By Mary Lou Rosien
My daughter and I were grocery shopping at one of those pack-your-own-groceries-save-a-lot-of –money places. I realized about half way through the cart that we had not brought enough bags with us. I didn’t want to waste the money I had just saved by purchasing extra bags, so I just shrugged and figured that I’d deal with the problem.
We packed the things up at lightning speed, quickly running out of bags. Just then, the man beside me finished packing and said, “Would you like some extra bags, I don’t need these.” I smiled at my daughter and reminded her how the Lord always provides for us.
I am constantly amazed at the Lord’s attention to my needs whether spoken or not. A few years ago, our eldest son left home (not on the best of terms). He was angry, we were hurt. It was a very hard time for all of us.
Then, last year, a friend of my daughter’s needed a home and a family. He moved in with us prior to graduation from high school. He is now in the military and will be deployed to Afghanistan this summer. He called a few weeks ago from where he is stationed in Germany.
The kids (who all refer to him as their ‘foster brother’) were thrilled to hear from him. My seventeen year-old son said to me, “Isn’t it funny how one brother left and we gained another one.” I couldn’t deny the truth in what he said. Although our prodigal son does now stay in contact with us and wounds have been healed, we still needed something. God knew that and sent us another son to love.
I started to view the story of Mary, John and Jesus at the Cross in a whole new way. Did Jesus know that Mary would still need a child to love even though he would rise again and go to live in glory with the Father? Did her heart still need a son to love, in spite of her love for her own son? The Lord provided Mary to John and John to Mary. Although John had a mother (who was a follower of Christ and we assume a great friend to Mary), did the Blessed Mother also provide a connection to her son that John needed?
Human relationships and needs are complex. When we help our students to be aware of the many times God provides for them we are helping them to ‘tune-in’ to God’s presence in their lives. We can encourage this awareness by using prayer journals in and out of class. Additionally, we can discuss times when God has met their practical needs using our own examples like the one I experienced at the store.
My mother always reminds me that the Lord cannot be outdone in generosity. Let’s make sure our students can see that too. God bless.
Mary Lou Rosien is the author of Managing Stress with the Help of your Catholic Faith (OSV Publishing). Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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