In the last year and a half, our family has attended a funeral and been part of two weddings. They’ve all been real blessings. Being a part of these special events has renewed and deepened my understanding of married life and the afterlife and has been a great opportunity to teach our boys.
The funeral was for the amazing mother of a friend of ours. She was mom to nine boys! Her death made my boys more aware that there will come a day when they will sadly have to say goodbye to their own grandparents, and it brought about an empathy for their friends who were in deep mourning for their beloved grandma. But underlying all the sadness, was Love.
Each of the woman’s nine boys, now grown men, took turns speaking at the wake about the special memories they had of their mother. They reminisced about how as boys they fought and tested their mother’s patience time and time again. Now as men, they stood as a testament to their mother’s love and reminders for all parents that our children really are like young olive plants around the table . The family that was no stranger to a scuffle here and there, now, more than ever, understood the importance of the family bond.
And then we’ve had weddings. The two recent weddings we’ve attended have been concrete examples for my boys that whether we’re called to marriage or the religious life, we have an obligation to keep ourselves pure for that soulmate/calling. Love for your spouse, even if you don’t know who that is yet, bears all things.
The significance of all of these events has not been lost on us. In fact, these occasions have been great for helping us to remember life’s bigger picture: Our life on earth is not our final destination. God has a plan for each of us, a special calling for how He wants us to use our life, to how He chooses to call us home. Death is a part of life. In our journey as pilgrims, God’s grace abounds. His grace transforms us and allow us to carry out acts of true love. And a life well-lived bears great fruit and is hopefully rewarded with a holy death.
The Catholic cycle of life with its sprinkling of sacraments has so beautifully blessed and edified us.