by Ken Rolheiser
Parents, Faith and Heaven

God works wondrously through us, despite our weaknesses. The wise King Solomon, who had two experiences with God including one where he asks for wisdom instead of power and riches, still wavered in his faithful following of God’s will. In his last years he built alters for his concubine wives and disobeyed many of God’s commandments.

Solomon’s father King David slept with Bathsheba and had her husband killed in battle. Solomon was born of this sinful union. Still God kept blessing the lineage that would eventually lead to the birth of Christ. God has plans for us.

As parents we sometimes doubt that our children will continue to pass on the faith as we experience it. Then we hear stories like Sarah Capobianchi shares about her parents. Before her father died of cancer, Sarah asked him, “Dad, do you believe in eternal life?” His tone was strong and decisive: “Yes, I do.”

It was not always so. Her parents lost their first baby, and at thirty-seven her mother was diagnosed with an incurable brain tumour. At the time Sarah’s parents were not practicing Christians, but God called them through Fiorella’s illness.
Friends invited Fausto and Fiorella to share catecheses at church, which dealt with hope and faith. Sarah’s father went first, and shortly thereafter her mother joined him. That’s how they approached God and began their spiritual journey.
Fiorella asked God for more time, and with the help of a specialist her wish came true. She had another fifteen years to watch her children grow up. In 2014 Fiorella went to her Father’s house.
The funeral was a celebration. “God allowed me to know Him through this painful experience, so that I could witness that He doesn’t save from suffering but in suffering, and He doesn’t protect us from death but in death,” Sarah stated.
Four years later her father was dying of cancer. Fausto believed that God had done everything right in his life. The last days spent together with him in prayer were the most precious gift of faith to be treasured forever. 
Her father’s funeral caused Sarah to express the immense love of God, “which has never abandoned us and never will, has always shone through… to all those who feel crushed by life. Take courage! The Lord is with us. Forever.” (from Aleteia 02/10/22).
God chose Abram (Genesis 12:1) to go to “a land that I will show you.” So Abram went. God made a covenant with him to bless him and bless others through him; to watch over him, guide him and lead him throughout his life.

We are Abram. God has chosen us, loves us, guides us, has blessed us, and leads us through life inspired by his Holy Spirit. Have we lost sight of the faith we first enjoyed at our mother’s knee, on our mother’s lap? 

In God our ancestors trusted; in love they endured; in Faith they persisted. Then we came along, on an easier trail. Distracted, even confused, but too intelligent to ignore God’s calling, we still lose our way.

The wind blows in the fields. The flowers and grasses whisper as they fade. Are we listening?

(531 words)