and you should cherish it all (along with insanity and uncertainty). We are only learning and growing as much as our kids are.

You’re going to be a great mom!



Typed with permission from Rosa

Happy Mother’s Day!!!

© hectorortiz 2013. All rights reserved.

Happy Father’s Day

I remember his hesitation to love me

Afraid that something would be lost

An unrevealed reason betrays him

He holds me; unnatural yet warm

Firm, but gentle; hesitant but surprised

It is real; father and son

Undone is the façade

Te Quiero Papi

Feliz Día de los Padres

Que Dios Te Bendiga


© hectorortiz 2011. All rights reserved.