Thursday, May 15, 2008


Sorry for the late post today. Our server was down and nobody knows why - or why it is back up!

One of the local Protestant parishes has this posted on their marquee outside, “The man who has a Godly mother is rich indeed!” It may sound trite but it is very true.

So I was having coffee with someone this past week and being that Mothers Day was bearing down on us we told three stories of how our mothers taught us to live in this world.


A number of years ago my once prosperous hometown was hit by hard times as all the industry shut down and moved away. Many families were struggling to put food on the table. My babushka wearing, pocketbook carrying, non-driving mother read about it in the local paper and that the city was asking for volunteers to work for a community food bank. She no sooner read the story that she put her babushka on, tucked her pocketbook under her arm and trudged the twenty-minute walk to the food bank and continued doing so for a number of years from that point. I was so impressed by the gesture that it was partially responsible for my becoming a priest and my promoting the work of CRS. We may not be able to end poverty, but we can do a lot to alleviate it with someone or some small group. When I was hungry you have me to eat.


A story was told of a Mom who lived next door to a family who had a dog tied up on a short leash in the back yard. The dog was virtually forgotten except when someone came out to throw some food at the dog. So the dog cried and barked all day. There are a few routes one might take. You could call the police or an animal protection league or you could yell at the careless people and engender bitter feelings. But this Mom went next door and said, “You know, I love dogs but I cannot have one. Would you mind if I took your dog for walks?” They were very thankful to her. If you are angry, let it be without sin.


Two stores were battling in my hometown. One blasted Italian music at the door and across the street, Slovenian. They each kept upping the ante until neither could stop without losing face. Another Mom in a similar situation used this approach. The neighbors across the street played loud music on their porch all day long. She bought a 12 pack of a tasty beverage and went over and introduced herself, gave them refreshments, got to know them, and then kindly asked them to turn down their music which they did with good feelings all around. Blessed are the peacemakers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome ideas, here.

What's always been a most sticky wicket for us all, I think, is to want to intervene when a frustrated parent or significant other is about to wallop a child, or has already done so, like say in the supermarket. What, beyond zooming over into their visibility and inwardly praying the Jesus prayer over and over, can we do? There was one day when some young girl's boyfriend passing by the house thought to intimidate her little boy who really thought (and was right) that he didn't need to listen to this person who was not his parent..but his parent wasn't supporting either one of them. I think she was simply overwhelmed with all the brutality of life. Ultimately, Mr. Bravado laid hands on the child, and thought to administer far more than those first rip-roaring full-force swats--until some old lady with her heart in her ears yelled out my window, "HEY! THAT'S ENOUGH." Fortunately, he agreed (after tossing off a few disgusting words), but how did it go for the child where no one could see?

What do we "write in the sand" when it's a child, not an adulteress, about to be stoned in the square?