RIGHT WITH THE CATHOLIC CHURCH #53
Today, at the opening of the new social year, we speak about loneliness: that sense of someone, something, missing in our lives. It is common to all in the human condition. But as we get older, it is more accentuated. For the elderly it can become a real problem:
· A death in the family. After years of marriage, a partner dies – a man finds himself alone at age 66. What can he do?
· Long-term travel away from home. They tell you: you may continue with the firm if you move from New London to Michigan. What? My kids are in high school. My home is paid for. My wife has a part-time job. He goes, but he feels terribly alone.
· Illness. A stroke due to high blood pressure and chain smoking has done you in: can’t drive, can’t walk well, can’t speak well. Now what do you do?
· Failure. You made a terrible mistake in life. Nobody knows you. The events have taken you away from all. Loss of a job; divorce; shame to live in the community.
Where do you turn? Where do you go? You are truly blessed if you have Faith in Jesus.
1. Reach out. Volunteer; feed people; drive for people; read for people; shop for someone; write notes for someone; keep the bankbook for someone. Make a schedule: every Monday, at the hospital; every Sunday, open mail at the rectory. REACH OUT.
2. Keep a schedule. They taught us in the seminary: if you want to kill a man, take away his schedule. “Serva Ordinem et Ordo Servabit Te”: “Keep a schedule and it will keep you”. When the Czar was captured in Russia in 1918, with his wife and his six children, they were all facing execution by Lenin. A letter got through from the Queen of England, writing to the Czarina of Russia. She wrote: “Keep a schedule for the children. It will keep their minds off the terrible things you are undergoing”. An hour to rise. An hour to retire. An hour to eat. A schedule of prayer. A schedule of Sunday worship. A TV schedule. A schedule of exercise. A schedule for social meetings. See it all not as robotic, but rather as a stairway leading us up – a candle lighting the way!
3. Live for tomorrow. How many times have I told you in these 35 years that the love of tomorrow, the anticipation of tomorrow is the joy of today? A trip to New York. Dinner with friends. An up-coming wedding or baptism. Plan them. Create them. Live them in anticipation.
FINALLY, WALK WITH JESUS.
We mean walk in Faith, avoiding serious sin, doing good, living in spiritual peace. When your delicate conscience is at peace, then you are walking with The Lord. Each day is a joyful experience – not a curse. When we walk with Jesus as I have described, our hearts may be broken, bleeding, hurting…but we never walk alone JESUS IS WITH US.