My father-in-law has had some health issues. After years as a carpenter who was a craftsman in his field, a business owner, a designer of circular staircases and high-end fireplace mantels, he is in need of a few tweaks to the home to make it user-friendly.
My husband, his son, feels blessed to take care of those needs.
The other day, he said this is the time all the little bits and pieces he gleaned from his father’s knowledge regarding carpentry are paying dividends for his dad. Small, to be sure. But meaningful ones. Things that mean he can be in the comfort of his own home. And, hopefully, be safe and as mobile as possible.
It made me think about these middle years. My husband and I – and many of you – are in that middle time. We are helping our grown children to get on their feet. Some are helping their parents. Some are grieving for their parents.
Even then, our parents experience a blessing if we carry on with what we have learned about the faith.
We pray for them. As Catholics, we are blessed to know that, in the Communion of the Saints, we can pray for the dead. It is a fundamental desire, a compelling need, when a parent dies – to pray for that one we have loved so much.
Suddenly, we are standing in the gap for them. The spiritual investment they made in us is paying dividends.
They are being purified, and we are praying them through it.
What we were taught to do, well, it is now paying off.
And, by grace, when we enter eternity, our sons and daughters will draw from the knowledge we left behind, standing in the gap for us.
Praying us through whatever-that-is, that which we call purgation. The preparation for the eternal embrace and face-to-face with God, our Maker and Savior.
Think about that the next time you teach your grandchild how to genuflect.