Last week, I wrote about a handicapped man who had asked me for help at Walmart. He reminded me of the homeless people I see on a regular basis in downtown Peoria who routinely ask for money when I pass by. But he was more sophisticated than the homeless people I’m accustomed to. While he didn’t ask for money, I believe that it was his intention to do so until he saw the way I reacted to his behavior.
I attended Saint Louis University School of Law from 1979 to 1982. There was a McDonald’s restaurant that was located about six blocks from the school. The area where the McDonald’s was located was run-down, and it was not uncommon to run into a homeless person when I stopped at McDonald’s for a bite to eat.
Do you know what the Blessed Mother, the apostles, the disciples, and all the followers of Jesus had in common, other than believing that Jesus was the Son of God? They all forgave everyone who was involved in the torture and murder of their Savior. Think about how difficult that had to be. I know how hard it is for me to forgive certain people for what they have done to me, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to forgive those murderers.
Earlier this month, I had a conversation with a judge who recently retired after serving as a state court judge for more than 20 years. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call him “John.” John is in his early 60s, and during our conversation he asked me how many grandchildren I have. I told him that after adding three new grandsons last month, my wife and I have 10 grandchildren.
About five years ago, I was attending a weekday Mass at a local church. Halfway through the Mass, two women in their sixties snuck in the side door of the church and ran over to the nearest pew. Both women were wearing gray sweatshirts. The way they scurried over to the pew reminded me of the animated mice you would see in a Disney movie — because the women were short, pudgy, cute, and grinning from ear to ear.
About 10 years ago, an adorer called our home to let us know that he and his wife were not going to be able to cover their holy hour. (For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call him Frank.) At the time of the call, Frank and his wife were in their late 70s. Since no one was home to answer the telephone, Frank left a message on our answering machine.
My oldest daughter, Anna (30 years old), has been married for nine years. She and her husband, Josh, have four children, all of whom are under the age of eight. Anna recently sent an email to everyone in our family with a suggestion:
For some unknown reason, during the past couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about the 10 principal virtues of the Blessed Virgin Mary. As a reminder, the 10 principal virtues are (1) her profound humility, (2) her lively faith, (3) her blind obedience, (4) her continual mental prayer, (5) her mortification in all things, (6) her surpassing purity, (7) her ardent charity, (8) her heroic patience, (9) her angelic sweetness, and (10) her divine wisdom.