Today is my birthday; I'm 50 today!
I've been having parties all week, and I'm very grateful for all the kindness and good wishes.
The retired priests here organized a surprise party, and they did completely fool me! That was fun!
Tonight, we had a gathering at the Knights of Columbus, after a gathering at the Sisters' house. The schoolchildren sang for me at Mass, and gave me cards and presents...it's all fun and I am very, very grateful!
But on my birthday, my thoughts go to my parents. My parents loved each other, and their love was God's means of bringing me into existence. I didn't do a single thing. My birthday is no accomplishment of mine. It is the day of my mother's trials and suffering--for my benefit. It's the day that must have been remarkably special to my father; and I wish I'd been sensible enough to have asked him what it was like, when I had the chance.
I am the youngest of seven. Can you figure out why I agree with the Church's teaching on the openness to life? Had my parents not cooperated with the Church's wisdom, and God's plan...I would not exist.
I am here because my parents valued the voice of God in the Catholic Church. Because they loved each other. Because God ordained that the love of a man and a woman would be the means of bringing new life into the world. Because God wanted me to exist--for his purpose.
And while some people think 50 is old, from the perspective of eternity? Not so much! I'm going to live for eternity, and I'm only 50; it's like being a few hours in my mother's womb.
It's certainly tempting to think about the things that lie behind. I was 20 once, and that was an interesting experience. How foolish it would be to pine away for days gone by--and yet, so many do exactly that.
I don't mind saying that there are other thoughts I have today: but they are private. My gratitude; my memories...they are not to be shared, except with my mother and my father, and with God, who has taken them to himself.
Thank you Mom. Thank you Dad. Thank you Almighty Father.