15 August 2013

Treasuring Our Friends and Family

Sub Tuum.

A Happy and Blessed Ferragosto to all! In my two most recent letters, I wrote of Saint Lawrence proclaiming the poor to be the true treasures of the Church and of detachment from worldly things, using Saint Clare of Assisi as an example. Today on the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a good time to continue the theme of detachment from worldly things and treasuring others by discussing treasuring our friends and family. It seems so obvious, does it not? Yet how often do we all neglect those who should be dear to us?

The Venerable Fulton Sheen, in writing about the Assumption of Mary, used the example of a gardener who grew a lily and a rose of great value in a garden. Would that gardener then allow the garden in which these flowers grew to go waste and rot? And who would want to see their childhood home razed to the ground? Thus was the Blessed Virgin Mary, the garden and home that nurtured the Incarnate Word and raised him through his childhood years, spared the return to dust and assumed body and soul into Heaven. This is a living example of the fulfillment of Christ's promise of eternal life. It is a symbol of hope for us all.

Now, consider those in our life who have nurtured us and helped us. The "self-made man" is a myth. We all had help of some sort. We all have people who made a difference in our lives and who continue to make a difference. Our parents, our priests, our teachers, co-workers, friends, family, and others. These people, these fellow human beings, form a garden of sorts that help us to grow and flourish. How often do we remember them? How often instead do we forget them, allowing memories of them go to waste in our minds?

Think now how many injuries and injustices we have suffered at the hands of others and how easy it is to recall those vividly. If we take up the room in our hearts and minds with this hatred to others, then there is no room left to tend the garden of those who have made a positive difference in our lives. On the other hand, you won't have time to hate when you spend your time thinking of those who are dear to you. Pray for them. Do something nice for them. Help them when they need help. Our Lord did not turn His back on the garden that nurtured Him on this earth. Rather, so much did He love her that His Holy Mother was assumed into Heaven kept close to Him. There is the example for us all! Love our Lady as Christ loves her, and let that be our guide for loving those who have helped us grow and humans. Forget not your own garden and leave it not to waste.