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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sunday Meditation: How did you use your talents today?

The gospel today was the parable of the three servants and the talents. The parable of the talents always gets me thinking about how the Lord wants me to use the gifts He's given me. He certainly gave me a heart for motherhood which is what got me involved in the pro-life movement. The little ones threatened and marked for death always made me think of my own children. How could I not be doing everything I could to save them when they were no different from my own babies? And so I rescued and educated and prayed and picketed and sidewalk counseled, etc. I still do a little of that, but I don't have the same level of energy I used to have and don't do as much of it. Also, thank God, there's no abortion mill nearby that is continually pricking my conscience. That was one of the greatest outcomes of our decision to "flee the city" in 2002! I traveled to northern Virginia every week for several years to counsel at pregnancy help center, but after several years decided it was just too far.

So I've been reflecting on how the Lord wants me to use my talents now. Discernment is always challenging.

A few years ago I was commiserating with a priest at a meeting about my pro-life work and how tired I was. He advised me to think about stopping the activism and focusing on my own family. My children were grown and out of the house at the time and I already had a number of grandchildren. I didn't, however, take his advice at the time, but it came back to me today. Ten years later I find myself even more tired and thinking perhaps this is the time.

I have a large family, five married children and 25 grandchildren. I also have eight living siblings several of whom need encouragement and support. One sister lives alone and I speak to her once or twice a day. I had to laugh tonight. She told me , "You calm me down; you're better than a pill." What a great compliment!

I have a brother in a nursing home over two hours away. I visit him a few times a year. I wish it were more often. Unfortunately he's in the "white-knuckle zone" near D.C. and I'm not as confident a driver as I used to be. But I could certainly make a greater effort to call him.

And I've been thinking lately that it would be good to write to my grandchildren and godchildren (I have nine of those) more often. We live in such difficult times, I want to help keep my grandchildren and godchildren and their families in the faith. A letter, a holy card, an article...why not?

And then of course there is the opportunity to do hospitality. I like to cook and love to set a pretty table. What a joy it is to host my children and their families and friends. One daughter was here last week from Pittsburgh with four of her children and we had a houseful all week with visiting aunts and uncles and cousins coming and going and sleeping over. What exhausting fun! Making memories time. Extended family is the village that raises the child and grandparents play a major role there.

And then of course, there is the time to spent with the Lord. That, of course, should be a primary consideration. I love my adoration hour and wouldn't it be wonderful to add a second...or even a third? One lady at morning Mass always stays at least an hour after Mass. How I admire her. There is no reason I can't do that, but I don't because of my lack of will and discipline.

Our parish also has a number of community outreach programs. As they say, "charity begins at home" and between family and parish there is no lack of opportunities to use my talents. And so I'm thinking about that today and asking the Lord where He wants me. It's His call if I just have the sense to sit in the silence and listen.

How is the Lord calling you to use the talents He's given you?


Anonymous said...

As I meditated on this Gospel I felt it unfair of God to reward the brave, the outgoing, the ambitious and punish the hesitating and cautious among us. If only God had given us all the promptings to recognize the opportunities to utilize our talents. Mine happen to be in the artistic area and the rewards are few and confined.
I have grown children and eight grandchildren but feel empty when they 'have other plans' and rarely visit.
I was tempted to unsubscribe from your blog as you seem to 'have it all' and are among the former 'dogooders'spoken of in the gospel but I also admire your thoughtfulness and wide ranging interests, so I will plod on in this miserable pilgrimage - halfway between heaven and hell - and hope God has mercy on those of us who through no fault of their own failed to bloom!

Mary Ann Kreitzer said...

None of us has it all, Pachal. I have my own sorrows. I just don't write about them often.

I am fortunate to have one of my five children who lives nearby so I see them every week. The children are small and Mom and Dad enjoy a break. We are the most reliable (and least expensive) babysitters. My other children are farther afield and we see them less frequently or rarely.

I wish I knew you personally because I suspect you are blooming in ways you do not see that others recognizes. There are different flowers in God's garden. Some are showy like sunflowers and roses. Others are tiny and almost invisible like the forget-me-not. But that little, insignificant wildflower is one of my favorites. It is the "still small voice" that speaks loud and clear of God's glory.

Please pray for me. I am offering my rosary for you today. I know exactly what you mean about this "miserable pilgrimage" or the "valley of tears" as the Hail Holy Queen prayer describes it. We are all in the mess together.