The love of family and friends
Br. Philip gave the chapter talk this morning after mass. He is our sub-prior or 'third superior'. His talk this morning was not written down, but he talked from the heart.
At this time his family is going through a rough time. His father has stage 4 lung cancer. It is hard on Philip because he can't be with his father at this time because of the lockdown. The sad situation I am sure is being lived out by thousands nationwide at this time.
His family is close-knit, and they always had a big get together on the major holidays, as well as holy days. This Easter was going to be the first time that that could not happen. So the family decided to have a parade outside his parent's home.
I was deeply touched by his story about what people will do to be able to show love and support for family members. Altogether it was ten cars packed with family.
They all brought flowers, and food, and left it on the porch. Philip's mother was out front blowing kissed to everyone and was very emotional by all the love that was being shown for them.
As I was listening to this beautiful rendition, I was what wonderful people his parents were to elicit so much love from their children as well as from the extended clan. To grow old and be so loved for me shows the powerful work of grace in our lives.
Also, our Br. Chaminade's family suffered a loss as well. He lost his mother. She lived a long life, and when I met her I thought she was a truly lovely woman.
At this time with the pandemic, many people can't be with those they love who are dying and can't even go to the funeral if there is one. Yet as Br. Mario started this morning, though I am paraphrasing: In times of stress, when we can't be with loved ones, their presence to us can be in many ways much deeper and more personal because of the intensity of emotion. I believe that Br. Mario was speaking from experience.
He also brought up the uncertainty that many are going through who do not have a community such as ours for support. Loss of income, the needs of families, rent, so much to worry about. I am very impressed by what he said and am very grateful.
God bless all of you who are struggling, this will end, but it is the journey towards the end of a long dark tunnel that is so very hard.
I wish I could do more, but we are all limited in our capacity to help. Yet I know that many are doing all they can do, and hopefully, we will be open soon.
We are all used by the Lord, often being unaware of what are do for one another. That is why in the morning a good way to start the day is to pray that we will use as an instrument of God's love in a world so full of suffering.
I also want to say that we monks are often humbled by the deep faith that is shown to us by our loved ones, and friends, and by those who come to our retreat-house, as well as those we may meet only once. You teach us more than you can ever know.
God also uses us, and to tell you the truth, most of us are blind to what we actually do. We are in this together, so let us pray for one another, support each other to the best of our ability, and to always trust and stay rooted in hope that our faith presents to us.--Br.MD