Dearest friends and family,

Please join us in our time of need. Effective immediately, the 4Real Forums are closed, with the exception of the Prayer Forum, for a time of mourning and way to focus on surrounding our dear friend and moderator, Colleen (missionfamily), and her family in prayer. We will re-open sometime late Sunday night.

Our online Catholic home education community has been plunged into much suffering of late. All of us, still in mourning and with hearts heavy and aching from the loss of Matthew Karol Snow and Ryan Barrett, are now utterly without words at the profound loss of Colleen and Greg Mitchell's infant son, Bryce Phillip.

We encourage you to join our community together in prayer and support for Colleen and Greg as well as continue to offer prayer support for each other's needs. In addition, we want to offer you an opportunity to "Be still, and know..." in Our Mother's Garden of Sorrows:

We live and so we suffer. We live as Christians and so we suffer with Christ. What does this mean, realistically, in our daily lives? What is it to suffer as a Christian? On the golden days, the happy days when life sparkles sunshine and the air smells like roses, we know that God is there. We give him a smile and a wink and we go about our merry way, conscious of our blessings.

But what about those days when it rains? Those days when it pours buckets of unrelenting hard, driving, bullets of raindrops on a cold and stony ground? Where are the sweet-smelling blossoms; from where will blow the warm breezes? We cry out to God and we wonder, where is He? Has He forsaken us? In this damp, cold, barren garden, we wonder, perhaps, if there is a God at all. We suffer and we agonize over the seeming silence of God.

But Hes there. He has allowed us to fall upon our knees in agony and to call His name again and again. He is there and He is still the good God. He tests our faith . He allows us to scream Why? and to question His judgment, His authority, His compassion. He wants us to beg Him for mercy. Why? Because He wants us to acknowledge that He is God and that we are entirely dependent upon Him. That is faith. God want us to have the kind of faith that looks at Him in suffering and says, I still believe. I am nothing without you and I need you desperately. That is teeth-gritting faith.

Join us there and

The losses of late are so sorrowful, but there can be no doubt that Our Lord loves us deeply. He said in John 14:6, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me". It seems that He wishes to remind us that "The Way" goes directly through the Cross. In suffering, and at the Foot of the Cross, we unite our prayers surrounding all families who are suffering, and especially the Mitchell family at this time.

Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Holding all of you in our prayers,
The Managers and Moderators of 4Real

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