By Mary Lou Rosien
This summer has been a really hard one for so many people. Even some of the OSV family has been affected by the storms, heat waves and electrical outages. We have another friend who lost his home in the Colorado fires. There are not words that can express our sympathy to these families.
In our own family, my daughter’s boyfriend was in a serious car accident. As I am writing this, he continues to recover, but will not be able to walk for at least three months and we are unsure of the final outcome of this situation.
I’m not sharing these things to try to depress anyone, but rather to look at what lessons we can learn when tragedies such as these fall upon us. Our wonderful priest, Fr. Joseph Catanise, chose to address some of this in a homily this Sunday.
He reminded us of God’s promises to us, that His grace is sufficient. (2 Corn. 12:9) and in our weaknesses, God’s strength is made perfect. He challenged us to embrace our sufferings as times for God’s love and Mercy to carry us.
I heard a Christian speaker describe this idea as, “Creating a space for grace.” Whatever is pulled away from us forms in us a new valley that can be filled in by God.
When my brother died (at only 20 years old), my best friend shared with me a proverb that states it this way, “The greater sorrow carves itself into your heart, the greater capacity you have for joy.”
I have already begun to see the graces and God’s gifts in the situation with my daughter’s boyfriend. You raise your children, hoping that they will become strong, faith-filled, unselfish people. Honestly though, sometimes, as we struggle with raising them, it is hard to see if we are accomplishing that goal. This week, I have watched my daughter become the woman I was trying to raise her to be. She has surpassed my expectations and has been so loving, caring, kind and selfless that I can barely write about it without crying all over my keyboard.
Their love story is an amazing one of sacrifice, first of his and now hers. My daughter wasn’t sure if she was ready to be in a serious relationship, so, to make a long story short, this young man waited for two years for her. He turned all others down in the hopes that when she was ready, it would be him that she would choose. She had just declared her love for him when only days later the accident occurred. Now, she is caring for him and proving to him that the love he waited so patiently for is real. If that isn’t God’s grace, sufficient for them both, I don’t know what is.
If you have suffered this summer, know that my prayers are with you, Dear Reader. Know too, that God’s grace will fill the corners of your heart that may be breaking right now.
Mary Lou Rosien writes from outside Rochester, NY. She is the author of Managing Stress with the Help of Your Catholic Faith (OSV) and, Catholic Family Boot Camp (Bezalel Books). Check out her website, or contact her at www.catholicfamilybootcamp.com.
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