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The Catholic Defender: Honor Your Father and Mother

"Listen to your Father who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is old" (Proverbs 23:22). I remember my Mother helping my Grandmother when she became disabled. She died at my Mother's home when I was still in college. I remember the attention Grandma received by family members when I would come home on break. That had taught me a valuable lesson. The past few days, I had the opportunity to go to a Senior Citizen Retirement Home to sing hymns with a local church group. I watched how much the people loved having visitors. The sad part of what I saw was that some people have no one to visit them. Since I have retired from the Army, I have taken the opportunity to visit them. Today, a lady sitting in a wheel chair smiled at me as I walked in the door. She reached her arms up like she wanted a hug and so I gave her a hug. She gave me a kiss on the check. I went on from there to find the coordinator and I walked and found another lady who was wearing a rosary. I showed her my rosary and she was very happy to see me. She invited me to see some of her things so I was able to listen to her. I found out she rarely has anyone come to see her. I was only happy to have made her day visiting her. I spoke with the Coordinator for a few minutes and discovered she was Catholic, just not practicing. She is very interested in having us come there to lead the rosary and sing songs. My Wife is a great singer who can play the auto harp. Another friend of mine plays piano who can really sing and play. I want to be able to show some good movies for these people. With leading the scriptural rosary, I will show good movies, plan to show "The 13th Day", about Our Lady of Fatima. We look to show this outdoors for them on a large screen. This would be a big treat for them. It is a sad thing to have someone staying in a place like this with no one to visit them, no relatives, no children, how sad this is. I know that what I am discovering in our small little town, there are more than 2,000,000 people across the United States who have no one that visits them. Sure, there are workers who are paid to be there, that is not the same thing. Some of you who visit these institutions know what I am talking about. Even though a person has not the faculty or ability that they might have had most their lives, inside their bodies, their soul, their spirit still reaches out for life and love. St. Paul wrote, "Do not rebuke an older man, but appeal to him as a father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters with complete purity". If you have loved ones in an institution, it is very important that we keep them involved in our lives. It's best if you can have them home so you can take care of them. If that is impossible, you are responsible to love them and stay involved with them. The hired help can give great assistance, but they can not tend to the love they have for you. Be patient with those at this stage of their lives as they were there for you when you were growing up. If you have had issues with a parent, now is the time to reconcile, before they are gone forever. Don't let them go into eternity with unresolved issues. Forgiveness is vital. Try to call them often just to keep them in your life, that you love them. Leviticus 19:32 states, "Stand up in the presence of the aged and show respect for the old; thus shall you fear your God. I am the Lord". Should their mind fail, still your love for them should never fail. One lady I met there today was excited to have the mission I gave her to witness her faith to someone who works at the institution. Someone that have not been practicing their faith for a long time. It looks like the worker will be taking the lady to Mass!!! Is not the Lord great!

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