Give Me Strength

I don’t normally talk about my past other than to say I wasn’t the best Catholic or Christian and I made a lot of bad choices. But the last few days have brought back some memories of when I was younger, mostly about my Dad.

Photo by Amelia Bartlett on Unsplash

This past Tuesday my wife had a total hip replacement coming home yesterday. I remember when my mother broke her leg one winter evening slipping on some ice. To make a long story short, the leg never healed correctly and it needed to be amputated. I don’t remember the exact dates but she was probably without her leg for 25 years. Through all this my father was always there for her, helping her get out of bed, getting her dressed, and the like. Eventually, she was able to get along pretty well and only needed to be driven places like to her appointments. But I always could tell that things were not quite the same in my mom and dad’s relationship.

I know he was constantly worried about her and what would happen to her once he was gone, after all, he had been telling us for twenty years he was going to be dead the next day and we would need to take care of her. That didn’t quite work out the way he planned as she went before he did. But I remember there was always that worry and stress in him. The way he handled it was through drinking,

In these last few days, I understand what he was going through. I love my wife and I will do anything for her but she is not a good patient. She is very demanding, I can’t do anything right and I need to watch her every minute so she doesn’t fall or do something she shouldn’t. Like my father before me, I could very easily turn to drink, something I have done in the past. But instead, I am turning to faith in God to give me the strength to get through this.

Today’s Gospel reading is:

The Explanation of the Parable of the Sower. “Hear then the parable of the sower.  The seed sown on the path is the one who hears the word of the kingdom without understanding it, and the evil one comes and steals away what was sown in his heart. The seed sown on rocky ground is the one who hears the word and receives it at once with joy. But he has no root and lasts only for a time. When some tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, he immediately falls away. The seed sown among thorns is the one who hears the word, but then worldly anxiety and the lure of riches choke the word and it bears no fruit. But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

New American Bible. (2011). (Revised Edition, Mt 13:18–23). Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

When I try to determine which of the seeds I used to be I waver between the seed on rocky ground or the seed sown in the thorns. At first, I would say I was among the thorns and let myself get carried away by worldly goods and anxiety, leaving the Word of God behind. I also think at one time I was like the seed on rocky ground, where I had some roots but was taken over by the weeds and lost my way.

With all that is going on with my wife, I am trying not to let the weeds overtake me. Here is a copy of a reflection from the ePriest website. (You can subscribe here)

The seed sown on the rocky ground represents those who receive the word with joy at first, in other words, those easily governed by emotions and sentiments. When they feel joy, they respond to God positively. When they receive comforts from Christ, they are ready to follow him. But when their moods are bad or gloomy, they leave aside their previous resolutions and abandon the Lord for the wide and spacious road of ease and comforts. They are not seeking Christ but rather their consolation. Above all, they want warm, cozy feelings. Christ shows us the way of true loyalty and love by his crucifixion and death on the cross for love of his Father and souls.

My mood is definitely gloomy, but I am trying hard not to abandon Christ. I know he will give me the strength and patience I need to get through this without going back to my old ways.

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