When We Are Lost

Lost in the Night… (Photo by Milly Moss)

This week my moms found something in the parable of the Lost Son.  Usually, I glaze over when this parable is mentioned.  I cannot count the number of sermons and homilies I have heard on the “Prodigal Son.”  My mom pointed out a four-word phrase that changed my thinking.

Continue reading “When We Are Lost”

Cherish the Elders

Happy Grandparents Day!  I wouldn’t have remembered it yesterday if not for my Parish Priest’s reminder.  It is easy to forget it in the myriad of days dedicated to something or another in the United States. However, it got me thinking… What has God got to say about our grandparents and elders?

Children’s children are the crown of the elderly,

and the glory of children is their parentage.

[Proverbs 17:6 1NABRE]

3 In your youth you did not gather.

How will you find anything in your old age?

4 How appropriate is sound judgment in the gray-haired,

and good counsel in the elderly!

5 How appropriate is wisdom in the aged,

understanding and counsel in the venerable!

6 The crown of the elderly, wide experience;

their glory, the fear of the Lord.

[2Ben Sira 25:3-6]

In Proverbs 17:6 grandchildren are the pinnacle of life (crown) to their elders, the children find glory in their parentage.  That would be their parents and grandparents.  In God’s realm this is a symbiotic relationship, God links the parent and child into a beautiful relationship.

God commands us to honor our father and mother.  I learned this lesson in my dad’s last years.  My moms are easy to love and honor.  They are loving, giving, and faithful.  But dad, not so much; with dad I started by obeying God’s command.  The bonus was when I learned to love him again.

I am gifted with two elders in my life, my moms.  They are still with us and bless my children in their roles as grandparents.  More important, the Grandmas pray for us.  They are our champions, our prayer warriors.  I trust these ladies with my life. 

Our elders offer us sound judgment, good counsel, wisdom, and understanding (knowledge).  The inspired writer tells us:  Our elders can be good counselors with their wide experience and the fear of the Lord.  This is the gold for us to find beneath the silver hairs.

He gives us what to look for in an elder.  Look for someone who follows the Lord with respect and has experience.  America has a sad history of shutting out and disrespecting our elders.  For a while, I shut out my dad.  I learned the hard way I was going against God.  If we chose to follow God according to 2Exodus 20:12, He blesses us.  “Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land the Lord your God is giving you.”

I realize not every grandparent or elder is a stellar example.  They say my great-grandmother was a saint.  Grandmother had intense love and judgement.  And grandma could be a mean alcoholic.  Grandfather was stoic and hard-hearted.  I didn’t even know one grandfather until I was an adult.  My dad wasn’t a stellar example either.  

The point is, all parents are imperfect.  The blessing in God’s commandment was not for my elders.  It is for me.  Don’t forget God brings people into our lives to fill the gap. Even though I struggled with my dad, when I listened, I learned wisdom from his experiences too.

Maybe you don’t have someone to go to for wisdom.  Look around you, look past the faults, and see if there is someone wise in your circle.  If not, we all have one Elder that is Holy and higher than all the elders on the earth. 

You know what I’m going to say:  He is God Almighty.  He created you, and he will not abandon you.  We have His Word and His Presence.  Reach out and get to know Him on a personal level.  Then ask for wisdom and guidance.  He is faithful to get the knowledge into your hands.  I could call him my Ultimate Elder!

On earth we have a time limit. That makes sooner is better than later.  Don’t lose time with your elders as I did.  If all you can do is honor your parentage, then do that alone.  That is where I started with dad.  I don’t regret honoring my parents and grandparents, even with all their faults. 

What I regret is how late in the game I honored my parents.  Remember, this is important enough for God to make it a commandment.  This is not a suggestion or when it feels good kind of action.  Believers honor our parents whether we love our parents or not.

Don’t worry about missing Grandparent’s Day. You have time to go out and give your elders a bit of love.  God’s commandments are an everyday action.  I can tell you God doesn’t care what day you honor them, just that we do it!  It can be a note, a hug, an act of kindness, a listening ear, a prayer, or biting back a retort.  Even if parents have passed on, honor them with a memory, or a prayer.

God loves all his people.  It breaks His Heart when we throw people away.  It also hurts our culture.  When we throw away our Elders, we throw away sound judgment, good counsel, wisdom, and understanding.  If “In your youth you did not gather.” Then, How will you find anything in your old age?” the commandments of God improve us and our culture.

Here is my prayer for all parents, grandparents, and elders today:

Dear Heavenly Father, bless our elders with great health, sound minds, and love for their families.  Please honor these precious people you have brought into our lives.  Thank you for blessing us with their sound judgment, good counsel, wisdom, and understanding.  May we always seek Your Wisdom through Your Holy Word, the faithful you have brought into our lives as elders, and through our prayers.  Thank you Father for these blessings in Jesus’ name, amen.  In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit amen.

Peace be with you,

Milly

P.S.  This is my understanding of the scriptures.  I am not a theologian.  I am just a layperson looking at the world through my relationship with God, prayers, study, and experiences.

1New American Bible Revised Edition. 

2I used the NABRE throughout the post since the book Ben Sira is only in Catholic Editions of the Holy Bible.

Unconditional?

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Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

I have been avoiding this post for about two weeks.  This is something I did not want to believe; yet the Lord in His infinite patience taught me I must let go of a false belief.  I don’t want to think my grandmother could have been off track, but… maybe? Continue reading “Unconditional?”

Your Soul Shall Live!

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God Calling June 7th

I planned to write a different post but as the old Yiddish proverb says, Man plans, God laughs.  He is chuckling today!   Yesterday morning, I “heard” the Holy Spirit’s nudge, Later Milly, stay with Me now.

I picked up the devotional God Calling edited by A.J. Russell and found this scripture included in the devotion for June 7th; True Beauty:

 “Incline your ear, and come to Me.

Hear, and your soul shall live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you –

The sure mercies of David.” [Isaiah 55:3]

I’ve read God Calling twice.  This is my third time reading it daily.  Unlike a modern devotional there is not a verse with every reading.  I found it odd I didn’t notice this verse in the prior readings.  This time the verse reached out and grabbed my attention.  I knew I needed to write about this.

My copy of God Calling is a U.S. reprint ©MCMLIIII (1954) by Barbour Books.  The book was written by two anonymous women in England and published in 1935.  They are only known as “Two Listeners.”  These women listened to God through sickness and poverty.

In the New King James Version Isaiah Chapter 55 titled:  An Invitation to Abundant Life.  I encourage you to read the entire chapter.  I see a blueprint here.  How do we find abundant life?  How do we get beyond all the messes we have made?  What about the blame and hatred heaped on our shoulders like a heavy yoke tying us to earthly things?

I can’t resolve the blame placed on my shoulders by my children.  I apologize for not being perfect.  Or I explain my reasons and excuses for what I have done; even if I can’t remember why.  None of that works.  I am forgiven only until the next time others remember the mistake or hurt.  Then my shame breaks my heart again.

I am watching this play out in our Country too.  This weekend I watched a video of a young woman kneeling before a Black Lives Matter representative.  He startled her and demanded she kneel before him because of the color of her skin.  It was interesting that I never saw the color of his skin.  Only the back of his black hood and I heard his voice.  The image stayed with me this weekend.  It was an image of judgment and unforgiveness rolling across our country.

In my faith, I learned not to bow before idols, gods, or man.  I am called to only kneel before God.  I learned this from Daniel, Mordecai, Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Jesus Christ, and many others throughout our Faiths.  Our Country was founded on principles allowing us to choose who we bend our knee to and worship.  I do not worship money, skin color, or political power.  My God is worth more than all of that.  I kneel for God Almighty.  He is my Lord.  Then I read further and I found Isaiah 55:6-7:

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,

Call upon Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the Lord,

And He will have mercy on him;

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.

How do we live an abundant life?  There is the formula.  Seek the Lord, call upon Him, forsake our ways and thoughts, and return to the Lord.  The only true forgiveness comes from the Lord.  “For He will abundantly pardon” us (emphasis added).

Writing this, I have a new image.  If we return, seek, and call upon the Lord, forsake our old ways and return to Him; His Forgiveness, Love, and Acceptance will roll across our land.  It is the only way to heal our Land.

“Incline your ear, and come to Me.

Hear, and your soul shall live;

My Lord, I am listening and come to you today.  Help us live abundantly in the Holy Spirit’s embrace.  Forgive us, heal our souls, and give us life.  Guide us back to You, Holy Father.  You are the only one who can heal our nations from judgment and shame.  Set our Souls free to live abundantly in you!  Help us move forward with confidence in God, our Father.  In Jesus’ name amen.  And in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit amen.

God Bless you,

Milly

P.S. The scripture passages are from the New King James Version.

Memory Time

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Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

Another treasure came my way on Sunday.  Mom sent me a memory.  My moms are in the risk group for this pandemic and I haven’t been able to see them for over a month.  I miss my moms.  And yes, I understand they are taking care of themselves.  We text and chat on the phone to stay in our bubbles.  Here is the text I received on Sunday morning: Continue reading “Memory Time”