Editor's note: This week, we are blessed to share a series of reflections from guest contributor Erin McGruder Helms. Please join us daily for Erin's inspirational contributions as she reflects upon the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary through the prism of her own life journey. Please join me in praying for Erin and her family, and for mothers everywhere who face health challenges. Lisa

Erin and Cash, Image copyright Erin McGruder Helms, used with permission Erin and Cash, Image copyright Erin McGruder Helms, used with permission

The past couple days, I have touched on how I cherish the Rosary and found parallels in its Mysteries and my journey with cancer. If you missed them, please feel free to read how I related to the first and second Sorrowful Mysteries.

The third Sorrowful Mystery is the Crowning of Thorns. The fruit is ‘Courage’.

What courage Jesus possessed as the soldiers placed the crown of thorns on His head and mocked Him. I think of the courage it takes to lose your breast(s), your hair, your eyelashes, your eyebrows. The courage it takes to wear a scarf or wig in public and everyone know what you’re going through. I think it takes courage to look at one’s body full of scars from surgeries and reconstruction and your port for chemo. Scars that will never go away, but will fade. I think of Frankincense essential oil. One use is for healing scars and I think of Frankincense given as a gift to baby Jesus and how Jesus can heal us. For decades, after receiving Communion every Sunday, I would pray and envision Christ wiping all the black smudge and filth off my heart and soul. If there were any broken parts, cracks, crevices, I imagined him caressing them with care and healing them, but you could still see faint scars. I think of rubbing Frankincense on those scars, too, and how Jesus can fully heal us, if we let Him.

I came across a quote post-treatment that says, “Be Brave with your Life.” It takes such courage to fight a battle, any battle. I imagine being brave with Jesus beside me, walking with me, holding my hand, and at my weakest, carrying me. I know I can be brave, especially for my children, my spouse. They were and are such motivators. I want to live a long life, grow old with my husband and see my children grow up. I know I can be brave with my faith. I find strength in our Lord. Even now, I look for courage as I navigate my life as a ‘survivor’. What gives you courage? Where do you find your motivation?

Tomorrow I will review the fourth Sorrowful Mystery, the Carrying of the Cross.

Erin McGruder Helms grew up in Northern Virginia before attending the University of Florida, where she earned a Marketing degree in 2000. Upon graduation, she moved to Jacksonville to pursue a career in financial services. Erin is blessed with a loving husband and is grateful now to stay home with her three precious children. She delights in warm weather and outdoor family activities. Surrounded by caring friends and a supportive parish community, Erin enjoys participating in various spiritual growth studies and ministries.

Copyright 2015 Erin McGruder Helms