It’s a busy time in our home right now, with the upcoming wedding of our son and our soon-to-be-daughter-in-law! For the next few Mondays, I’m selecting a few of my favorite “mercifulmoments” and re-publishing them in case you missed them the first time around! I wrote and initially published this on mercifulmomentsblog May 2, 2016.
“I can do it my SELF!” Isn’t this a common phrase uttered by children who are trying desperately to assert some sense of independence? It usually starts out with wanting to choose their clothes to wear, pour their own cereal or milk, ride without training wheels, etc. As parents, we know it’s our job to raise independent, capable, caring young adults. It’s not an easy journey and there are plenty of bumps in the road along the way complete with laughter and tears, small victories and occasional defeats. We chalk all this up to experience, life’s lessons.
As kids, many individuals got all that yearning for independence out of their systems early in life. For other late bloomers like me, we spent a few decades trying to show how capable and independent we were only to learn that many of life’s moments are best when shared with the people we love the most. And the people we love the most really don’t expect us to prove ANYTHING to them. As a huge Dr. Seuss fan, I think Seuss describes this phase of our lives beautifully in Oh the Places You’ll Go:
“I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you”
One of the best lessons I have learned so far on life’s journey is that I love to be part of a family. In fact I have three families that I love dearly:
(1) My own family and extended family including all relatives near and far, living and deceased,
(2) My community, a handful of dear neighbors and a wider circle of people in our town and our children’s schools from over the years,
(3) My parish families, past and present, and all those people in ministry who I have been blessed to call friend through the years.
Even though there are still times in life when I occasionally feel the need to prove I am capable or I am strong, most often I soon realize that the source of my happiness lies in community with others. Pope Francis speaks of this journey in the following words:
“I think this is truly the most wonderful experience we can have: to belong to a people walking, journeying through history together with our Lord, who walks among us! We are not alone; we do not walk alone. We are part of the one flock of Christ that walks together.” ― Pope Francis, the Church of Mercy
A few years ago I added a very special community to my prayers: the Communion of Saints. I used to toss this term around like any good Catholic girl, but I had no idea what it really meant. What I’ve come to believe about the Communion of Saints is that they are all those men and women who have died and gone to heaven before us. They’re with us in prayer and they can help connect us to God as we can reflect on their lives and learn by their examples. Remember, most saints were ordinary people chosen by God to do extraordinary things. With God all things are possible, so walking with the saints seems like the best path for this next leg of the journey. Thanks for walking with me!