In our family, due respect and honor was given to my husband by myself and by our two sons. But even before that, before the well-deserved praise and celebration, came the praise, homage, honor and glory that we gave to our Heavenly Father, without whom we would not be.
I wondered, as the day passed on and the regular week lay open before us, if Our Heavenly Father's symphony also had some sorrowful notes in it. Did God the Father weep for us, His children, knowing that, in many cases, no thought was even given to Him as families celebrated in "style", not realizing that the unity of the family is almost a thing of the long-distant past?
Did God the Father hear the sighs of fathers who are overworked, overstressed, overburdened by the economical demands and financial strategies that weigh upon the human heart? Did God the Father watch as children delighted in presenting their father with gifts, bought with money that dad had earned by hard work and which would necessitate even harder work to pay off a credit card? Did God the Father see the sorrow in the dad's eyes when the children, perhaps, wished to take him out to celebrate, but there just wasn't enough money in the bank?
Did God the Father watch as the wife and mom of the family cheerfully tried to keep the mood upbeat, but was aware of the "ungodlike" characteristics given to 'Father's Day'?" Did God the Father notice the wife's heart beat a bit harder, the blood pressure rise, because she had no means by which to make the day a notable one for her beloved husband, and realized that the demands of the children could not be met?
O, those are all parts of the sorrowful chords we, as God's children, have been sending up to heaven for a very long time. We honor this parent or that parent, we celebrate this or that holiday, and except at Christmas and Easter, do we really put God into the picture?
In most cases, if truth be told, the answer is no! And what, you ask, has any of this to do with a symphony! Precisely this, for we are all God's children and in that bond there must be unity with Him, and through Him with one another. Therefore, everything we do, think, and say (and the reverse is also true) forms a musical chord. That chord can be, and should be, distinctively vibrant and melodic. However, when we miss a beat then the chord becomes off-key, and the sound is irritating, to say the least.
Are we, in human terms, irritating God with our off-key symphony because we no longer recognize Him, nor do we wish to give to Him our entire being that makes the symphony complete, joyful and full of Celestial wonder?
For us, on this Father's Day, it was a day both of sorrow and of joy. Joy to know, after several weeks of tests when Michael experienced on-going chest pain and arm pain, that his condition, while not tip-top shape, was not alarming, as we had both thought. It was a time, also, of seeing that our oldest son, of whom I've been writing in the last several installments, was unable, in so many ways, to participate with his dad in the things that a young man of his age should do. Instead of a game of basketball, a trip to the beach, even taking in a baseball game, our son found that he could not unlock himself from the black cellophane wrapping that has encased him now for what seems to us an eternity.
Of course, he cannot unlock himself from his dark depression and despair. Only God can and will do that, in His time, not ours. But to see a young man on the brink of manhood, suddenly doused with despair and sorrow so deep that no one on the face of this earth can touch it, is an enormous grief and sorrow for any parent…but one that I can only guess at with my husband.
What must go through my husband's mind as he looks at our son, who was, not so very long ago, vibrantly alive, clearly human in every respect, a joy and a trial (which child is not at times a trial?). My husband sees, in his own way, what I, the heart and the "feminine" eyes of this family see each and every day: That the hopes we had for our sons, starting with our oldest and continuing to his younger brother, might not be realized for him.
Father's Day! To be a father, with all the weighty responsibility that goes into that role! I cannot imagine what the feelings and emotions are that go with that, but that's as it should be. I don't have to know, I just have to understand the emotions and feelings are there, and that I need to be accepting of them, as my husband must understand and accept my feminine role.
But the symphony of suffering that we are experiencing concerning our oldest son is a symphony who's strains are now touching upon Mir-A-Call Center's apostolate itself.
For eight full years, without stopping, without time off for good behavior, for a bit of "quality family time", of laboring with love for Love in the vineyard of God's people, my husband (and I through him) now realize that the ministry given by God is on the brink of evaporating through neglect, indifference, apathy, laziness, and so forth.
Does it hurt? Yes, very much! But we accept!
Again, if you would like to help this ministry, in dire need of a transfusion, you can make a contribution by clicking on WE NEED YOUR HELP. Thank you and may God bless you.
At Fatima, Our Lady said that it was getting increasingly more difficult for her to hold back her Son's Hand from punishing humanity for all of its sins. If that were true in 1917 at the time of her apparitions in Fatima, it must be all the more true as we close in on the year 2000. Indeed from personal experience, through the course of my life, I have witnessed the demoralization of our youth, of television, of Hollywood, of the sacredness of the married state, of respect for life in all of its stages, etc. It seems that human beings have lost their sense of good conscience. If that were not so, we would not have a jury acquitting Dr. Kevorkian and States desiring to make laws that permit aid to helping the elderly or those who are suffering to end their lives. We now have physician-assisted suicide legal in Oregon and soon more states. Government is making it easier and conscience-free in obtaining an abortion, and all around the world accepting homosexuality as normal is the norm. What a crazy mixed-up world in which we are living.!!! Where are the Divine Laws whereby people should be pattering their lives? God's Laws are still here, but man'sfaith in them is lost. Too many people want an excuse to commit sin...want an excuse to do whatever they want even if it is evil.
Oh, I certainly do not mean to imply that every human being on the face of the earth has gone bad. Scripture says: "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound." If we do not hold that, we would be denying the Word of God Himself. Indeed, there are more prayer groups than ever before, more people requesting adoration of Our Lord in the Eucharist and spending time before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. As I travel extensively, I meet so many people who are trying to come closer to God. But even these good people (and I hope that I can include myself among them) can and should be doing much more. More than once, Our dear Lady of Medjugorje has said that we are not praying enough; we are not living her messages. She has said that she wishes to help us but cannot, if we don't want it. Oh, brother! Coming from Our Heavenly Mother this reprimand is to be taken so very seriously. It is NOT a joke. God help us! God, please give to all of your children the will to improve. God, please!
But I do not want this article to focus only on the negative. We DO have to face the reality of what is evil in us and around us. But the most frequently used tool of the evil one is discouragement. No matter how poorly we have cooperated with Our Lady's requests, above all, we must not become discouraged. One of my most favorite sayings, which I learned as a very young Sister is: "There is less shame in falling, than in failing to rise." The only moment that really matters is the present moment. As Our Lady said: "Surrender your entire past to God." SURRENDER! That means don't hold on to the past. It won't save us! It's not a life jacket! God is found in the present moment. Each moment we can begin anew. We can give God our weaknesses...our failings...our lack of strong will.
While there is life...there is hope! Begin anew and anew and anew. Let's make frequent acts of hope. "O my God, relying on YOUR Infinite Goodness and Promises, I hope to obtain the pardon of my sins, the help of Your grace, and life everlasting, THROUGH THE MERITS OF JESUS CHRIST, my Lord and my Redeemer. Amen. Thank you, dear Mother, for coming to us and for us. He that is Mighty has done great things for you...and us. Amen."