CSMSG GRANDPARENTS OF PARENT LINK
The Grandparents of Parent Link meet monthly to say our prayers and share our stories. The stories often reveal SPIRITUAL TREASURES and this page will record these for future reference.
The Grandparents of Parent Link met on Sunday, June 16, to say our prayers and share our stories. We also shared a story told by Bishop Claude E. Payne about one of his personal “spiritual treasures”, the deep and lasting spiritual impact on him of taking part, as a teenager, in his church’s tradition of delivering the Easter altar flowers to elderly shut-ins. Bishop Payne’s story called to mind this story told by Pat and Larry Sewell:
This past Easter, our daughter, Stephanie, her husband, and their three sons traveled from their home in New York City to join us in Fort Scott, Kansas (Larry’s hometown) to spend Easter with Larry’s 96-year-old mother, the Great Grandmother of our grandchildren. We all—four generations of our family—attended Easter Services together at Great Grannie’s church. After church services, we picked up several Easter lilies from the altar (that we had purchased) and delivered them to Great Grannie’s nursing home and the Fort Scott National Cemetery, where our grandchildren placed them on the graves of Pat’s parents (see photo above) and Larry’s father and grandparents.
The Prayer for Grandparents that we read at every meeting says in part: “Lord Jesus, help families and society to value the presence and role of grandparents. May they never be ignored or excluded, but always encounter respect and love. Help them to live serenely and to feel welcomed in all the years of life which you give them. Amen” (Adapted from the Universal Prayer for Grandparents, written especially for the Catholic Grandparents Association by Pope Benedict XVI in 2008).
Jim Thompson- Volunteering at the County Jail
One of our grandparents, Jim Thompson, volunteers at the County Jail, visiting with inmates once a week. A fellow volunteer told him this story:
He said he had been an inmate himself, sentenced to prison for 60 years, and he’d done all they accused him of, and more. In prison, God found him, and he studied and became a prison pastor and did much good, ministering to one and all. After 15 years of exemplary conduct, the Governor commuted his sentence. Upon release, he tried to reconnect with his three children who had been very young when he went to prison, but they would not return his calls or answer his letters. Finally, one of his children contacted him to explain: “You were absent when we needed you growing up.” But after several years, his children started having children, his grandchildren, and he was needed again. This time he was not absent, and the family reunited.
Jim says, “This story reminds me that when we are patient and humble, God provides a path of healing that is so spectacular.”
Anything is possible with children and grandchildren and God.
Praying Without Ceasing
A Meditation on Mr. Rogers by Bruce Springer
Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.”
Paul said: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit.”
(1 Thess 5:16-19)
Several months ago I was with a friend when I mounted one of my hobby horses and galloped off griping about the Media, and in particular the Media’s hostility to Christianity. Immediately, my friend said, “What about Mr. Rogers?” My exposure to Mr. Rogers had been limited to a few 15-second glances at the TV over the shoulders of my children as they watched in the 80s, and I had not been impressed. I responded, “Well, what about Mr. Rogers?” My friend said, “I think he was almost Christ-like.”
A few weeks later, my friend and I went to see the documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”, about Mr. Rogers’ career in children’s TV. I heard Mr. Rogers say:
“Love is at the root of everything, all parenting, all learning, all relationships…love or the lack of it.”
“The space between the TV screen and whoever happens to be viewing it, I consider that very holy ground.”
“This is what I give. I give an expression of care every day to each child, to help him realize that he is unique. I end the program by saying ‘You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you. And I like you just the way you are.’”
“You don’t have to do anything sensational for people to love you.”
“The greatest thing is to let somebody know they are loved and capable of loving.”
The documentary portrayed Mr. Rogers’ TV show as an expression of unconditional love for children and his career in television as one unceasing prayer to God by a person who lived every day in the joy of God’s love received.
My friend was right, I am left to wonder how could I have missed Mr. Rogers.
Jesus said: “Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.”
“Tea for Two”
By Charlotte Lanham
My grandchildren know exactly where I hide their blue willow tea set in my house. It is under the stairs in a wicker case, totally within reach whenever they are craving tea and cookies. Recently, I sat on the porch in the shade and indulged myself in every grandmother’s fantasy…a tea party with my three-year-old granddaughter.
Abbigail and I found our corner and took our time dividing the dishes and fitting the lids on the teapot and sugar bowl. She hurried inside to get two teaspoons from my sideboard, then returned and busied herself with the formalities of serving tea.
“Sugar, Grandmommy?” she asked. And before I could answer, she stirred a spoonful of imaginary sugar into my empty cup.
“Taste it,” she insisted, giggling, and I lifted the tea cup toward my mouth. Then I closed my eyes and pretended to sip the brew slowly, whispering, “Fit for a Queen! The finest in London!” Pleased with that answer, she continued on in play.
And as I watched her, I breathed a prayer. “Lord, bless her with this innocence. Sweeten her spirit with a daily taste of your goodness. Fill her cup continually from the fountain of your everlasting love.”
“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8
Jesus used stories to tell all these things to the people; he always used stories to teach them.
This is as the prophet said: I will speak using stories.” Matthew 13: 34-35
(New Century Version; other Versions use “parables” for “stories”.)