Loading

A life of love

Lisa M. Hendey

As I write this, my inaugural column for Catholic Womanhood, I am winging my way across several states to attend the funeral of my paternal grandfather. Mirroring my journey are countless members of my extended family, the children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a man whose greatest life goal and final testament was the passing of his faith to his family.

My intention for this opening column had been to tell you something of myself – my experiences, my background, or perhaps my qualifications for writing here in this wonderful space. But in the end, I realize that sharing this experience with you also tells you a great deal about the things I hold most dear: my Catholic faith and the gift of family.

My Grandpa Wayne had a very rough early path through life. The death of his mother when he was a young child, his abandonment by his father, his shuffling between extended family members and his eventual landing in an orphanage could have been all the elements needed to build a life of resentment and anger.

Yet amidst all that early pain, Grandpa also received a great gift – a Catholic education. It became a constant in his life when everything else was uncertain. It bonded him to his wife of 67 years, and he passed it along to each of his seven children and 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Knowing my grandfather was to know what defined him: his Church, his parish, his family and his community.

In his twilight years, my grandfather bore the fruit of having instilled a true understanding of the words “pro life” in his children. These same men and women who prayed for and were active on behalf of women in crisis pregnancies nursed both of their parents through extended illness and dementia with care and compassion. Underscoring the dignity of life at every phase of God’s plan, they sent my grandmother to her eternal reward with kindheartedness and hands-on care and rallied around my grandpa when he was unable to care for himself.

Tomorrow, our family will celebrate the Eucharist together as we say goodbye to my Grandpa. In recalling the blessing and promises of Christ’s Resurrection, we will gather in hope and prayer to say our goodbyes, certain in the knowledge that my grandfather rests in God’s loving embrace.

He taught us well to believe, to pray and to love. He showed us firsthand what standing up for your faith and loving your family in good times and in bad was all about. When we have said our goodbyes and as we fly home to our own concentric circles of responsibility, those lessons will be refreshed and renewed. Wayne’s legacy will live on in each of us not because of the words we say, but more importantly through the acts of love we undertake.

As Wayne’s personal patroness, and mine own as well, St. Therese of Lisieux said so eloquently:

“You know well enough that Our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love at which we do them.”

 

Copyright 2011 Lisa M. Hendey

Topics: Faith , Relationships

Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of http://catholicmom.com/ and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at LisaHendey.com.

View all articles by Lisa M. Hendey

Ads by Google
(What's this?)

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

RECENT POSTS

OUR TOPICS

Abortion (50)  Advent & Christmas (19)  Beauty (3)  Bioethics (4)  Books (55)  Church history (18)  Church teaching (35)  Contraception (28)  Culture (124)  Current Events (99)  Dating (15)  Death (7)  Depression (14)  Divorce (7)  Education (14)  Eucharist (4)  Exercise (3)  Faith (228)  Family (93)  Fashion (5)  Feminism (14)  Fertility (3)  Fitness (1)  Food (3)  Forgiveness (19)  Friendship (18)  Generosity (3)  Girl Scouts (2)  Grieving (1)  Health (23)  Home Management (17)  Humor (15)  Leadership (4)  Lent & Easter (13)  Liturgical Year (11)  Marian devotion (9)  Marriage (37)  Mature Years (5)  Meditations (17)  Mental illness (1)  Mercy (3)  Military Families (2)  Ministry (6)  Miscarriage (1)  Motherhood (60)  Movies (2)  Music (5)  Natural Family Planning (2)  Nutrition (4)  Parenting (45)  Personal Growth (106)  Politics (4)  Pope Francis (4)  Pornography (3)  Prayer (34)  Pro-Life (29)  Psychology (1)  Reflections (9)  Relationships (44)  Religious freedom (11)  Religious Vocation (1)  Saints (17)  Scripture (7)  Service (8)  Sexuality (20)  Single years (4)  Social justice (1)  Social Networking (5)  Special Needs (3)  Spirituality (3)  Suffering (15)  Suicide (1)  Travel (11)  United Nations (1)  Welcome (1)  Women in the Church (7)  Women's Health (21)  Workplace (13)  Writings of the Saints (12)  Young Women (40) 

Nov
29

Liturgical Calendar

November 29, 2014

Saturday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Featured Videos

Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 21:34-36

Gospel
Date
11/29/14
11/28/14
11/27/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 22: 1-7
Gospel:: Lk 21: 34-36

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/29/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 21:34-36

Homily
Date
11/29/14
11/28/14
11/27/14
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: