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By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, April 28, 2013

A young woman remembers her beloved grandfather:

“Grandpa was a man of integrity. He was a rancher who loved his family fiercely and passed down simple yet important life lessons. My dad tells a story about helping his dad tediously wash borrowed farm equipment before they returned it to a neighbor. ‘Why are we cleaning this?’ he asked. ‘It was dirty when we got it.’ ‘Always return something a little better than you found it,’ was Grandpa’s reply.”

A week after Grandpa’s funeral, I helped my dad vacuum, wash, and refuel a car he had borrowed from a friend. After accepting the vehicle, the friend leaned over to me and remarked, “Whenever I loan something to your dad, I know it will come back in even better shape.”

“And that is my grandpa’s legacy. He left the world just a little better than he found it. I hope I can do the same.” (Katherine Hanschu, in Reader’s Digest, March 2012.)

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, April 21, 2013

A young financial planner was on the fast track to a successful and lucrative career – until his life fell apart when his marriage ended. He had to move into a small rented apartment. Most of his savings were consumed by an acrimonious divorce settlement. And, worst of all, he became a “weekend” dad to his two beloved children.

Talking with a friend after the maelstrom had subsided; he summed up what he learned from the devastating losses that had dramatically changed in his once shining life: “I have learned so much in the past year. I used to think I wanted a bigger house, expensive holidays, a fast car, and I told myself I wanted these as much for the family as for myself. Now I have come to understand that there are only two questions that really matter: How will I spend my time, and with whom?”

By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, April 14, 2013
There are no ends to the demands made on a parent. Regardless of the ages of your children, the expectations never end. There are times when every Mom and Dad feels completely exhausted – there is nothing more to give. Yet we find that there’s always a little more left when we think – a little more patience, a little more understanding, a little more forgiveness. Our parental “nets” may strain at times, but they never tear.
By Fr. Steve Kolde on Sunday, April 7, 2013

There is an elephant in the house—a six-ton pachyderm taking up all the room, all the space, all the air. And nobody in the family says a word. They tiptoe around it, they squeeze by it, and they pretend it doesn’t exist. But at every family gathering, the elephant is there.

The elephant, of course, is not a physical presence but an emotional one –all 12,000 pounds of it. It’s the disappointment Dad feels, it’s the shame Mom endures, it’s the resentment a child harbors. It’s the indignation of a rigid elder, the harsh judgment of a self-righteous relation.

But as long as nobody says anything, everything will be fine. Don’t spook the elephant, and no one will be trampled. Silence, avoidance and denial. Turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the elephant crushing our souls and we’ll get through dinner. It’s called keeping peace in the family. But the overwhelming smell of peanuts or something worse never goes away.

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Deacon Ron answers your questions.

Comments

Re: Why do we place a white pall on the casket of the deceased at funeral Masses?
I have been wondering about that. Thank you for explaining it.

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