Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Communion of Saints’

The Investment in Sons and the Dividends

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.

Halls of Hampton Court, Westminster Abbey, and Heaven

I had literally been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt. . . and the coffee mug and calendar and a host of other souvenirs. I’d seen a Beef Eater, Big Ben, and a double-decker bus. I’d walked the halls of Hampton Court Palace and Westminster Abbey. I’d made my purchases at Harrods and walked along Tower Bridge. And I’d done these things alone.

As the plane sought higher skies that November morning, I longed for someone who could share the memories with me, someone to remind me of the things I’d seen and done, things that would fade in my memory as time passed. Why couldn’t this business trip have coincided with my parents’ trip to London just the year before? Why couldn’t it have come along while my sister still lived in England? Life’s experiences, good and bad, should be shared. Read more

The Smithsonian, Hope Diamond, and Litany of Saints

We visited the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. when I was thirteen. A few of the collections were particularly memorable. The locomotives in the train room frightened me. That’s where I first realized that I was a little claustrophobic. The fifty-two foot Foucault Pendulum and the American flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write our national anthem were fascinating. We spent three days visiting the Smithsonian. Each day, my sister and I ran straight for the railing where we could look down and watch the pendulum swing back and forth. At the end of each visit, we said our good-byes to the stained and weathered American flag.

But the two things that I remember the most were the Hope Diamond and the Bradford Toy House. Read more