Why is it that one woman can take care of six children but six children cannot take care of one woman?
One day I visited a house where our sisters shelter the aged. This is one of the nicest houses in England, filled with beautiful and precious things, yet there was not one smile on the faces of these people. All of them were looking toward the door.
I asked the sister in charge, "Why are they like that? Why can't you see a smile on their faces?" (I am accustomed to seeing smiles on people's faces. I think a smile generates a smile, just as love generates love.)
The sister answered, "The same thing happens every day. They are always waiting for someone to come and visit them. Loneliness eats them up, and day after day they do not stop looking. Nobody comes."
Abandonment is an awful poverty. There are poor people everywhere, but the deepest poverty is not being loved.
The poor we seek may live near us or far away. They can be materially or spiritually poor. They may be hungry for bread or hungry for friendship. They may need clothing, or they may need the sense of wealth that God's love for them represents. They may need the shelter of a house made of bricks and cement or the shelter of having a place in our hearts. – A short story by Mother Teresa
The Fourth Commandment reminds all sons and daughters of their responsibilities to their parents. They have to help them, both morally and materially, to the best of their possibilities, during their aging days and when they are facing times of illness, loneliness or anguish. Jesus points out quite clearly this duty of gratitude.
The respect towards our elders (filial piety) is made out of the gratitude they deserve for the gift they have given us, i.e. our life, and for the sacrifices made for their sons and daughters to grow up in age, wisdom and grace. «With all your heart honor your father, and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; and what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?» (Sir 7:27-28).
The Lord honors the father in his children, and in them, also confirms the mother's right. «He who honors his father atones for sins; he obeys the Lord who brings comfort to his mother» (cf. Sir 3:2-6). These and other words of advice are a clear light for our life in relation to our parents. Let us ask our Lord the grace that we never lack the true love we owe our parents and always know, with our example, how to transmit our fellowmen this sweet “obligation”.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
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