April 26, 2010

The Day Our Youngest Son Died...

Gregory Edward Whale Jr

     Our son, Gregory Edward Whale, Jr, was born on September 2, 1991 and for some reason, a reason that we don't know or understand right now, was taken from us on Monday, April 26, 2010 - in a tragic car accident.
     If we had known that Monday, would have been the last day here on earth for our son, we would have taken time to share more of him with others, so that you would know what a gift from God we were given and understand the loss that we are feeling right now.
     Gregory is gone, but will always be a part of us. He is gone, but not forgotten. We know that some day, we will see him again. But now, alone without him, his brothers and the rest of us, must go on. May all of us that knew him, take a small piece of something that he shared with us. Whether it was the way to face life…..or how he would walk into a room and say one word and make us all stop and think of what he just said….yes, even if the word was "Pineapple"
     Life handed him so many challenges from day one, but he met every one of them head on, doing it his way no matter what. He lived more in his short 18 Years; 7 Months; 24 Days; 1 Hour; & 31 Minutes here on earth, than most people lived in a lifetime.
     He left behind his parents, Gregory & Christina Whale, two brothers, Joseph Whale of Florida and David Whale of Palmyra. Grandparents Deacon & Mrs. William Whale of Florida and grandmother, Mrs. Ruth Back of Harrisburg; 5 aunts, 3 uncles, 10 cousins and loads and loads of other relatives who will miss him beyond words.
     He was homeschooled and graduated at the age of 16 and went on to attend Daytona State College in Florida and then Harrisburg Area Community College where he was studying to be a nurse, so that he could help others. In between going to school and studying he also found time to work at Arby's Restaurant and spend time with friends.
     Saying goodbye is something we just can't do right now, so we are going to have a memorial service to celebrate his life at 10 a.m., on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at Jesse H. Geigle Funeral home at 2100 Linglestown Road, Harrisburg. There will be a visitation from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m in the funeral home.
     In lieu of flowers, we would be honored if you would make Memorial Contributions to John Hopkins University, ECMO Department, 600 N. Wolfe St., Baltimore, MD 21287, where Greggy first started showing us how much determination and strength he really had.

You may leave condolences at the following online Legacy Guest Book page.

April 1, 2010

History of the Scapular

Throughout time, prayer and Carmel have been synonymous and the Carmelites have contributed greatly to the spiritual life and holiness of the Church.

Perhaps one of our most significant contributions has been devotion to Mary, Mother of God, particularly under her title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Tradition tells us that in 1251, Our Lady appeared to the Prior General of the Carmelite Order, St. Simon Stock at Aylesford, England. In this apparition, Our Lady gave him what we call the brown Scapular... a garment that has become the symbol of the bond between Our Lady and the Order of Carmel. The Carmelites have always been her devoted servants.

But Our Lady did not give the Scapular just to the Carmelites. She gave it to the whole world so that all her sons and daughters could wear an outward sign of her love for them. As a "cloak" of grace and love, the Scapular represents the protection and security we find in our heavenly mother's love.

Our Lady has given us her Scapular to wear; a garment of special concern a sign of belonging. Her Scapular is a mantle of grace and love.

Mary expressed her total openness to the will of God when she said, "Be it done to me according to your word." The message of the Scapular is to always follow Christ in faith, hope and charity. Christ is the source of all truth and holiness, and the graces we receive through Mary's intercession come from Him, to lead us to Him.

The Scapular is a constant reminder of Mary's presence in our lives. Through the symbol of the Scapular we strive to live and die as friends of God. This is the substance of the Scapular Promise.

When we are baptized, we "clothe ourselves in Christ," and our new dignity is symbolized by our white christening gown, a garment we are urged to bring unstained to the judgment seat of God. At our First Communion, we usually add a new "cloak," that of Our Lady's Brown Scapular. The beautiful custom of enrolling children in the Scapular puts them, in their innocence, under the tender care of their heavenly mother.

The Scapular, a monastic apron, is still part of the Carmelite habit. The smaller form, most familiar to Catholics, consists of two panels of cloth joined by string and worn over the shoulders. The Church considers the Scapular a miniature religious habit and, as such, is a highly indulgenced sacramental.

Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, is very devoted to Our Lady and has a special place in his heart for the Scapular: "Through the Scapular, those devoted to Our Lady of Mount Carmel express their desire to mold their existence on the example of our Mother, Patroness, Sister, Most Pure Virgin, to accept God's word with a purified heart and devote themselves to the zealous service of others."