Back in March, some second graders planted a bunch of tomato seeds and now, months later, my garden has more than a few tomato plants. They stop by the garden almost everyday, watering the plants and looking for the first signs of fruit. The young gardeners learned that it takes a lot of work to get from seed to salad!READ MORE
Under the huge oak tree in the yard, my 5-year-old niece was shocked to discover that the huge tree had begun as a small acorn, just like one of many she found on the ground. She could not believe that something so large began as something so small.READ MORE
A community work project took place on a hot and humid morning. College students helped younger students, keeping a watchful eye on them as they were picking up trash, painting playground furniture and hanging new signs. Halfway through the morning, everyone headed for the shade of a weeping willow tree and a drink of ice-cold spring water. It really was refreshing. The shade and the water revived us and we were ready to finish our work. Everyone had a good time and contributed to our success.READ MORE
The Liturgy this week continues to instruct us in the elements of discipleship. We’re told that even the most humble among us have a share in the mission Christ gives to His Church.READ MORE
A German proverb says that fear makes the wolf bigger than it is. When we are afraid, our imagination can run wild, we feel helpless and trapped and we fail to act. Just ask any kid who hides under the bed when he hears a scary noise in the middle of the night! The only sound he wants to hear is the reassuring voice of his mom or dad.READ MORE
After dinner at our parents’ home on Christmas Day, we were sitting at the table, reminiscing about the Christmas celebrations of our childhood. The middle brother picked up one of my mother’s in- credible cookies and held it up as he announced that this was the best memory of his childhood Christ- mas. He told the story of being ten years old and sneaking to the kitchen in the middle of the night, just to get a Christmas cookie. A second later, the cookie was gone and it became another part of his memories!READ MORE
On a beautiful Saturday in May, I sat at a table in the park, reading term papers and enjoying the sights and sounds of spring. My favorite sound is that of little children laughing and squealing as mom and dad play games with them, or throw a ball or sit and eat a picnic lunch. It’s the perfect im- age of family. Love is in the air, infusing the mind and spirit with a sense of peace and joy. There is something about a toddler’s laugh that makes you smile with hope and happiness.READ MORE
Color televisions amazed people. Black and white images were replaced by all the colors of the rainbow and both people and cartoons seemed to have more life. Now, high-definition televisions show amazing detail. Colors are more vivid and the picture has a depth and clarity that older televisions lack. The viewer can see every line, wrinkle, and subtlety that was once left to the imagination. The viewer can really see bigger and better!READ MORE
Some of the most humorous moments on the show, “Everyone Loves Raymond,” were those that reminded viewers of their own families. It was easy to laugh at the flaws and antics of the characters because in them we recognized a bit of ourselves. Faced with the same kinds of situations, we know just how everyone would react—with the same silliness, or comic expression, or choice of words. It’s always easier to laugh at ourselves when we know that everyone else is just like us.
In the Holy Family we also recognize a bit of ourselves. Our size and circumstances vary, but beyond the superficial differences, we are the same. The virtues of God’s chosen ones that St. Paul describes to the Colossians are at the core of what it means to be a family. Clothed in mercy, kindness and patience, we bear with one another, forgive one another and love one another, so that as one holy family we help each other grow in faith, hope and love.
Family gives us roots, identity, a place to grow up and a place to call home. We find the support and safety and freedom to be ourselves, to develop our strengths and correct our faults. More importantly, we share the incredible gifts of life and grace with each other. We honor those we love and become the people God calls us to be. We learn and practice the miraculous virtues of God’s chosen ones, because that is who He calls us to be.
~James Gaffney, © 2007 Karides Lic. to St. George Publishing