I’m going to share something with you that I probably should not be sharing. I began writing my weekly Adoration Letter more than 13 years ago. Over the years, I’ve had people express surprise that I’m willing to share so much about my personal life. Most adults who are over the age of 50 are much more private about their personal lives than I am. It has been my experience that if I’m open and honest about my own personal strengths, weaknesses, faults, and experiences, people will be more receptive to what I have to say.
While it’s easy for me to share personal details about my life (most of the time), it’s not easy when I have to decide what I should share about members of my family or other people that I know. Most of the time when I share details about what a family member has said or done, I don’t go to that family member ahead of time and get permission to write about them. I don’t have the time to do that because I ordinarily begin writing my weekly articles on Friday evening. I finish the articles on Saturday, just in time for me to drop off printed copies at Saint Philomena Church, before the 4:30 PM Mass ends (next to where the weekly bulletins are).
Another reason I don’t ordinarily ask permission from family members to include them in my articles is because I don’t have the time to get into long discussions about why I want to write about them or what I’m going to say about them in the article. I simply use my own judgment as to whether it’s appropriate to publish the information, with the understanding that I may have to explain myself at a later time.
Over the years, I’ve had members of my extended family tell me that they don’t want me to ever write anything about them. I do my best to respect their wishes, but there are occasions when I write about my entire family and I may need to refer to individual members of the family. In most cases, there is nothing of significance that is revealed about them.
Anyway, every day there are text messages and pictures that are sent back and forth between a group of my immediate family members, which includes my wife Georgette, our children, and our children’s spouses. The messages include family stories and updates as to what’s going on in our lives. We also send messages that provide news and other information that we think will benefit our family.
Last week, Georgette sent two text messages to our family that I want to share with you. The problem with sharing those messages is that if I asked her permission to share them, she would probably tell me that the messages were personal to our family and that they should not be shared. I have decided to share Georgette’s messages without asking for her permission. Why am I doing this? Because I believe that there are numerous people who will benefit from her messages, and I don’t want her to ask me not to publish them.
If you have ever dealt with my wife, you know that she is a very loving and giving person who always puts the needs of others before her own needs. One of her greatest strengths is that she is always thinking of ways that she can bring comfort and love to others. You will see these qualities in the text messages that I share with you.
I want you to understand that I’m not sharing Georgette’s messages to point out her heroic qualities. I’m sharing them because I’m hoping that you will consider doing what she prescribed for her own family. If you do for your family what she recommended for our family, you will be performing a spiritual work of mercy.
Here are the two messages that Georgette sent to our family last week:
March 19 1:46 PM – We are beginning a 54-day Rosary Novena starting today, the feast of Saint Joseph. We will pray the rosary for 54 days, 27 days petitioning our Lord and then 27 days thanking our Lord, through the intercession of his holy mother, Mary. The novena will end on May 11.
Our intentions for this Rosary Novena are for the protection of our families and for the control and eradication of the coronavirus. You may add your own personal intentions to this novena, and we will pray for our world as well as for one another.
Please pass this along to your families and friends.
Let’s move forward through this storm with our rosaries in our hands.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.
March 20 10:32 AM – I am so excited about this novena. So far, I have the following people committed, and they are all passing it on to their families and friends, so I really don’t know how far it has reached. I haven’t heard back from everyone yet but here are the ones I’ve heard from [Names of 17 people from different families that Georgette had reached out to and asked if they would join our family in the novena.]
With all that is happening in our world, I’m feeling very sad for our loved ones who are all alone. I have been trying to call people that I know are alone just to give them comfort and offer to help them, but we have grandparents who are alone too, especially grandmother [Harry’s mom, Kathryn Williams], Jidu [Harry’s dad, Carl Williams], Tita Ilda [Georgette’s mom, Anna Ghantous] and Aunt Jeanette [Georgette’s aunt who was recently widowed and who is living alone].
Will you commit to calling each of them once a week on the same day of the week to check up on them? It does not have to be a long phone call, but rather just a phone call to see how they are — maybe tell them a quick story about one of your children or something you’re doing. If anything, it will become a distraction for them from all the news and it will bring joy to their day.
If any of you are able to choose one day a week, please let me know which day you will be calling them. I have spoken to Anna [oldest daughter] and she has offered to take Fridays. She suggested that we organize it by the day, so we don’t all call on the same day.
Please let me know which day will work for you and then write it on your calendar as a reminder.
If any of you need anything, I’m here for you. I love you all. Let’s keep praying for one another and celebrating what we do have, rather than what we don’t have.
P.S. Maybe we weren’t so crazy to homeschool all those years. I guess we were being prepared for this mandatory homeschooling. Praise God always.❤️
Would you agree with me that what Georgette asked our family to do is something that you should be asking of yourself and the members of your family?